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Shiva's Fire [Unabridged] [Audiobook]

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Born during the worst storm ever seen by her small village in India, Parvati is both blessed and cursed with mysterious powers that confound her people. Wild animals flock to her; she is able to charm fish, birds, even deadly cobras. But Parvati's truly exceptional talent is her ability to dance like the Hindu god Shiva himself. At age 6, she hurls herself into a cooking f Born during the worst storm ever seen by her small village in India, Parvati is both blessed and cursed with mysterious powers that confound her people. Wild animals flock to her; she is able to charm fish, birds, even deadly cobras. But Parvati's truly exceptional talent is her ability to dance like the Hindu god Shiva himself. At age 6, she hurls herself into a cooking fire and dances safely through the flames, emerging without a single burn. Naturally, these powers scare the other villagers. Only her mother Meenakshi loves and believes in her, protecting her from the their curious and hostile stares. The guru Pillai, a famous Indian dance teacher, hears of Parvati's talent and comes to offer her a position in his dance school, or "gurukulam," in the large city of Madras. Once there, she questions her destiny, or "dharma," as she experiences both a devastating loss and a blossoming romance; "...she thought about the mystery of dharma--how some things were very difficult to accept, while others opened as simply and as naturally as a flower." But through it all, the fire of Shiva burns within her, and Parvati knows that, despite all other callings, she was born to dance. Suzanne Fisher Staples, renowned author of the award-winning Shabanu and Dangerous Skies, has woven together a magical tapestry of a tale that is a mystical hybrid of history and legend. At a time when teenage girls have more options than ever when choosing their own destinies, Parvati's story will inspire readers to set high goals and settle for nothing less than their true heart's desire. An instant classic. (Ages 12 to 14) --Jennifer Hubert


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Born during the worst storm ever seen by her small village in India, Parvati is both blessed and cursed with mysterious powers that confound her people. Wild animals flock to her; she is able to charm fish, birds, even deadly cobras. But Parvati's truly exceptional talent is her ability to dance like the Hindu god Shiva himself. At age 6, she hurls herself into a cooking f Born during the worst storm ever seen by her small village in India, Parvati is both blessed and cursed with mysterious powers that confound her people. Wild animals flock to her; she is able to charm fish, birds, even deadly cobras. But Parvati's truly exceptional talent is her ability to dance like the Hindu god Shiva himself. At age 6, she hurls herself into a cooking fire and dances safely through the flames, emerging without a single burn. Naturally, these powers scare the other villagers. Only her mother Meenakshi loves and believes in her, protecting her from the their curious and hostile stares. The guru Pillai, a famous Indian dance teacher, hears of Parvati's talent and comes to offer her a position in his dance school, or "gurukulam," in the large city of Madras. Once there, she questions her destiny, or "dharma," as she experiences both a devastating loss and a blossoming romance; "...she thought about the mystery of dharma--how some things were very difficult to accept, while others opened as simply and as naturally as a flower." But through it all, the fire of Shiva burns within her, and Parvati knows that, despite all other callings, she was born to dance. Suzanne Fisher Staples, renowned author of the award-winning Shabanu and Dangerous Skies, has woven together a magical tapestry of a tale that is a mystical hybrid of history and legend. At a time when teenage girls have more options than ever when choosing their own destinies, Parvati's story will inspire readers to set high goals and settle for nothing less than their true heart's desire. An instant classic. (Ages 12 to 14) --Jennifer Hubert

30 review for Shiva's Fire [Unabridged] [Audiobook]

  1. 4 out of 5

    Corinne Edwards

    This is an Indian story, a magical story, about a girl named Parvati who is born with the fire of music inside her. As she grows, the strangest things seem to happen in her presence and soon it is clear that her heart is full of the dance - classical Indian dance and her destiny leads her to a school that can develop her talents. I always appreciate books that will educate me, introduce me to a world I'm unacquainted with - and while I've read books about India before, the nuances of Indian dance This is an Indian story, a magical story, about a girl named Parvati who is born with the fire of music inside her. As she grows, the strangest things seem to happen in her presence and soon it is clear that her heart is full of the dance - classical Indian dance and her destiny leads her to a school that can develop her talents. I always appreciate books that will educate me, introduce me to a world I'm unacquainted with - and while I've read books about India before, the nuances of Indian dance and how deeply threaded it is with both religion and culture were totally new. Parvati is a mild character, confident in her abilities, sensitive to both people and animals and yet, as she comes of age, she begins to have a mind of her own. The idea of destiny is a key component of her world and she has to figure out how to mesh what she wants with what she believes she is destined to do. While I tried to decide if this was a middle grade or young adult novel, I came across this problem: the romance is too subtle and unfinished for a young adult book and all the unfamiliar Indian terms might be too much for a younger middle-grader, although there is an extensive glossary and pronunciation guide in the back. So, it's rather in-between. Lovers of dance, of Southern Indian culture will appreciate this and not mind that sometimes the plot is slow because of all the rich details that the author includes. For me, I know that parts of it will stick with me but I wasn't blown away.

