Status: Read from Jan 25 to Jan 27, 2017
My rating: /5
Author: Reesha Garol
The Servant Boy highlights the adventures of Zayne Shah, a young man who lives through the most horrific disaster his village, Saidpur, has ever seen. An epidemic has unknowingly raged through Saidpur and is taking the lives of umpteen folk before his eyes. Zayne is determined to find a cure to the mystery, at whatever the cost may be, even if that cost is a price he cannot presently afford.
Zayne goes through a series of ups and downs as he takes you with him, embracing life through vivid details, all of which include paradoxes that anyone from any walk of life can relate to: life and death, happiness and grief, love and envy, friendship and animosity.
Although The Servant Boy is a multicultural novel, and will appeal to those that will enjoy learning about the colorful and vibrant culture of Pakistan, it will also enchant those who enjoy mystery, fantasy, adventure, friendship and romance. There is something in the novel for everyone.
The story is set in the colorful, vibrant Saidapur, Pakistan and is narrated by the protagonist Zayne Shah. Zayne Shan is a mullazim (servant) staying with her mother at the peerzada’s premises. The Peerzada’s are the rich family who helped Zayan’s mother and took her in, when she was pregnant with Zayan and was left alone by her husband. The main characters in the story are Zayne Shan, Assad (Zayne’s friend), Asiya (Zayne’s love interest and Peerzada’s daughter), Gapoori (Asiya’s best friend). The story revolves around the life of Zayne, his growing up, his love and obsession for Asiya, his friendship with Assed, his change from a mullazim to the owner of Shah Customized, Gapoori’s role in uplifting his life from a mullazim to well respected man in the society, along with the mystery of so many deaths in the city.
Since childhood, Zayne always wanted to be a respected person in the society and not be treated as an servant, as he always was. He secretly loved and cared for Asiya, but their social difference in the status was always a barrier. He could do nothing but simply see and envy the person to whom his love of life is getting married to. But Zayne was good in one thing. He was a quick learner. His this talent helps him to become the owner of furniture showroom Shah Customized with the help of Gapoori. The twists in the plots and the mysterious epidemic keeps the story interesting.
The book has mystery and touch of fantasy. Read the book to know the twists in the plot, the mystery of the innocents deaths and the fantasy factor. I am not revealing much, not to give away the spoilers. What i loved about the book is the simple language and generous use of urdu words. Also the story paints the perfect picture of poverty, the helplessness of a mother, the struggle of a lover because of different social status, a true friendship beyond social barriers, the uncertainty in life, and the doubts and confusions in human life.
I have many questions after reading this book. I am giving a spoiler alert here. So those who haven’t yet read the book can stop reading further.
First question, was it really required to bring in Zayne’s father in the story as other then Zayne forgiving him and being generous to him, there is nothing much of his role in the story. And when Zayne found out that the begger is his father, why he didn’t reveal that he was his son, and why he didn’t tell this to his mother and bring his father to home?
Second question is about the fantasy factor. The story narrated by Asma, to his son Zayne tells that the area behind the Showroom was an ocean thousands of years ago. Then when now in the story the place is occupied by a well, shows a human intervention. And if humans were involved then obviously the Black mermaid who is trying to get back her beauty would had tried killing humans during the construction of the well. Wouldn’t it had been better to picture the place as some pond or other water body.
Third question, how is that if the Black mermaid’s tongue touches ones face, its venom will destroy you eventually, then why nothing happened to Assad or Zayne.
The book was quite interesting till the end. I could not put it down till the end. the reason i give 4/5 is the abrupt end to the fantasy. I didn’t feel it went so well with the whole story. Its and interesting book, do go for it if you love mystery, adventure and fantasy.
About the Author:
Reesha Goral was born in the chilly winter of the late 80’s. She was raised in Northern California, and that is also where she graduated from University, attaining her bachelors of science in business administration. After graduating and working for some time, she decided to further her education and attain a J.D. degree. One night, while prepping for her law school examination, she began writing pieces of a story from her imagination. Those pieces later became her novel, The Servant Boy. She completed the story in two and a half years. Shortly after its completion, she was wedded. The year succeeding she gave birth to her first born; and the year following that one, her novel, made its debut in Istanbul, Turkey, where it was translated and published under the title Uşak. In inspiration of writing The Servant Boy, she was deeply impacted by her many visits to Pakistan. She frequented Pakistan so much, at a point it almost became like her second home. She was deeply impacted by her social engagements during those travels. On an account of engaging with an unsheltered woman, she spoke, “People are dying of hunger every year. They are people with bare necessities who have to instead improvise, with barely any. And that only makes them living, lifeless people.” Her various other personal experiences, research, and imagination assembled the rest of the novel. She now resides in the East Coast with her husband and their son.