review by Alicia Zhang, age 13
The Library of Fates by Aditi Khorana
The Library of Fates is a novel set in an Indian culture that is drenched with magic. When a brutal conqueror attacks the palace of Shalingar and plans go wrong, Princess Amrita must reclaim her losses and accept her future. No longer a pampered princess after she escapes the palace with an oracle, Thala, Amrita believes she must warn the people of Shalingar that they are in danger. However, Thala feels differently; she thinks they should search for the fabled Library of Fates where they can read and rip out pages of their fate and past, written in books, fixing the bad parts of their stories. With shocking discoveries, suspense, and plot twists galore, The Library of Fates weaves magic with reality.
I loved The Library of Fates; it was a spectacular read for me, though the ending scenes seemed a bit rushed. However, it leaves us with many morals and important messages—not to dwell too long upon the past, to respect nature, and many more, through parables. The plot is a page-turner, leaving us frantically rooting for Thala and Amrita as they travel through India.
All the characters, even the background ones, have interesting dimensions to them, as well as realistic and well-developed backstories. Princess Amrita is dedicated towards always doing what’s right, as that is how she was raised. Her selfless, for-the-greater-good personality contrasts Thala’s, which is past-focused and vengeful. I found their friendship dynamic to be interesting, as it is full of ups and downs, but also supportive and sweet. I was cheering for them all the way—it was hard not to.
Another one of the main themes in this book was feminism. Amrita and Thala are both strong in their own ways, handling situations with grace and power. They both prove they are as capable as the males and counter gender biases by being themselves, something I feel is very underrated these days, with over-powered female characters trying too hard. Instead, all the female characters show their inner strength and mentality far more naturally.
As for the story itself, Khorana displays an impressive arsenal of parables within it, leaving the characters impactful messages which carry on to us readers. I love how she deploys them throughout, setting a fairytale-like undertone of a magical novella. All in all, I would recommend this book to readers who like fables, fantasy, exploring other cultures, or feminism. 4 / 5 stars.
Find this book in our catalog: The Library of Fates
Call Number: YA SF KHORANA,A