  2. 4 out of 5

    Kathryn

    This story has sooo much potential, and I was very eager to read it. The cover art is gorgeous and it sounded like my cup of tea ;-) Richly described South Indian setting. Check! Protagonist who loves dancing. Check! Some insights into facets of Hindu religion. Check! Hints of romance. Check! So, why only three stars...? Because, ultimately, I don't feel the story delivered. I never really cared that much for the characters. And I felt a bit cheated because the blurb on the back cover really only This story has sooo much potential, and I was very eager to read it. The cover art is gorgeous and it sounded like my cup of tea ;-) Richly described South Indian setting. Check! Protagonist who loves dancing. Check! Some insights into facets of Hindu religion. Check! Hints of romance. Check! So, why only three stars...? Because, ultimately, I don't feel the story delivered. I never really cared that much for the characters. And I felt a bit cheated because the blurb on the back cover really only focuses on the second half of the book. Indeed, it takes a good 1/3 of the book for Parvati to even grow up enough to go to the gurukulam and study dance to become a devadasi (a servant of the gods; one entirely devoted to the sacred art of classical dance). Indeed, for several chapters, Parvati is but an infant and the story focuses more on her parents and the terrible things that keep happening, from her father being trampled to death by elephants to a natural disaster that destroys the village (and for which the villagers blame the infant Parvati and her mother). Ugh! It was sooo depressing. I thought I was going to get a lovely story about a dancer, not hear about the endless miseries befalling a village. Some of it was, I feel, too graphic for the younger audience but I don't feel the story was developed enough to be truly YA. The "gentle-eyed boy who turns her life upside down" (I am quoting from the back cover) doesn't show up until probably the last quarter of the book. This makes fourteen-year-old Parvati's decision of whether to follow her dharma (duty) and continue as a dancer, or abandon it and those who have nurtured her in that path and go with the alluring Rama to America, much less poignant than it could have been. And the final resolution is, I think, a bit of a cop-out. I do have to say that Staples has gorgeous imagery and really knows how to evoke a sense of place. The descriptions were just wonderful, very vivid. I did love that aspect of the story. And I did feel for Parvati at some parts of her journey. But, overall, it took too long to get to what I consider to be the important part of the story and, when it arrived, it was underdeveloped. `````````````````````````````````````````````````````````````````````` My lovely husband found this at the used bookstore we were perusing on Valentine's Day. He sure knows what I like ;-)

