Mushtaque B Barq

Mystery of The Blue Roses

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Book Review

Fantasy fiction dovetails with authors nascent thought process is often inspired by myths and folklores. Myths aided with fantasy attentiveness have been serving the world of literature from Greek and Roman ancient literature like Homer’s epic tales to the Islamic world of literature in the form of  The Arabian Nights and down the line to modern fantasy by John Ruskin’s ‘The King of the Golden River’. With the creation of The Hobbit and The Lord of Rings one has explored a world completely external to our own, now known as high fantasy or epic fantasy.

Fantasy fiction is a genre of creative writing in which the plot involves magic or witchcraft and takes place on undiscovered world. The plot even encourages active involvement of mythical creatures or talking animals and witches or sorcerers. There has been a serious debate going on how fiction and fantasy differs from each other. Fantasy is a sub-genre of fiction and refers to a special branch of fiction which revolves round supernatural elements and fiction encompasses what is imagined. Now the question that arises is how we recognise a fantasy novel. A fantasy novel consists of: Imaginary world, Magical powers and supernatural creatures.

Let us examine: ‘ Mystery of The Blue Roses’ by a young female author namely Mahpara Khan, a downtown girl who is actively involved and associated with Jammu and Kashmir Fiction Writers Guild, published by Aditiya Publishers.  This astonishing work of art is the first of its kind that that has been produced by JKFWGuild. This extremely intricate fiction work has not been put at fore out of adrenal rush or kleptomania, but by a serious and stout thinking within the ambits of free flow of imaginative pouring by a young lady carrying an experienced and skilful head on her shoulders.

The novel has eleven chapters and opens with a grand statement: New experiences make one feel excited and nervous, new strange experiences make one giddy with anticipations…..

The dream that introduces us with the Blue Roses through Malvyna, the reader finds her in utopia where she feels like drawing towards its topography. Her decision making is prompted by general acceptance of a place which cut out cacophonies of city life.

The dream involves Malvyna, a lady with blue eyes that takes much of reader’s attention. An intervention has been employed by the author to relate realistic life and the plight associated. With it is linked a much hesitant and thrusted upon decision by the parents of Malvyna to make her join the summer camp, a dream kids live for, but in case of Malvyna it turned to be a matter of obedience.

The description of the camp and the unwillingness of the protagonist to join Victor team has finally landed her to obey what all she had to as obligation. The intention of the author seems crystal clear to send Malvyna into the forest to reveal the story through Stream of Consciousness. As in most of the Classical and Post modern novels, the protagonist is accompanied by like sorts either to find a treasure or to combat with supernatural elements or to find a place hitherto unexplored to make a ‘Forward Movement ’, similar lever has been put to use to drive the plot in this novel too. Malvyna and Rin are lost in the forest and they end up finding an old lady who later disappears and the hunt opens a dream like that of rich scene greeting the protagonist with blue roses as already experienced in the dream.

The adventure in  Mystery of The Blue Roses is not like Tom sawyer or Huckfinn or Swami, but a totally different –A world known as Salodus, a war waged locale. As in almost all fantasy adventures the element of magic dominates the story, here in too such need has been felt and dealt suitably.

What makes Malyvna different from the rest is that her decision making in this part of the novel has been a central theme. Why I mentioned (this part) because the novel has two more volumes, it is the first part of the novel, the rest of the two volumes will hit the stands within two months as per authors handout.

In this part of the novel, Malvyna emerges as a confident lady backed up by fabulous decision making. She decides to stay with Master Argent’s pupil—a ruthless task setter to learn magic for better dealing in the future. One of the powerful elements that set fantasy fiction apart from other genres is magic system. One has to wait and see how this magical element is intensified in the rest two parts of the novel.  The fantasy writing refers to world building; in this novel one can find such undertakings. Another feature that brings this novel closer to conventional fantasy is that is steers clear of clichés. Conflict is yet another tool which has been employed especially a conflict popular in fantasies irrational faculty v/s rational faculty. In most of the parts, the protagonist is seen finding it hard to draw a conclusion, thereby being a product of prolonged conflict.

The novel has some remarkable features like Powerful dialogues, a well-knit background narration, subtle imagery and apt diction. And of course, something that should have been looked keenly like hyperbolic descriptions, lack of crispness and digressions.

The novel is overall a good read. The author needs appreciation for dealing such a labourious deal. I feel proud to announce that Mahpara Khan has been a brilliant student of mine. What else you can be a gift to a teacher than such a turgid piece of work to read and recommend. I hope and pray that every teacher must find one such student in life to celebrate the outcome of efforts a teacher puts in.

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