Review of Robert Evert’s Book ‘Riddle in Stone’:
The first book of Robert Evert’s ‘Riddle in Stone’ series is one of the best books in the fantasy genre that I have ever read. The plot of the story is fantastic & one cannot find one dull moment in the whole book, it is quite a page turner (scroller). Once you start reading the book you tend to get caught up in the life of Edmund the protagonist of the story seeing through his eyes a continent which is similar to the Middle Ages of our fables.
The characters are lively & full of zest, always ready to face danger for the sake of what is right. The story of Edmund a middle-aged man who has spent his whole youth memorizing the books that is contained in his library in his little village called Rood is captivating. Edmund’s leaving his little village to seek out an adventure for himself speaks to the soul of a reader who also longs to do something spectacular for the world to remember. The story is about Edmund’s ‘never give up’ spirit as well as the fact that when one loves someone to excess…one can do anything for that certain someone, just the way Edmund risked his life for his love Molly.
As stated earlier, the characters are full of life & adapt to their situations & their roles perfectly. Whether it is the optimistic Pond or the vile Undead King (Kar Nazar), the mysterious Edith or the ever faithful dog Thorax, the sage Thorn the Elf or the gruff Turd…everyone has a beautiful role to play to make the story ‘Riddle in Stone’ reach to the heights of excellence in fantasy literature.
This book also is a complete treat for book lovers as it is based on ancient fables made up by the author which is scattered through many different books, scrolls, journals etc., mentioned in the main story in a ‘matter of fact’ way, that it seems that we have known these fables from time immemorial. The reader of this book will also take to the protagonist of this book easily as he seems a sort of person we all really are when it comes to making difficult choices & about walking in the danger zone for the right cause.
The chapters move on smoothly throughout the book each one more interesting than the previous one. The author, Robert Evert, has shown remarkable talent where it comes to leaving a spell of suspense in his chapters especially at the end of each chapter so much so that the reader cannot help but want to continue to read the book. I also must commend the author of using a unique style of writing where he pens down the conflicting thoughts in Edmund, the protagonist’s mind which is at times hilarious & at other times deadly serious.
Robert Evert has brought out many morals & a sense of survival ethics via this book. This is seen especially when Edmund is trapped in the mines of the Hiisi (goblins). The author has also brought out the evil side of human nature in the form of the Hiisi which at times shocks us yet which still makes us want to read more as we sympathize with the virtuous characters in the story. We especially feel pity for the protagonist when he loses his left eye & we tend to catch the sob in our throat when we read about of the faithful dog Thorax…these emotions are stirred within us very effectively by the author with his excellent narration skill & his dramatic story line.
The title of the story is apt to the main theme of the story which centres on a code carved on a stone in the tower of the Undead King Kar Nazar. Through the author’s perfect descriptive skills, the reader is transported to the depths of despair as well as to the joy of freedom with the main characters in the story. The 3D image of our imagination is fuelled by the author to such an extent that we are whisked off our feet into the land of the author’s imagination.
There are many themes in this story which can be critically analysed but I am listing down a few here in this review:
- Human Dignity
Lastly, I would like to state that this book was a great read for me & can be read by not only adults but also young adults. I can’t wait to read the rest of the author’s series.
Copyright 2014 Fiza Pathan
The link to Amazon:
NABE Summer 2014
Pinnacle Book Achievement
Best Books in the
Category of EDUCATION
Classics: Why We Should Encourage Children To Read Them
Who Is It?
The ground is torn to pieces with the shattering of the Earth,
I’ve been banished from the home that does not deserve my birth.
This is injustice that I cannot comprehend in a complete way,
I rack my emotions to bleed upon the carpet of the day.
But nothing can beat the cry of the heart broken,
I carry my blood flowing in a bottle as a token.
Now this is the mystery of the death of a loved one of my own,
She was so close to my bones & yet she tore my flesh in disown.
Therefore my question is asked by the matter of cause,
Who is the cause of my suffering who led me to say because?
Who is it? Is it my father?