  3. 5 out of 5

    payasa213

    Shiva's Fire by Suzzanne Fisher Staples is Fiction.It is told in 3rd person.Parvati is the main character who is very gifted in dance.DANCE IS HER DESTINY. On a day when fish leap among the stars and birds soar beneath the waters, a remarkable girl named Parvati is born in a village in the South of India. Born the day her father died, the same day a cyclone devastated her region of India, Parvati is often blamed by her neighbors for their bad luck. She struggles to understand herself because sh Shiva's Fire by Suzzanne Fisher Staples is Fiction.It is told in 3rd person.Parvati is the main character who is very gifted in dance.DANCE IS HER DESTINY. On a day when fish leap among the stars and birds soar beneath the waters, a remarkable girl named Parvati is born in a village in the South of India. Born the day her father died, the same day a cyclone devastated her region of India, Parvati is often blamed by her neighbors for their bad luck. She struggles to understand herself because she knows is different and accept her duty as a supremely gifted dancer is the point of this story. As she grows, she becomes known for the peculiar events that seem to spring from beneath her dancing feet, and animals of all sorts gather to her and music becomes her. She is a dancer of extraordinary talent and rare spiritual gifts. When Parvati is 11, a famous dance master of classical dance, recognizes her abilities and is drawn by the tales of the miracles that surrounded her, comes to her village asking to take her to a far off city of Madras where she will be trained in classical dance and music and become a devadasi, a servant of the gods. He invites her to a gurukulam. There she hopes she will be able to fulfill her destiny. But she will also discover just how much she is being called upon to sacrifice… leaving her family behind. But when she meets a boy with his own extraordinary powers, her life is turned upside down, and she must question the one thing of which she has always been most sure... that she was born to dance. In the Guru's school, Parvati encounters the same suspicions and jealousy she encountered in her village, but she also makes a friend and develops her talent to an extraordinary level. Two years later, she is invited to return to her home area, to stay at the palace of the Maharaja himself, and dance to celebrate his birthday. There, Parvati and Rama, the Maharaja's son, are drawn to one another. By social group and class as well as by their ordained duties, it would go against established order to run off together. In the Guru's school, Parvati encounters the same suspicions and jealousy she encountered in her village, but she also makes a friend and develops her talent to an extraordinary level. Two years later, she is invited to return to her home area, to stay at the palace of the Maharaja himself, and dance to celebrate his birthday. There, Parvati and Rama, the Maharaja's son, are drawn to one another. By social group and class as well as by their ordained duties, it would go against established order to run off together. Suzanne Fisher Staples wrote this book to entertain us with a story from another country showing a different way in life. This story was well spoken….Parvati was destined to dance and she followed her destiny. Staples showed us well it’s my opinion, that if we are destined to do something, do it don’t waste whatever it is. Live life. This was a good book .I liked that it was a different kind of story you know like a story from another country. It was interesting how when she was a little baby she could be so gifted…..She wanted to dance like Shiva aka “the destroyer”.Shiva represents the power of destruction. But as the old has to be destroyed to give rise to the new, he is also seen by his followers as the lord of creation.Like Parvati the main character her father was killed and some parts Of India were destroyed the same day she was born.I gave this book a 5 out of five because it was interesting reading a different type of book set in a different country and culture.

  4. 5 out of 5

    Radha Sukhu

    Although Shiva’s Fire is geared for young adults, I found this book to be very intriguing. It explores the Indian culture and caste system, and how it affects the people who live there. Although some may say there is no conflict, the major conflict is about Parvati having to choose between the people she loves and what she was born to do – dance. Religion is also explored in this book, especially because Parvati thinks that Lord Shiva gave her life for the sole purpose of dancing. The novel’s ma Although Shiva’s Fire is geared for young adults, I found this book to be very intriguing. It explores the Indian culture and caste system, and how it affects the people who live there. Although some may say there is no conflict, the major conflict is about Parvati having to choose between the people she loves and what she was born to do – dance. Religion is also explored in this book, especially because Parvati thinks that Lord Shiva gave her life for the sole purpose of dancing. The novel’s main theme is to go where your destiny takes you. I’ve always wanted to explore religious and cultural differences in my writing, and this book encourages me to do so. I feel that writing more novels like this will help others understand my culture and religion.

  5. 4 out of 5

    Linnae

    I picked this up expecting the riveting characters and conflict of Staples' other books (Shabanu, for example.) I was disappointed. The cultural descriptions were engaging, but there was no conflict to make it live. As various situations unfolded, I kept thinking, "Ah, here we go. Now something's going to happen." No such luck. Any possible conflict either resolved on its own, or became a non-issue. One example: the girls at the school of dance are jealous of Parvati's talent, so she avoids them I picked this up expecting the riveting characters and conflict of Staples' other books (Shabanu, for example.) I was disappointed. The cultural descriptions were engaging, but there was no conflict to make it live. As various situations unfolded, I kept thinking, "Ah, here we go. Now something's going to happen." No such luck. Any possible conflict either resolved on its own, or became a non-issue. One example: the girls at the school of dance are jealous of Parvati's talent, so she avoids them and they stop bothering her. Two stars: one for potential, and one for the nice cover art.

  6. 5 out of 5

    Shivanee Ramlochan

    (I can remember so little about this book that I feel compelled to add this in parentheses. I have vague images of courtyard terraces and celestial-terrestrial conflicts. I might owe this a reread.)

