Luka and the Fire of Life
“You’ve reached the age at which people in this family cross the border into the magical world. It’s your turn for an adventure—yes, it’s finally here!” So says Haroun to his younger brother, twelve-year-old Luka, in Salman Rushdie’s thrilling, delightful, lyrically crafted fable for the young and young at heart.
The adventure begins one beautiful starry night in the land of Alifbay, where a terrible thing happens: Luka’s father, Rashid, the legendary storyteller of Kahani, falls suddenly and inexplicably into a sleep so deep that nothing and no one can rouse him. To save him from slipping away entirely, Luka must embark on a journey through the world of magic with his loyal companions, Bear the dog and Dog the bear, as they encounter a slew of fantastical creatures, strange allies, and challenging obstacles along the way—all in the hopes of stealing the Fire of Life, a seemingly impossible and exceedingly treacherous task.
“Luka and the Fire of Life [and] Haroun and the Sea of Stories . . . are personal fables dealing with serious issues—Haroun with the silencing of writers, Luka with a father’s mortality—and both showcase Mr. Rushdie’s verbal pyrotechnics, wit, erudition and skill for spinning a yarn, appealing equally to young adults and older readers.”
—The Wall Street Journal
“Luka and the Fire of Life is a beautiful book. Well written (obviously), imaginative (astonishingly so), and wonderful in the way it builds heartfelt magical fiction for kids who love video games: It’s like a bridge, built between generations, fabulous and strange and from the heart.” —Neil Gaiman
“A book that can reach out to meet and move and touch a reader at any time of the reader’s life, from childhood to middle age and beyond, is a rare and magical book, and Salman Rushdie is a rare and magical writer.” —Michael Chabon
“Twenty years ago, the average 12-year-old-boy imbibed most of his stories through the television. Today he more likely gets them through video games. Rushdie, almost
alone among modern fiction writers, gives these games their narrative due…. Well worth reading.” —Los Angeles Times
“The characters come either from Rushdie’s lively interpretations of mythology or his jovial, limber imagination. . . . His exuberant wordplay is evident on every page.” —The New York Times Book Review
“High art and family entertainment all wrapped into one neat package.” —New York Post
“Rushdie’s usual lyrical, narrative style is on full display here, flowing easily through puns, wordplay, rhyming and the dialectical playfulness that defines his oeuvre. . . . Rushdie goes in with both eyes open, brushing aside wishful thinking for a more honest look at how our children perceive the world and how the challenges of modern life can work with, rather than against, the traditions of our past.” —BookPage
“Rushdie unleashes his imagination on an alternate world informed by the surreal logic of video games. . . . A fun tale for younger readers.” —Publishers Weekly
“It is hard to overstate the lightheartedness and love with which Salman Rushdie conveys this brief tale of a boy on a quest. . . . But the serious undercurrents are many and thought-provoking.” —Associated Press
“Readers will rightfully delight in Rushdie’s brilliant wordplay throughout. . . . A celebration of storytelling . . . and a colorful, kick-up-your-heels delight.” —Kirkus Reviews (starred review)
“In a bustling and minutely imagined fabular landscape, crammed with allegorical figures and places, Luka moves swiftly between the mythological and the contemporary. . . . [Rushdie] captures brilliantly that moment when adults enrapture children by behaving like children themselves.” —The Guardian
“An engrossing thriller for younger readers.” —The Washington Post
A celebration of storytelling, a possible prequel to the book Rushdie is said to be writing about his own enforced “slumber,” and a colorful, kick-up-your-heels delight.”—Kirkus Review, starred review
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