9th Khash Cannan's Reviews | 09 August 2013 | Nishanth Anchan KN

This is a story that mimics a Japanese folktale. As many know, Japan is so rich and vibrant in folktales and each of them have fascinated readers old and young alike. Darren Shan, The Master of Horror, uses this simple, short, gore-free story of about 64 pages on a boy named Hagurosan to bring out the values of childhood.


Hagurosan is a boy who lives in a very poor village. All he loves to do is play, play and play. Shrine Spirits atop the Holy Mountain bless and guard the village. So, normally, people give offerings to the spirits within the shrines.


One day, Hagurosan's mother gives Hagurosan a cake and asks him to take it all the way up the Holy Mountain and offer it to the Shrine Spirits.


Hagurosan reluctantly agrees and starts climbing the Mountain (ignoring his friends, who call for him to join them in playing games) . Along the way, he feels hungry. So he nibbles one end of the cake ("the shrine spirits wouldn't mind" was his thought) He nibbled some more, and by the time he entered the shrine, the whole cake was in his stomach.


Fear grips him as he realizes what he had just done. The Spirits might kill him for his impudence, or they might curse his village. He prays feverishly and apologises to the Spirits. Then, as he ventures out, he finds a silver coin on the ground. He takes it back to the shrine as an offering and he makes a "wish".


As he exits again, he finds yet another coin. He takes it back into the shrine and offers it to the Spirits. Another. Another. In the same place. He brings it back.


Then as he tries to leave, a voice that was all voices speaks to him and reveals what was to happen to his fate.


Next? It's worth reading it than me telling you. The story weaves around him and his Wish. The fate of the village etc.


A very sweet story with a haiku at the beginning of each chapter. The story traces Hagurosan's whole life. The choice of words is great. Easy to read. According to me, this book can be enjoyed by kids and adults and Demons and Vampires and Vampanezes and Revitalizeds and Reviveds alike.


Shan's done it again! This sweet book made my day!

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