  7. 5 out of 5

    Maria

    Parvati is not like other children, her penetrating gaze ability to speak with animals unnerves those around her and she becomes a scapegoat of her village from the day she is born. Parvati is hurt by the actions of her elders and peers, but she escapes from their disapproval by immersing her self at dance - a skill she performs with the utmost natural ability and talent. Her actions do not go unnoticed and she is recruited to leave her family and become a devadasi, a chaste performing artist ma Parvati is not like other children, her penetrating gaze ability to speak with animals unnerves those around her and she becomes a scapegoat of her village from the day she is born. Parvati is hurt by the actions of her elders and peers, but she escapes from their disapproval by immersing her self at dance - a skill she performs with the utmost natural ability and talent. Her actions do not go unnoticed and she is recruited to leave her family and become a devadasi, a chaste performing artist married to a god who worships her spouse through dance. While Parvati’s journey from poverty to celebrity is fascinating, readers will be most interested about the personal change and strong character development which takes place within Parvati. She begins as a girl shunned by villagers due to her supernatural abilities, and later is shunned by her jealous classmates for her innate talent. Parvati gains great insight into building personal strength and invulnerability from her detractors, as well as the great rewards which come from having passion for the learning and perfecting one’s art. Staples also gives life to another world rich with traditions, superstitions, and gods. India is described with vivid detail, and the reader is able to visualize all of Parvati’s surroundings to great effect. Staples is able to make her India palpable by being sure to describe not only visual, but also the visceral sounds, smells, and textures of Parvati’s world - from the flooded tent of her infancy all the way to the glorious gilded palaces where she will perform. Although Staples provides a glossary for the reader, the foreign Hindi vocabulary is present on every page and can become a hindrance. Recommended for readers grades seven through nine who enjoy international books, as well as books about culture and dance.

  8. 5 out of 5

    Danielle

    Name: Danielle Autumn Shur Staples, S.F. (2000). Shiva’s Fire. New York, NY: HarperCollins Publishers. Genre: Multicultural Format: Print Selection Process: NoveList Review: Every year on the first day of the monsoon season the people of Nandipuram gather at the palace for food and dancing in celebration of the Maharaja’s birthday. On this special day two babies were born; the Maharaja’s son, Rama and a special girl in the village named Parvati. On the night of Parvati’s birth a vicious cyclone rage Name: Danielle Autumn Shur Staples, S.F. (2000). Shiva’s Fire. New York, NY: HarperCollins Publishers. Genre: Multicultural Format: Print Selection Process: NoveList Review: Every year on the first day of the monsoon season the people of Nandipuram gather at the palace for food and dancing in celebration of the Maharaja’s birthday. On this special day two babies were born; the Maharaja’s son, Rama and a special girl in the village named Parvati. On the night of Parvati’s birth a vicious cyclone raged through the village causing many deaths. One of the victims of the disaster was Parvati’s father. Many in the village blamed the baby girl for their loss. Over the years, Parvati became an outcast without friends. There was something special about Parvati. She had a natural way with animals that others found to be peculiar. Parvati was a dance prodigy. With fire and flames she heard music that others could not hear and through the music her body reacted into hypnotizing movements. Stories of phenomenal events involving Parvati spread over India and reached a guru who instructed girls in the ancient art and worship of dance. Parvati leaves her home in order to train to become a devadasi. At the school she joins other girls her age and begins a rigorous schedule of work, study, and worship. Parvati’s ability soon outshines the other girls and they become jealous of her. She quickly becomes a devadasi and performs her art for audiences. Parvati is requested to perform for the Maharaja of Nandipuram’s birthday. She is excited to return home for a short visit before she must return to the palace. Parvati meets Rama and they share a bond and connection that makes them fast friends that leads to love. Parvati must choose between love and her worship of Shiva. Recommendation: Highly Recommended

  9. 5 out of 5

    Carly

    After reading shabanu by the same author I decided to read Shiva's fire because I really enjoyed shabanu. I ended up liking Shiva's fire a lot too! Shiva's fire is about an Indian girl who is very talented at traditional Indian dance. She is selected at a young age to leave her family and her village to attend a school that focuses on grooming girls into traditional India dancers whom entertain the upper class(mainly men). The story leads us to believe that Pavarati life is very much influenced After reading shabanu by the same author I decided to read Shiva's fire because I really enjoyed shabanu. I ended up liking Shiva's fire a lot too! Shiva's fire is about an Indian girl who is very talented at traditional Indian dance. She is selected at a young age to leave her family and her village to attend a school that focuses on grooming girls into traditional India dancers whom entertain the upper class(mainly men). The story leads us to believe that Pavarati life is very much influenced by shiva, the goddess of destruction. Because although she is blessed with amazing dance ability, her life is also cursed by destruction, such as the terrible storm that almost wiped out her village the night she was born and the death of her mother. I think that the mix of blessings and adversity Pavarati contrasted each other well through out the book. The only thing that I liked better about shabanu than Shiva's fire is that shabanu is a much more serious and realistic story where as Shiva's fire is more like a fairy tale. Although entertaining I preferred shabanu's more sophisticated story line. However for just a fun easy read this book is really good.

