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Updated: September 26, 2011 16:15 IST

On a quest

ARCHANA SUBRAMANIAN
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Meet Ritu and go with her on an extraordinary journey to find happiness.

Ever wanted to live with magical folks? Stay amidst them and actually live their life? For most of us it might be just a dream. But for Ritu it was more than a dream. She actually got a chance to do it. Even though her journey did quite start on a sweet note as she leaves telling her mother she would be back for dinner.

But as luck would have it, an escalator changed her life. Ritu takes it thinking she is going downstairs but one can ever know where it might lead you.

She ended up in a big forest and realises that not only is she lost she also has no idea where she is and how to return. Trapped, she soon realises that not everything about this forest is all right and it's dark, dingy and gloomy. Ritu meets the Resident Magician, Serendipitous, and his assistant, Blanc-Noir. They ask her for help to go to the Blue King's Castle, as it's here that spirit of Happiness lies locked in the Dodgson's Box. And so begins her journey.

As she begins the quest to bring back happiness she realises that the road is very long and is full of danger. She also has to pass through many villages and along the way she meets many characters who either hinder or help her in her journey to the Blue King's castle.

But luck is not on her side. Ritu meets the Blue soldier who does not like her and promises to arrest her on his way back. To avoid this Serendipitous suggests they go to Precisian's house to inform her about this and find a way out. She meets interesting people like the wood doctor and passes through the Outcasts' Village, Girnewala Falls, Mediapolis, and the Bureaucrats' Maze making the journey exciting.

If you have read Wizard of Oz and Alice in Wonderland you will see that the book borrows liberally from them. But the book is fast paced and it is difficult to put it down. Find out if Ritu is successful and how she triumphs over the blue king's soldiers to bring happiness back to the village. Or does she crumble and fall, her mission left unaccomplished?

A word of caution: Brace yourselves for an extraordinary trip!

THE BLUE KING'S CASTLE by Prasenjit Gupta, Puffin, Rs. 199

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Archana SubramanianJune 28, 2012


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