Who is it? Is it my mother?
Who is it? Is it my brother?
Who is it? Is it my sister?
But in the end the thunder clapped its hand during the flood,
It was a lover who broke the poet’s heart & drew red blood.
I forgot the name of the soul but I remembered the heat,
Of love immortal this rings the bell of the ever ascending beat.
But now the coma has set in & the pain is all mine,
I have to set it all right for I cannot be in a word unkind.
Who is it? Is it the traitor?
Who is it? Is it the sage?
Who is it? Is it the impaler?
Who is it? Is it the Lord of the dead?
No answer comes to me except the cries of the broken hearted,
I must set off on my course to land where the lover is charted.
Who was this lover who killed the poet in me?
Who is to be ranked among the dead this is what I shall see?
But the house has been struck by lightning with a silver cord,
I shall bring back the lover to my door who once was my lord.
Copyright 2014 Fiza Pathan
Image courtesy: http: http://www.morguefile.com/archive/display/92551
‘Black Sheep’ My Pet Project-How it all began
by Reshel Shah Kapoor
Where do I begin, this is my first blog when it comes to writing about ‘Black Sheep’. I won’t make it long as you all might get bored at some point.
Firstly let me introduce myself. My name is Reshel Shah Kapoor, I’ve been in the film industry for over eight years and am also a film lecturer. I have mainly been a Producer in production work and this will be my first venture as a Director and Producer on a feature length documentary named ‘Black Sheep’…what else I have brown eyes, was born in Barkingside Hospital and just turned 28!
Black Sheep is a passion project. It all started years ago when I was in UK. I was born and brought up my whole life in UK but am an Indian and it used to amaze me how people around me would try and always set ground rules in my life. You must aim to be a doctor, studying . . . studying . . . studying – exams felt like saving the world with the amount of pressure we had, talking to boys was bad and so much more! Yet I used to see my friends around me who had no such rules and used to just live in normality.
For a while until I finished my university I didn’t accept my true Indian culture mainly due to the rules we had. I must say my parents were relaxed. Of course it took some time but with me they understood but that was mainly due to my older sister who made sure I followed what I wanted – she is till date my rock and I owe her everything for that. I was the child who wanted to learn filmmaking and had no love to become that doctor, accountant or dentist and was always going to take my life in a different route and they understood it, maybe that’s why for a while I was seen as the ‘Black Sheep’ by many people!
When I moved to Bournemouth for my degree that’s when I really understood life. Still not accepting my Indian roots I started to understand the importance of choice and understanding human nature. I had a number of friends who were homosexual. It didn’t bother me and I remember we even had someone in my degree that had changed gender. For the first five minutes (maybe ten!) I was confused but I realized how if they don’t hurt me or bring harm to my life it’s better to be happy for them and understand the idea of accepting. Soon I didn’t really care what decisions people made as long as it’s what they wanted to really follow in life, I guess because being an Indian girl picking film as a degree was rare in my community so I understood slightly why they chose to change gender or whatever it maybe; it’s about meeting your destiny.
After my degree, I moved back in with my parents but I needed more. I wanted to learn more about life and myself and so I moved country. As much as it was heartbreaking leaving my family in UK I needed to do this for myself, follow my destiny. Years had passed and soon I had met the man I can now proudly call my husband. The one thing Jatin taught me is how to embrace my roots and culture. Jatin is from Delhi and once he had told me to go to India as a tourist and see if I could connect to my country. I did.
I was in love with the people, even though India has its issues──which country doesn’t? I adored how people would have hardly anything in their pocket yet smile as though it may be their last day. The history I had learned amazed me and I was proud to call myself an Indian.
A year and a half ago Jatin had proposed to me and I was excited to have the Big Bollywood Wedding in Delhi. My family had told me that a group of Hijras may come to the wedding. I nodded my head and said OK but soon I realized their importance of “blessing the bride and bribe.” I honestly did not know much about Hijras, from what people told me it was men dressing up as women.