  10. 4 out of 5

    Pia S.

    This book touches a lot on destiny, telling the story of Parvati and her destiny to become a dancer. The message of being yourself no matter what is held up well by a strong but believable main character. Although Parvati and a few of the lead characters were created superbly, most of the other supporting roles were one-dimensional. Auntie could not even bring herself to change her views on Parvati, and all of the characters could fit some sort of cliche. Other than that, the view on destiny is This book touches a lot on destiny, telling the story of Parvati and her destiny to become a dancer. The message of being yourself no matter what is held up well by a strong but believable main character. Although Parvati and a few of the lead characters were created superbly, most of the other supporting roles were one-dimensional. Auntie could not even bring herself to change her views on Parvati, and all of the characters could fit some sort of cliche. Other than that, the view on destiny is interesting, seeing as sometimes it is one big decision that shapes your entire life. Often I feel like Parvati, because in this world it is getting harder and harder to be yourself, since there is so much pressure to do the same thing everyone else is doing. I think most people could connect to this book at least once in their life, for true individuality is hard to come by, and making a big decision is hard. The descriptions in this book were well written, and overall, Shiva's Fire is a refreshing book.

  11. 4 out of 5

    S.

    This young adult fantasy novel is a richly descriptive and beautiful adventure in a fictional south Indian state, where a girl named Parvati is born in a poor family and strange, devastating weather strikes the community. Villagers shun her, treating her like a freak and believing that the village’s problems are all her fault. She does indeed have magic powers, which she tries to suppress. She has a magical talent for dancing, a talent that goes unappreciated until a dancing guru arrives and ask This young adult fantasy novel is a richly descriptive and beautiful adventure in a fictional south Indian state, where a girl named Parvati is born in a poor family and strange, devastating weather strikes the community. Villagers shun her, treating her like a freak and believing that the village’s problems are all her fault. She does indeed have magic powers, which she tries to suppress. She has a magical talent for dancing, a talent that goes unappreciated until a dancing guru arrives and asks her to join his school. As someone who has visited India, I found the book draws a vivid and realistic picture of the country. The characters come alive, and Parvati is a particularly sympathetic character and a strong heroine who must follow her heart.

  12. 4 out of 5

    oggy

    It was magical, like a fairytale however a boy is not her saviour but her love of dance, i could see a film adaptation of this.

  13. 4 out of 5

    Shaan

    Very possibly the worst book I have ever read.

