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Book Review

Publisher's Note:

Ash escaped THE SAVAGE FORTRESS . . . but can he survive THE CITY OF DEATH? Meet Ash Mistry: eighth grader, pretty good video gamer, guy with a massive crush on the beautiful Gemma . . . Oh, and the Eternal Warrior of the death goddess Kali. Just when Ash has settled back into his everyday London life, his friend Parvati arrives with a mission: The evil Lord Alexander Savage is plotting to steal the Koh-I-Noor diamond from England's crown jewels. Ash and Parvati manage to intercept it, but at a terrible price-Gemma's death. Outcast and heartbroken, Ash returns with Parvati to India, where he meets up with old friends and develops new powers. But he's haunted by Gemma, by thoughts of revenge against Savage, and by horrifying, blood-soaked dreams. As he hunts Savage all the way to an astonishing, long-hidden kingdom, Ash must face the prospect that he may no longer be entirely human . . . and his warrior side may lie beyond his control.…

The City of Death

by Sarwat Chadda

Overall Book Review:

To be honest, I had a difficult time with The City of Death, by Sarwat Chadda.  The first bookin this series, The Savage Fortress, was violent, gory, and disturbing–but held its own with a decent plot.  The City of Death continues the story of Ash Mistry and his quest to track down and destroy Lord Alexander Savage; so the carnage continues, yet this time the story itself seems to be one of the casualties.  Ash increases in his powers as the instrument of the death goddess, Kali, and his arrogance seems to increase along with his abilities.  Unfortunately his intelligence does not, so the reader is left baffled and frustrated at the choices of a character who holds little to no redemptive qualities to preserve interest or relatability.  The book ends in a cliff-hanger, yet frustrations outweigh curiosity enough to leave little interest in picking up the next and last book.  As in the first book, the writing is descriptive and flows well; the problems of character and plot simply loom too large to be overcome.     

This book was sent to Compass Book Ratings for review by Arthur A. Levine (A Scholastic Imprint)

Content Analysis:

Profanity/Language: 9 religious exclamations, 3 mild obscenities.

Violence/Gore:  Verbal threats to kill; character rips out another’s heart (through the mouth); character throws knife into another’s shoulder; a character’s throat is ripped; extended and detailed scene of battle violence; men kill women and children; character remembers slitting a throat; man stabbed in the chest in cold blood; character cuts another and composes potion of blood; secondhand report of a beating; creepy scene of body deforming; attempted drowning; character drinks blood potion, pain and blood described; description of a body burning; corpses raised from the dead (zombies); description of a body smashed to a pulp; description of a character’s flesh, blood and bone melting and reforming; a whale torn apart and eaten; blood-thirsty coral kills a character, wounds another; decapitated head bounces out through a door and is kicked further down; character described as wading through blood; headless body found; character disintegration described; character haunted by corpses of dead relatives, detailed attempt to kill; description of dead characters; wall collapses on top of a character; a character stabbed through the back and dies; description of character’s flesh melting and mutating; description of character’s disfiguring.    

Sex/Nudity:  Nonsexual instance of a naked man; description of naked goddess, some sexual implications. 

Mature Subject Matter:

Death, Battle violence, Detailed blood and Gore

Alcohol / Drug Use:


Overall Book Rating

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About the Reviewer

My favorite activity is cuddling up in a blanket with a good book, especially in the wintertime in front of a fire with a mug of hot chocolate!