After a hectic stressful year of organizing a wedding, we got married and we loved it. No Hijras turned up. But couple of days later they came to my in-laws house and I was caught off guard. They were not men dressed up as women, they were transgender or transsexuals──why had people told me they were just men dressed as women? These were women; they looked like women, dressed like women and danced like women. I must admit a little bit of me did judge them, not for becoming women but for asking for money. My sister-in-law had told me not to judge them because the life they had chosen didn’t allow them to have normal jobs. That surprised me somewhat. She soon told me a story that made me see another side of these women in India called Hijras.
After my sister-in-law had told me this story, I soon wanted to know more about Hijras. I read about three thesis on them, watched documentaries on them and spent three months educating myself on them…but it wasn’t enough I knew something was missing…what was it? I had learned about them as sex workers, beggars, the skills in blessing ceremonies and of course the way they treat the public. What had I not found?
I rattled my brains and looked back into my past, asked myself what annoyed me about people who judged me for picking film as a career…there it was, it used to upset me how people would see me and judge me and would not know me as a person. Get to know me and you will know me as me, not just another Indian girl…the same had to go for these women. I found no research that showed Hijras or these women as humans, a person who had feelings, loved and cared.
So my search began to find the other black sheep who wanted to be seen as an equal, not to be judged in the first second, to be heard.
I started my passion project.
Copyright 2014 Reshel Shah Kapoor
Twitter handle: @ReshShah @blacksheepfilm
The Mother’s Kiss
The moment I saw you I fell in love with you dearest mama,
That first innocent look dawned on my birth with your smile.
Mama of mine please caress me awhile through this night,
The world is against me so to you do I flee sweet mama mine.
You protect me from the cold gale that storms hell to despair,
And you kiss all my wounds & my heartaches away.
Mama your bosom is the cradle where I learnt to love better,
My every pain is washed away in one look of your gaze.
Tender mama of mine who puts me to bed where I rest,
You stare into my sleepy eyes singing the ballad of twilight.
Womanhood has no equal in intrinsic love most special,
Mama of my world don’t ever leave me alone in the void.
Kiss me on my cheek gentle flower in bloom so fragrant,
Sing me to sleep in cradle-like glee placing palm upon me.
I’ll never leave your side & I will always be with you,
My love will not fade with the tide but will pierce the heart.
Mama dearest kiss my forehead & let me sleep in your arms,
The wolves too many surround but in your safety I’m secure.
Darling of my heart I would cry in fear when you’re not there,
I’ll cling to your apron string for many a day to be counted.
For no love is purer than the heart of a mama & child,
So kiss my eyes tenderly dear lovely mama of mine own.
I know many of them who have no mama’s with them to own,
They wander so aimlessly & drawn in the tide so high.
I empathize with them for who can compare with divinity,
I thank the white star who blessed me in your embrace──dear sweet mama of my own.
Copyright 2014 Fiza Pathan
The Demon Within
Gentle beast rush out your pain on me with burning fire,
The flame will burn out the venom of revenge that lies within me;
Peace upon the dark mage who found me in the scorching pyre,
Pluck out my eyes in your own malicious defence let me not see.
Hell fire is the dark fire which bends me lower in my skin,
The demon of the hot cauldron so vile is forcing me to scream;
Don’t tempt me black danger for your peace is only sin,
But nothing other than revenge can cease this burning dream.
My lover defiled my very soul to crumble in the embers of the fire,
The morning of the hellish red dawn covers my anger with blood;
I asked him to plead with my heart calling him sire,
But he banished me into this kingdom of tears in everlasting flood.
Christos has shut the gates on my face while the night beckons,
Faustus was lost in his own intellect & in his footsteps do I too;
The light is leaving my soul with hours, minutes & seconds,
My lover has tainted our love with black spit so what must I do?
I shall rise up from the abyss to meet my love with death,
I shall crown the demon with the qualities I possess to ensnare;
The demon within me shall exhale a blood curdling breath,
I’ll plague the lover of my life with evil beyond all compare.
Copyright 2014 Fiza Pathan