Monday, 13 October 2014

Book Review: Sceadu by Prashant Pinge

Book Name: Sceadu
Author: Prashant Pinge
Genre: Children’s Fantasy
Publisher: Prashant Pinge

If I were to pick up a book on children’s fantasy from the store, Prashant Pinge’s Sceadu would not even figure on my list. The reason behind this being Sceadu (pronounced as Shay-du) sports an absolutely hideous cover that is instantaneously revolting and misleading. A gruesome scull-like mask with a scary smile adorning its golden face protruding against the black backdrop does not make for an attractive cover. But do not let the cover mislead you into thinking that Sceadu is not your money’s worth. For here is a story that is fascinating and well executed and deserves applause for creating a world beyond the realm of reality that is both credible and fantastic.

The Plot 
Nine year old Matilda finds herself haunted by nightmares of shadows when she ends up with a century old book Sceadu from a sale at the local library. As her nightmares grow worse, Matilda is increasingly tempted to reveal the contents of the book. But Sceadu houses a world of secrets that is so implausible that Matilda has only one way to ascertain. As nine year old Matilda disappears suddenly under mysterious circumstances, her brother Robert and cousins Patrick and Steven set out on a quest to find Matilda. The four end up in Sceadu, a land hidden in the human shadow, wherein begins an adventure where Matilda, Robert, Patrick and Steven fight their own inner demons whilst wrestling the vicious creatures of Sceadu. As magical Imps, Faeries, Ghouls and Goblins hunt down the four Children of Leod and ancient prophecies are revealed, the children realise that bigger issues are at stake and the world as they had known might perish until the children stop the evil King Resolutus. Will the children succeed in thwarting the plans of the evil Resolutus or will they succumb and risk the existence of mankind?

A preview of the Characters
Matilda reminded me of Lucy from The Chronicles of Narnia. Brave and inquisitive, Matilda doubts her own worth and suffers from a lack of confidence in her own abilities. Robert, Matilda’s brother, is a bully who engages in constant displays of might is right whilst Steven refuses to open his mind to phenomenon beyond the borders of logic and science.  Steven’s brother Patrick, the oldest amongst the cousins is impatient and authorative and lying beyond these negativities are virtues that the children need to find for themselves. The magical creatures in the world of Sceadu are manifestations of the darker sides of human nature- anger, sloth, greed, power, etc. But beyond all the struggle for power, lies hope and the Eorls manifest themselves as the positivity that often lies concealed in the shadow.

Can the book be enjoyed by the old and young alike?
Though the book predominantly targets the young, Sceadu does deliver instances of deep thought that the old may equally enjoy. It’s a book that a mother might enjoy narrating to her children for there are lessons to be learnt and courage to be found, and yet wisdom to be drawn from the struggles of the four cousins. Pinge wonderfully crafts a story that deals with the thin demarcations between the real and the fabled and delves into deep psychology to create Sceadu. Tinged with adequate fables of Greek mythology combined with myths of his own, Sceadu holds enough to interest the old with thoughts of a certain psychological kind dealing with the darker sides of human nature. I would definitely enjoy retelling this story to my young niece and help her draw wisdom from the same for nothing thrills the young more than magic and fairy-tales.

Sceadu is a book that children will immensely enjoy for it is a tale of adventures and grief, of struggles and hope and ordinary heroes who emerge victorious firmly rooting in our minds that no matter what, in the end, good shall triumph over evil.

Rating: 3/5

(I received a copy of the book from the author for reviewing. All views are my own.)


  1. Nice review. Reading habit must be cultivated in children.

  2. Nice review...I love reading children books... it sounds really good... :-)


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