Suzanne Fisher Staples Shiva's Fire

ISBN 13: 9780064409797

Shiva's Fire

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9780064409797: Shiva's Fire

On a remarkable day
when fish leap among the stars,
and bird., mar beneath the waters,
a girl is born in the South of India.

From her childhood, Parvati is known in her village for the extraordinary events that seem to spring from her dancing feet, and which set her and her family apart. One day a great guru, a master of Indian classical dance, comes to see Parvati. He invites her to study with him, and she commits herself to a rigorous program of dance, study, and devotion. Then she meets a gentle-eyed boy who turns her life upside down, and she learns that destiny can be an elusive thing.

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Review:

Born during the worst storm ever seen by her small village in India, Parvati is both blessed and cursed with mysterious powers that confound her people. Wild animals flock to her; she is able to charm fish, birds, even deadly cobras. But Parvati's truly exceptional talent is her ability to dance like the Hindu god Shiva himself. At age 6, she hurls herself into a cooking fire and dances safely through the flames, emerging without a single burn. Naturally, these powers scare the other villagers. Only her mother Meenakshi loves and believes in her, protecting her from the their curious and hostile stares. The guru Pillai, a famous Indian dance teacher, hears of Parvati's talent and comes to offer her a position in his dance school, or "gurukulam," in the large city of Madras. Once there, she questions her destiny, or "dharma," as she experiences both a devastating loss and a blossoming romance; "...she thought about the mystery of dharma--how some things were very difficult to accept, while others opened as simply and as naturally as a flower." But through it all, the fire of Shiva burns within her, and Parvati knows that, despite all other callings, she was born to dance.

Suzanne Fisher Staples, renowned author of the award-winning Shabanu and Dangerous Skies, has woven together a magical tapestry of a tale that is a mystical hybrid of history and legend. At a time when teenage girls have more options than ever when choosing their own destinies, Parvati's story will inspire readers to set high goals and settle for nothing less than their true heart's desire. An instant classic. (Ages 12 to 14) --Jennifer Hubert

About the Author:

Suzanne Fisher Staples is the author of Dangerous Skies, Shabanu, and Haveli. She was a UPI correspondent in India, Pakistan, and Hong Kong for many years, and currently lives in Chattanooga, Tennessee.

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