- The Conch Bearer (novel)
Infobox Book |
name = The Conch Bearer
Chitra Banerjee Divakaruni
language = English
series = Brotherhood of the Conch
genre = Children's
Roaring Brook Press
release_date = 2003
media_type = Print (Hardback)
pages = 265 pp
The Mirror of Fire and Dreaming
"The Conch Bearer" is a
fantasy novelwritten by Chitra Banerjee Divakaruni.
Anand is a young twelve-year-old boy who belives in magic, and who lives in modern [India] . Anand used to go to school but doesn't any more because his family can no longer afford to pay for his lessons. His father left two years previous to the story begining, to find work in a far off country. His sister, Meera, has been driven insane by witnessing a murder while gathering water in the city pumps. Anand's family is forced to take shelter in the slums of
Kolkata. To help his family with their financial situation, Anand takes up work at a tea shop run by a cruel man named Haru, who freaquently cuffs him on the ear if he is displeased with his work (which he constantly it) and pays him very little paisafor his hard work. One cold winter day, while working in the tea shop, Anand comes across an old man whom he assumes is a beggar. He feels sympathetic to the old man, and gives him his own lunch of pakoras and tea. Later that night, Anand finds the old man at his door. The man, who reveals himself to be Abhaydatta, pulls out several expensive vegetables, and while Anand cooks dinner, Abhaydatta tells him the reason for him being in Kolkata. Abhaydatta belongs to a special group of sorcerers, The Brotherhood, who instruct youths about magic and nature, in a place called Silver Valley, deep within the Himalayamountains. He then tells Anand that magic exists, and that it is all around them. Abhaydatta also tells Anand that a magical item was stolen from Silver Valley, the most powerful magic item in existance in the shape of a conch shell, simply known as the Conch. Abhaydatta had indeed found the Conch, and was making his way back to Silver Valley, but he needs Anand's help. He explains also that Anand has enormous hidden magical powers, and that, if he wishes, may join The Brotherhood. He then explains to Anand that he is being persued by and evil shape-shifting sorcerer who used to belong to The Brotherhood named Surabhanu, who greatly wishes to take possesion of the conch to wreak havoc on the earth.
The story takes place in the
Bengalicity of Kolkata, w
* Anand - a boy living in contemporary India, and later, the Conch Bearer
* Abhaydatta - the Master Healer, who is willing to return the conch to its rightful place
* Nisha - a clever and resourceful girl who unexpectedly accompanies Anand and Abhaydatta on their quest
* Surabhanu - a greedy shape-shifter who is determined to steal the conch
"The Conch Bearer" was chosen as a "
Publishers Weekly" Best Book of the Year and a " Booklist" Editor's Choice.
* [http://www.chitradivakaruni.com/ Chitra Banerjee Divakaruni's Official Site]
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