Narrator: Bruce Mann
Series: Ash Mistry Chronicles,
Also in this series: Ash Mistry and the City of Death
Published by Listening Library on 26 February 2013
Genres: Fantasy, Middle Grade, Mystery & Detective
Length: 8 hours and 8 minutes
Also by this author: Ash Mistry and the City of Death
Place(s) Traveled to: Rajasthan, India // Varanasi, India
First Line: “That is so not a cobra” said Ash. It couldn’t be.
Ash Mistry Chronicles Series Order:
Book 1 – Ash Mistry and the Savage Fortress
Book 2 – Ash Mistry and the City of Death
Book 3 – Ash Mistry and the World of Darkness
Ash Mistry and the Savage Fortress by Sarwat Chadda is a middle grade fantasy adventure story that will keep readers of all ages on the ed of their seats. I thought that Sarwat Chadda had some crazy intense moments in The Devil’s Kiss and Dark Goddess but in some ways those books pale in comparison to this one. Perhaps Savage Fortress is a tad more shocking as it is a middle grade story and you expect things to be more safe and tame even while the main characters are going through a grand adventure. This is not the case in Savage Fortress this is no safe and tame story but one filled with the gritty realities of life. Ash Mistry and his sister Lucky are visiting his aunt and uncle in India and what was supposed to be a hot and boring trip quickly turns into a race for survival. Not just for Ash and his family but for the entire world.
Chadda wastes no time in bringing the reader into the story and its not long before events really start to unfold. At first there are just a few inklings that something is not quite right and so you peek over the edge for a closer look. When you are pushed from behind and remain in free fall until you smack into the end of the story. As a reader you are helpless to do anything but travel along side of Ash as he makes various choices and hoping with each one that its the right one. For the consequences of making the wrong choice can be dire.
This is one of those audios where I found myself making excuses to go for car rides just so I could get in more listening time. The narrator, Bruce Mann, did an excellent job bringing all the various characters to life. He even did a decent job with the female voices. But where Mann really brings this book to life is with all the pronunciations. Looking through my print copy afterwards there are words and names I know I would have read incorrectly if Mann hadn’t been there to read them for me. He is also pretty brilliant at bringing out an angsty, bored, and oft times sarcastic teenage boy to life. Listing to Ash Mistry and the Savage Fortress and I totally believed that a teenaged Ash was telling me his story. That paired with Chadda’s amazing descriptions and action scenes really makes you think that you are in the story seeing and hearing everything that is being described.
If you are a fan of Chadda’s young adult books then you really need to pick up his middle grade books. Nothing about this book felt middle grade, other than the age of the main character. And if you haven’t read anything by Sarwat Chadda then you really don’t know what you are missing out on. Every book is just filled with amazing story telling and writing to be envious over. These are books that I can’t recommend enough and are brilliant for all ages. Young and old can enjoy these stories and I for one can not wait to dive into the next Ash Mistry adventure as I wait in vain for more Billi SanGreal books. But at least there was a mention of Billi and the Templars in this book. This gives me hope of a potential cross over and no one better pop my bubble of hope if you know what’s good for you! Now go, do yourself a favor and go read these books!