  14. 5 out of 5

    Samantha

    3.5 Stars It lost half a star because the last six chapters felt a little... rushed? But I'll get to that. When I first started reading this, I found all of the small details fascinating, yet I was also surprised at how long it took to actually focus on Parvati/have her be more than a baby. It was almost a little off-putting, as I kept waiting and waiting for the real story to start. However, while certainly some of this content could have been trimmed, it helps overall in establishing the way Par 3.5 Stars It lost half a star because the last six chapters felt a little... rushed? But I'll get to that. When I first started reading this, I found all of the small details fascinating, yet I was also surprised at how long it took to actually focus on Parvati/have her be more than a baby. It was almost a little off-putting, as I kept waiting and waiting for the real story to start. However, while certainly some of this content could have been trimmed, it helps overall in establishing the way Parvati sees the world, and it ends up being important in the last fourth of the book. This book, for the most part, has a slow pace to it, but also knows when to skip ahead. I really appreciate it for the way it isn't afraid to show what daily life is like, but it does it in a way that is interesting (at least to me). I do wish more time had been spent on Parvati's second year of dance instruction. She spends a year learning the absolute basics, and then suddenly it seems like she doesn't even need to be taught anymore. I know she spent much of that first year kind of bored/yearning for more, but it was clear she was still learning, even if she picked it up very quickly. So it then seemed odd her training changed to basically learning a different dance each time she was taught (and with rarely a correction). Or that's the impression I got. This is the first instance I thought the story suddenly seemed to jump ahead. I know her ability to dance is basically magic, but I wish there had been a little more to her advanced training than just doing dances almost always perfectly the first time she does them. My other problem with pacing comes during Chapter 16, with the romance plot coming into play. I honestly had forgotten at this point that Parvati was going to be torn between dance and love, and the romance just seemed to happen so abruptly. It is lampshaded in the book, with Parvati herself realizing these intense feelings seemed to come from nowhere, but I don't feel like I got a chance to care about the romance plot before it was suddenly a big deal--and, coupled with other things going on, it made me a little disinterested in what was going on. I mean, if she went with the romance plan, it didn't seem like the other problems would necessarily matter, plus the reason for the other problems seemed kind of contrived. So, rather than worrying what was going to happen and how things would be solved, I found it all almost laughable. Plus, the actual conclusion felt really... weak? Everything Parvati is worried about just gets brushed aside so we can have a happy ending. Also, it wasn't until the romance started happening that it began to feel like Parvati didn't have much of a personality. Her actions towards the guy seemed odd at first, but that's exactly the reason why--she had never acted that way towards anyone before, and it made me realize how little I actually know about Parvati's personality. She kind of just accepts things as they are--which isn't necessarily a bad thing, but she then becomes more curious/assertive with the guy just out of nowhere. Maybe that's the real issue. This book is largely about the strange way Parvati sees the world, but it's not very often her emotions are explored in-depth. This works fine until the romance is introduced, and then she no longer feels like the same character, nor do I feel like I'm connecting to these deeper emotions she should be feeling. This entire review has been mostly complaints, but I enjoyed most of the story. However, the book just didn't devote enough time to the romance for it to be one of the big problems, and the other problems that crop up for the climax felt almost invented, like the author knew she needed a big moment and forced events to work for it while also making it so the problem could be easily solved (even if Parvati didn't know it). So, other than the issues in the last few chapters, I really did like seeing the world through Parvati's eyes (as well as her mother's), and this book does a great job at making even the mundane things seem interesting. I especially love the way dance is described, and it helps to show just how special it is to Parvati. Oh, and I also appreciate that this book didn't waste time explaining vocab, but just provided a glossary at the back for reference, in case you aren't familiar with the culture. It can be a little annoying flipping back and forth, but it also draws you deeper into the world, treating the culture like an everyday type of thing, rather than drawing attention to how different it might be. Overall, I did enjoy it. I did wonder for a moment upon finishing if I would be keeping this book or not, but I will. The ending could have been better, but I enjoyed the rest of the book enough that I might re-read it one day.

  15. 5 out of 5

    Poornima Nanglu

    This book is amazing and very interesting. I loved every little thing about this book. This book is basically about a girl who was grown up in very difficult time but she had magic in her feet that she dances incredibly. she was grown up when there was nobody was with her except her mother. everybody would enjoy reading this book because this book is for everybody , teenagers and adults too. this book taught me so many things that even when the time isn't right, you should always be patient beca This book is amazing and very interesting. I loved every little thing about this book. This book is basically about a girl who was grown up in very difficult time but she had magic in her feet that she dances incredibly. she was grown up when there was nobody was with her except her mother. everybody would enjoy reading this book because this book is for everybody , teenagers and adults too. this book taught me so many things that even when the time isn't right, you should always be patient because time never stays same. my favorite character from this book is parvati , but meenakshi is also my favorite because she is the backbone of her daughter as parvati's father was dead when she was born. her mother was always with her whenever she needed her. My Favorite part of the book was when the village was drowning , it was the most terrible moment in the book. meenakshi was sleeping inside the house and suddenly somebody was knocking the door and he was Parvati's uncle. everybody was thinking this all happened because of the new girl but Meenakshi was protecting her daughter from all those people who are being mean because she want her daughter to live a positive life.

  16. 4 out of 5

    Aditi

    Overall this was a fun read. It's been a while since I've read any YA but I was eager to read this book as it has a South Asian as the main character and it is set in India. The start of the story draws you in and the drama of the birth of the main character really pulls you into the story, you want to see how she survives nd how the family makes it. The story line is a little disjointed and jumps forward without a ton of detail. The overall story is sweet though and brings a smile and warmth to Overall this was a fun read. It's been a while since I've read any YA but I was eager to read this book as it has a South Asian as the main character and it is set in India. The start of the story draws you in and the drama of the birth of the main character really pulls you into the story, you want to see how she survives nd how the family makes it. The story line is a little disjointed and jumps forward without a ton of detail. The overall story is sweet though and brings a smile and warmth to the heart. Some of the plot is confusing and the lack of detail leaves me wanting for more. Overall though a cute story and probably a fun read for YA. Definitely nice to have some representation in YA!

