Rat-boys of Karalabad
July 22, 2013
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"Wisdom, greed, joy, love, family."
In Zulfiqar Rashi’s debut novel, life takes place in a barren part of the palace of a high ranking official. Within the palace walls is all one could possibly need. The man who calls the palace home, opens his doors to feed anyone who wants to come. They ask for help in healing. He is like their lord on high, a father and a healer. His rosary beads in hand, his calm manner of speaking to those who come to him, believe in him, believe they need him.
Power comes at a very high price. Even surrounded by many followers, he is alone. He instructs others to fulfill his every need. Unbeknownst to the general public, he is responsible for kidnapping and maiming small children. Greed is the means to his power; power is the means to greed.
One of these children turns out to be an amazing boy named Omar. He has been plucked as a toddler from his parents’ home and grows up in the palace where he is to be molded by his surrogate father to become the next leader of the empire. In the beginning, Omar is filled with curiosity and believes in the good in the world. He listens to those around him and learns all he can from an aging tutor assigned by his captor. But the horrors he witnesses soon turn him against the official.
Days before he is to be inaugurated into the highest position, he finds his real parents’ names and address. Keeping his own identity secret to protect their lives, he journeys to his birth place posting as a passing stranger. He yearns to learn more about his true family origins. In their presence he discovers a love and kindness he has never experienced.
Well written, this book keeps your interest and keeps you wondering what's going to happen next. The kindness of Omar is what keeps the smile in one's heart as you read on. Thank you, Omar. Pick up a copy and enjoy. Wisdom, greed, joy, love, family. Isn't that what fuels the world?
Reviewer: Judy Peterson