3 out of 4 stars
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Daisies and Dragon Slayers of the Equator by Penny Singham is a historical fantasy set in Malaysia. It falls under the genre of Sci-Fi/Fantasy. The book contains approximately three hundred and seventy-two pages. Penny Singham holds both bachelors and masters in law from the National University of Singapore. He has lived and worked in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, and Singapore. He has also lived briefly in Queens, New York City. Currently, the author is an ex-lawyer. His experiences in the job market have informed the writing of this book that mainly highlights the plight of the minority Indians in Malaysia.
The book narrates in depth how life was for the minority Indians who were treated harshly and unfairly in Malaysia. Dr. Ratnam, Oormila’s father, is an ex-surgeon who is currently serving as the Deputy Director of the Chief Medical Health Office of Sembilang. Some changes were effected when the British left and Malaysia gained independence. This included altering the national language from English to Malay. As a result, people like Dr. Ratnam who hail from India stand a little chance of holding a civic office since all government businesses were being conducted in Malay. Consequently, foreigners holding public services are fired without any valid reason. Unexplained transfers are also executed. Do you think Dr. Ratnam, his family and other people like him will continue living under this condition?
What I liked most in the book was Oormila’s decision not to marry Kevin Venkat Kandasamy, VK. Arranged marriages were common amongst the Indians in Malaysia. Dr. Ratnam did not impose anyone on his daughter. However, Oormila’s mother and elder brother, Radha, were advocating for her to marry VK. Oormila called off the wedding three days to it. Her decision was the cause of many catastrophes. This was a bold decision since VK had paid fifty thousand dollars to put up an advertisement on a billboard at one of the most bustling areas of Kuala Lumpur. The advertisement had been made to utter the words ‘Oormila, will you marry me?’
What appealed to me least were the lengthy descriptions on how life was for Oormila, her family and other characters in the book. At times, the narrations would be flat and hence got boring. Therefore, this book is unrecommended for those who like stories packed with actions. The narrations revealed various traits of the characters. They were adequately built since the author revealed both their flaws and strengths.
The story was utterly authentic. The key themes handled were racism, religion, dealing with change, cultural practices, witchcraft, and family. Some traditions that were shown in the story were arranged marriages and the naming of children based on their physical traits. Racial discrimination was the key issue that was handled. It appeared both in the government and also in the families. These themes are unstrange. Racial discrimination is still an issue in almost every part of the globe. For this reason, I believe this book could be mirroring the society as well.
The author employed a variety of stylistic devices. Reading it was immensely enjoyable. However, there are some typos in the book that call for another round of editing. These grammatical errors include wrong tenses, misspelled words, and unnecessary repetitions. I rate this book 3 out of 4 stars because of the typos. The rating would have been lower were it not for Oormila’s decision that brought some life to the story. Reading it was immensely enjoyable. I recommend this book to those who enjoy books that deal mainly with character development.
Daisies and Dragon Slayers In The Equator
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