I wasn’t really sure what to expect with this book. I bought it because it has been a Waterstone Book of the Month and it looked like it might be good. This is Nizrana Farook’s debut novel.
The book is focused on 3 children. Chaya is a young girl who is extremely strong willed and could be considered a bit naughty by some. She is extremely good friends with a boy called Neel. They then encounter another girl called Nour. I think that the book is set in Sri Lanka because the author grew up there, although in my head I picture scenes from Aladdin because the girl in the story does have some of the same characteristics as Aladdin.
Chaya steals the Queen’s jewels, involves her friends, has to break into the jail, escapes on a stolen elephant and then leads them all on a jungle adventure. They encounter a number of scary creatures and are chased by soldiers. I don’t want to give too much of the plot away. I do have to admit that I did guess what was going to happen when the children reached the jungle.
Can Chaya leave a thief and return a hero? She hopes so. Some people may find Chaya a bit arrogant or even a bully, it depends how you look at it. I think that she has honorable intentions and she is a little bit jealous of Nour when she joins them. This is the interesting things about books, different people will take different things from them.
This is an enchanting story and a great read. It leaves you wondering if sometimes stealing is okay. I think that both boys and girls will enjoy this book. It does have a strong female character and the boy is the sensible one, who has the survival skills.