Book Review: ‘Iora and the Quest of Five’ by Arefa Tehsin
Price: 195 INR
Never after Rudyard Kipling’s ‘Jungle Book’ has a forest tale been so refreshingly told. Full of evocative sights, sounds and smells of the jungle, ‘Iora and the Quest of Five’ by Arefa Tehsin brings to you the exciting journey of inquisitive little Iora as she travels through the Wacky Wilderness in search of the one who is plotting to murder her father.
The book however, is not merely a thrilling story meant for children. As the tale of adventure weaves around the delicate balance of five life-supporting natural forces, it underlines the fragility of the eco-system and the need to stop abusing it.
Kipling’s Jungle Book was written at a time when the conflict between the wild and man was just beginning. ‘Iora and the Quest of Five’ chronicles the modern era in which the symbolic forces of nature can lead to the destruction of man if he does not check his greed soon. The theme also revolves around values of courage, integrity, persistence and loyalty.
The story begins when a young human called Chinar accidentally spots Iora, a forest-dweller who lives amongst talking birds, animals and plants in the wondrous yet virgin rainforest of Twitterland. Iora who is most comfortable in the company of the strangest of creatures is accompanied by the Beetle the dwarf, Baba the wise monkey, pesky little Owlus and Chinar as she encounters fierce Amazons, creepy Homo-lamias and deceptive frogs on her journey.
For children living in the urban jungle, this novel is bound to invoke their natural curiosity about flora and fauna. Having grown up listening to bird calls and playing with snakes, Arefa Tehsin successfully manages to transfer her zest for wildlife in the book.
The leafy grapevines and the wacky font style used at the beginning of each chapter add a ‘jungly’ feel to the book. Teeming with childlike humour, engaging characters and colourful events, this book will pass like an animated film before your eyes.
Overall Rating: 7/10