I received this book for free from in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.The Savage Fortress by Sarwat Chadda
Series: Ash Mistry Chronicles #1
Published by Scholastic Press on February 26th 2013
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Breathtaking action adventure for 8 to 12-year-olds. Ash Mistry, reluctant hero, faces ancient demons… and comes into an astonishing, magical inheritance.
Varanasi: holy city of the Ganges.
In this land of ancient temples, incense and snake charmers…
Where the monsters and heroes of the past come to life…
One slightly geeky boy from our time…
IS GOING TO KICK SOME DEMON ASS.
Ash Mistry hates India. Which is a problem since his uncle has brought him and his annoying younger sister Lucky there to take up a dream job with the mysterious Lord Savage. But Ash immediately suspects something is very wrong with the eccentric millionaire. Soon, Ash finds himself in a desperate battle to stop Savage's masterplan – the opening of the Iron Gates that have kept Ravana, the demon king, at bay for four millennia...
Ash is your average teenage boy, who would rather be playing online video games than hanging out with his sister, aunt and uncle in India. What he wasn't aware that he would find in India was an adventure full of danger and peril. His uncle is there to work for Lord Savage, but Ash sees something that makes him sure that is the last thing his uncle should do. There are creatures under Lord Savage's command that are more than human. Unlucky for him, he happens upon the one item that Lord Savage is looking for.
With the aid of other trying to keep the demon king's prison closed forever, he must protect his family along with the arrowhead, the item that Lord Savage is after. I really enjoyed seeing Ash transform from somewhat chubby, video gaming boy to one that will have to save the whole world. It was nice to see a character transformation up front in this first book and I have high hopes for the series. I also love Parvati's character – a rakshaska that is on their side, but for her own reasons. All of which is slowly revealed with some serious skeptism from Ash.
The banter between Ash and Parvati was hilarious. The audiobook of The Savage Fortress did the characters justice and I found myself bursting out in laughter at various points of listening to the book. One of the saving points of a middle grade adventure novel is that there is always humor to save you from too much adventure and seriousness. I wouldn't put this up one too closely up against Riordan, but I felt it was along the same vein and something readers would enjoy if into mythology and adventure series.
Final Verdict: I'm looking forward to the sequel and am not sure if I will wait for the audiobook, as I thought the first was very well done and enjoyable. I have an ARC, so we shall see. Definitely check this one out and if you enjoy audiobooks, this one won't disappoint.