Laura reviews Luka and the Fire of Life
Author: Salman Rushdie
Publisher: Jonathan Cape
The novel Luka and the Fire of Life was written by Salman Rushdie who is an Indian-British novelist and essayist. He is the author of ten novels, four works of non-fiction, and a collection of short stories.” Much of his fiction is set on the Indian subcontinent and his style is often classified as magical realism mixed with historical fiction. His fourth novel, The Satanic Verses (1988), was the centre of a major controversy, drawing protests from Muslims in several countries”
“On a beautiful starry night in the city of Kahani in the land of Alifbay a terrible thing happened: Luka’s storyteller father, Rashid, fell suddenly and inexplicably into a sleep so deep that nothing and no one could wake him up. To save him from slipping away, Luka must embark on a journey through the Magic World, encountering a slew of phantasmagorical obstacles along the way, to steal the Fire of Life, a dangerous task”
Luka Khalifa is the main character of the book; he’s a twelve year old boy, who is going to save his dying father. He is the person who tells the story. He is brave and intelligent.
Rashid Khalifa, Luka’s father, is the legendary story teller of Kahani, and is also known as the Shah of Blah and the Ocean of Notions. He fell into an eternal sleep caused by Aag as revenge for being cursed by Luka.
Bear, the singing dog, is actually Barak of the It-Barak, the immortal dog-men changed into dogs by a Chinese curse. He is Luka’s faithful protector and pet. He sacrifices his immortality to destroy Nobodaddy.
Dog, the dancing bear, who is a normal bear that loves Luka. He invented a story saying he was cursed like Bear to impress Luka, but it was false. He is Luka’s protector.
Nobodaddy is a phantom who wants to consume Rashid Khalifa’s life force. He joins Luka initially to steal the Fire of Life. But he betrays them to the Aalim and is thrown into space by Prometheus.
Soraya, the Insultana of Ott, the seventeen year-old girl with green eyes and red hair. She has the flying carpet Resham of King Solomon. She helps Luka steal the Fire by helping him get to it and escaping the World of Magic.
The Aalim. They know everything and are the Ultimate Guardians of the Fire. They rule over the World of Magic.
Captain Aag, the owner of the Great Rings of Fire circus. He is very angry most of the time. He is the responsible for cursing Rashid Khalifa into eternal sleep.
Prometheus, the original Fire thief, is the brother of Aag. He helps Luka escape from the World of Magic to save his father.
Coyote, a Fire thief who helps Luka steal the fire. He distracts the Gods to help Luka.
Haroun Khalifa, Luka’s older brother who went on an adventure similar to Luka’s eighteen years before. He is a very kind older brother and he and Luka often get along very well.
Soraya Khalifa, Luka’s mother, who is very kind. She accepts the existence of the Magic World when both her sons and her husband believe in it.
I really enjoyed the book; it was an exciting and entertaining story. Luka moves between the mythological and the contemporary, he meets gods and goddesses and then he follows the rules of the videogame (which?).
I recommend the book because it’s a beautiful fable, well-written, imaginative and wonderful. Although it’s difficult to read it because it contains too much narrative and there are lots of different adjectives.
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