  17. 4 out of 5

    Gen

    This book was good. The magic was mild and understated, more spiritual than magical, and I enjoyed experiencing the different stages of Parvati's growing up. There is a sort of Moorchild vibe about the way Parvati's uniqueness leads to her isolation, but more sweet and less sinister, because Parvati herself is sweet. I would have liked to know what happened to Parvati's friend who was kidnapped, whether she really did see her in the marketplace or not, but overall Shiva's Fire was satisfying and This book was good. The magic was mild and understated, more spiritual than magical, and I enjoyed experiencing the different stages of Parvati's growing up. There is a sort of Moorchild vibe about the way Parvati's uniqueness leads to her isolation, but more sweet and less sinister, because Parvati herself is sweet. I would have liked to know what happened to Parvati's friend who was kidnapped, whether she really did see her in the marketplace or not, but overall Shiva's Fire was satisfying and engaging.

  18. 5 out of 5

    Amanda Maria

    This book was very different from what I normally read. It felt very drawn out and the "action/tense" parts did not seem nearly as exciting as they should. The concept was creative and I felt the last 50 pages were the most interesting. I wish the author would have introduced the "elusive boy" earlier in the book. He was only in the last 50 pages and he made the book much more compelling. Several of the story plots seemed very disjointed and the ending was rushed. This book was very different from what I normally read. It felt very drawn out and the "action/tense" parts did not seem nearly as exciting as they should. The concept was creative and I felt the last 50 pages were the most interesting. I wish the author would have introduced the "elusive boy" earlier in the book. He was only in the last 50 pages and he made the book much more compelling. Several of the story plots seemed very disjointed and the ending was rushed.

  19. 4 out of 5

    Peace

    More like 3.5 stars- I really liked it, but the story was kind of spaced out weirdly. You know, too much of the book was taken up by specific events in the beginning. The ending felt rushed and unsatisfactory. There could have been so much more! I liked the book itself enough that the ending makes me frustrated. Ha. But it was very different, very interesting.

  20. 5 out of 5

    Leah

    Still one of my favorites to this day. I first read this in jr high and it blew me away. It's powerful, magical, and you find yourself in awe of every hardship she overcomes. I love reading this over and over again. Still one of my favorites to this day. I first read this in jr high and it blew me away. It's powerful, magical, and you find yourself in awe of every hardship she overcomes. I love reading this over and over again.

  21. 5 out of 5

    Sharanne

    Somehow I thought this was the sequel to Shabanu, having wondered for years what became of her after she ran away from an undesirable marriage. This was an entertaining story that I may recommend to some young adults I know.

  22. 5 out of 5

    Janette Gates

    A great ending to an amazing story.

  23. 4 out of 5

    Melanie

    Favorite book when I was in middle school.

  24. 5 out of 5

    Elizabeth Smart

    I read this book as a child and I still think about it all the time.

  25. 4 out of 5

    Cassy (=•́ܫ•̀=) Villatoro

    I absolutely loved Parvati's story. this was my favorite book when I was a teen and I've read it multiple times. Recommend for young readers. I absolutely loved Parvati's story. this was my favorite book when I was a teen and I've read it multiple times. Recommend for young readers.

  26. 5 out of 5

    Audrey Tita-Munoz

    favorite book

  27. 5 out of 5

    Nire

    I wanted to love this book. And there were parts of it that I did really love, but I feel like the ending was a huge disappointment and it made me wish I hadn't bothered to read it at all. I wanted to love this book. And there were parts of it that I did really love, but I feel like the ending was a huge disappointment and it made me wish I hadn't bothered to read it at all.

  28. 5 out of 5

    Payal Music

    Great story for a young child!

  29. 5 out of 5

    Sue

    This story and characters didn’t hold my interest but I did appreciate the vivid descriptions.

  30. 4 out of 5

    Lindsey

    I've read this book at least five or six times. It's comforting and lush, full of life and magic. I've read this book at least five or six times. It's comforting and lush, full of life and magic.

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