Give me magic, gadgets, monsters, zombies, everything that seems impossible, and throw in some tough chicks with swords. That's the stuff.

Friday, September 27, 2013

Must Read: Ash Mistry Books

Sarwat Chadda does not write easy books.

Oh yes, it is easy to get into the books, the worlds are full of adventure and danger, and you quickly find yourself rooting for our heroes to win.

But that is where "easy" stops. This is not a sugar-coated fantasy world. There are costs to living battle to battle, to having power, to becoming a warrior. Chadda exhibited this in the Billi Sangreal books, one of my favorite YA Urban Fantasy series. The Ash Mistry trilogy is more a middle school series, think along the lines of the Percy Jackson books, but the action, mythology and characters kept this reader enthralled.

Note: If you haven't been reading books aimed at the middle school crowd, I think you are missing out.

Like Percy, you have mythological beings come to life and a young teen's journey to protect himself, his family and his friends. However, that is where the similarities end - Ash is it's own story. Chadda weaves elements from Indian mythology to create a world with rakshasas (demons), an evil sorcerer, unexpected allies, and the warriors who fight evil, reborn age after age.

The female characters are also tremendous. Parvati is my favorite, of course, a rakshasa with a past closely tied to Ash and skills that make this action-junkie happy.

Ash doesn't just wake up able to kick demon butt. He has to work, train, get beat up many times, and be prepared to sacrifice what he loves. Watching him progress from the couch potato-ish teen on vacation with his uncle in India to a warrior was a great, bittersweet ride, but thankfully not without mishap and mistakes. There are real, horrible consequences. Ash has a lot to learn. That he does learn is what makes this a series that you should be reading.

I recently read the third book, Ash Mistry and the World of Darkness, and it was epic, involving time, Ash's past and other lives, and a fantastic final battle. I am afraid to spoil it for you, so I'm stopping there. If you are caught up on the series and ready for that third installment, I think you are going to be very happy.

If you haven't read Ash yet, this is the perfect day to start. Right now, book 1, Ash Mistry and the Savage Fortress, is $1.99 on Kindle.

In the US, book 2 The City of Death, will be out October 29. You'll have to wait a bit for book 3, but it is worth it!

If you are in the UK, you can get all 3 books now. Book 1 | Book 2 | Book 3

Sarwat Chadda's Ash Mistry website:

[received an ARC to review]