How often do you read books written by teenaged authors? Me – NEVER!! I have never really read a book written by someone who is still in his or her teens. I picked ‘Safire: Not A Fantasy’ because the blurb excited me. I wasn’t fully aware of who the writer was. When I learnt that the writer is a fourteen-year-old student, I was pleasantly surprised because I really liked the writing. What I liked more is that the writer chose a complex genre like fantasy fiction to write a book on and did full justice to it. I am not saying that this book is a masterpiece but it surely is worth a read.
Safire: Not A Fantasy by Stasha Mohla
Publisher: The Write Place
A mystical journey routed through wild dreams and hints of clues, leads city teen Natasha and her friend Cara into an enchanted forest, beyond the alluring waterfall. What lies ahead is just beyond their wildest imagination – Artesia, a whole Kingdom, with magical beings, infinite power, demons, mythical creatures and War! What begins as an innocent sojourn suddenly draws them deep into this supernatural empire, indulging in a War they hardly ever fathomed. Blenaire, Natasha’s hometown, holds so many secrets that she begins to explore the unknown, not realizing how close she is to the truth. Will she uncover the truth about herself “Natasha Ariella Zerena Etrin of Safire”, her powers, her neighbours the Stardelles and her father?
(Blurb as on back cover)
I LIKE Safire: Not A Fantasy Because,
…the book is well-written. Yes, it has its flaws but considering the fact that the writer is a fourteen-year-old girl I think the book is so much better than tonnes of books out there. When I started reading the book, I was not aware of the writer’s age. A few pages into the book and I noticed that the sentences were short and simple. I was wondering why a fantasy novel reads like this. I understood the reason behind it after reading the ‘About the Author’ page. Despite her young age, Stasha has a profound vocabulary matching the level of a well-read adult reader. Writing fantasy fiction is no joke. You need to be eloquent and descriptive enough to first create a world of your own and then lure your readers to join you in your journey. Stasha has done a tremendous job at world-building. No doubt there are several loopholes in the story, but seeing Stasha’s proficiency in writing I’m sure she will cover that up in the subsequent books in the series.
I Do NOT Like Safire: Not A Fantasy Because,
…the story and its characters lacked depth. I do not want to be too critical of this book because the writer here is immensely talented and only needs to develop a better plot and storyline. When you read the book you will notice the influence of several famous fantasy novels in the story and to be inspired is very natural for a young writer. However, there is a lot of scope for improvement. I was not convinced that a fourteen-year-old marches in and out of a magical world comprising of all kinds of creatures and her mother does not even throw a fit. However, I am hopeful that Stasha will work more on the characters in the following books. When this book gets it sequel I am hoping to read more about the history of Safire. I want to know more about the 89 kingdoms it once comprised of. I hope I learn more about the backstories of each character and why that character exists in Natasha’s life. I want to read more about her parents and her life before Blenaire. I basically want to know everything about Natasha and her fantasy world.
…of the grammatical errors in the book. Now, this is not really the writer’s fault here. The editors should have proof-read the copy thoroughly. But one particular error that I cannot help but mention is a line which reads, ‘We open are eyes and find ourselves on the cliff again’. I cringed hard at that line that is why it is here.
Final View: Watch out for Stasha Mohla, she is a powerhouse of writing talent. Safire: Not A Fantasy is just the beginning of a fantastical journey. Do give it a try if you like fantasy fiction.
You can check out Amazon.in for a discount on this book.
**This book is a free PR copy sent by the publisher in exchange for my honest review.