Aru Shah and the City of Gold (Pandava, #4) by Roshani Chokshi

Aru Shah and the City of Gold (Pandava, #4) by Roshani Chokshi. Disney Hyperion, 9781368013864, 2021

Format: Hardcover, 389 pages

Rating: 1-5 (5 is an excellent or a Starred review) 4

Genre:  Adventure/Supernatural Fiction

What did you like about the book? Book four in the Pandava novel series, this humorous title can be read by itself as it supplies enough back-information to keep the story line engaging.  A strong female protagonist, Aru, and her friends (all children of deities) are set on another task to save their world from the Sleeper (Aru’s father) and his army.  Aru is introduced to a sister, Kara, who has been living with their father.  Using witty banter, pop-culture references, and battles, Chokshi paints a vivid picture of the worlds Aru and her companions must traverse as they travel to the City of Gold to secure an army.  As with most Rick Riordan Presents, this universe includes Hindu deities and creatures that are sure to captivate readers as they battle with our heroes.  A glossary of Hindu deities and demons at the end is extremely helpful to readers who may not be familiar with the Hindu pantheon.  The ending leaves no doubt as to a forthcoming sequel.

Anything you didn’t like about it? The plot was entertaining; in typical Riordan fashion, the main character is riddled with self-doubt about her ability to accomplish her task and lead on this mission.  Some of the pop-culture references may not be understood by readers of this age level.  Struggling readers may have trouble with all of the characters introduced and constant setting changes despite Chokshi’s descriptive prowess.

To whom would you recommend this book? Readers, in grades 3 and up, who enjoy Rick Riordan series or Hindu mythology would like this title.  

Who should buy this book? This would be a good purchase for upper elementary/ middle school or public libraries that cannot get enough Rick Riordan-styled titles.  

Where would you shelve it? Adventure/Supernatural Fiction

Should we (librarians/readers) put this on the top of our “to read” piles?  I feel that this title would reside near the top of the “to read” pile.

Reviewer’s Name, Library (or school), City and State: Elena Schuck, Nathaniel H. Wixon School Library, Dennis, Massachusetts

Date of review: April 13, 2021

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