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Pandava #3

Aru Shah and the Tree of Wishes

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War between the devas and the demons is imminent, and the Otherworld is on high alert. When intelligence from the human world reveals that the Sleeper is holding a powerful clairvoyant and her sister captive, 14-year-old Aru and her friends launch a search-and-rescue mission. The captives, a pair of twins, turn out to be the newest Pandava sisters, though, according to a prophecy, one sister is not true.
During the celebration of Holi, the heavenly attendants stage a massage PR rebranding campaign to convince everyone that the Pandavas are to be trusted. As much as Aru relishes the attention, she fears that she is destined to bring destruction to her sisters, as the Sleeper has predicted. Aru believes that the only way to prove her reputation is to find the Kalpavriksha, the wish-granting tree that came out of the Ocean of Milk when it was churned. If she can reach it before the Sleeper, perhaps she can turn everything around with one wish.
Careful what you wish for, Aru . . .

349 pages, ebook

First published April 7, 2020

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About the author

Roshani Chokshi

43 books9,913 followers
Roshani Chokshi is the award-winning author of the New York Times bestselling series The Star-Touched Queen, The Gilded Wolves and Aru Shah and The End of Time, which Time Magazine named one of the Top 100 Fantasy Books of All Time. Her adult debut, The Last Tale of The Flower Bride, was a #1 Sunday Times bestseller. Her novels have been translated into more than two dozen languages and often draw upon world mythology and folklore. Chokshi is a member of the National Leadership Board for the Michael C. Carlos Museum and lives in Georgia with her husband and their cat whose diabolical plans must regularly be thwarted.

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Displaying 1 - 30 of 675 reviews
Profile Image for Mango.
208 reviews303 followers
June 22, 2021
“Sometimes a weakness felt like a blade turned inward, but that meant it was sharp enough that when turned around, it could be a weapon. You just had to be willing to face it and adjust your grip.”


-This was a re-read. If you want to read my cringy, super short review I wrote when I first read this, scroll down to the very bottom.

-This review will contain spoilers from “The End of Time” and “The Song of Death.” Spoilers from this book will be tagged. Read at your own risk.

Is it honestly a surprise that I loved this one? No, not really.

But this series is seriously something special.

Chokshi introduces us to new bright characters, informs us about interesting Indian myths, and accompanies that with an intriguing plot with cheery humor.

Beginning with the plot:

Aru Shah, the main character is happy. She and her friends, Mini, Brynne, and Aiden are now respected by the gods. They have their blessings to go on various missions in the Otherworld.

Now, a word has spread that there’s a clairvoyant out there, with a very important prophecy which must not be heard by the Sleeper, the main antagonist. To make things harder, the clairvoyant can’t control when the prophecy is uttered. If the Sleeper hears the clairvoyant speak the prophecy, the whole world will be put at risk.

So the mission is simple. Get the clairvoyant, escort them to the Council, avoid the Sleeper’s rakshasas, and there. Mission accomplished.

But things don’t go as expected. While Aru and the gang get the clairvoyant and her sister, the Sleeper’s rakshasas manage to hear the prophecy and escape unharmed.

Now all that popularity is gone. They have failed and now aren’t allowed to go on missions.

However, there is a plus. It so turns out that the clairvoyant and her twin sister, Sheela and Nikita, are the last 2 Pandava sisters. Sheela’s power is to predict the future and appear in dreams, and Nikita’s is the power to understand plants.

Unfortunately, Aru, Brynne, and Mini do not get along with them quite as well as they would have liked to. But, they are stuck to them due to their failure.

But Aru is still convinced they can fix it. If they go to the Tree of Wishes and wish their problems away, they could save everything.

However, when Nikita deemed the Tree of Wishes on display a fake, all is lost. Or so they thought. In this book, Aru, Brynne, Mini, and Aiden -with the twins’ help- , go on a huge quest to find the Tree of Wishes.

Though the twins protest, they aren’t old enough to travel outside the Otherworld without any supervision. So it’s up to the remaining 3 Pandava sisters, Aiden, and an unsuspecting visitor to find the tree, and save the world. And do all this undercover.

The plot was so good! It started off very quickly and kept up the pace until the very end. It was funny, and action-packed! Chokshi writes action scenes in a way that they’re not gory, but still very interesting nevertheless!

AND THAT CLIFFHANGER. I went crazy after that...lol.

Well, 10/10 for plot. :))

Continuing onto the characters:

I really, really, really loved the characters! They seriously keep getting better and better. Chokshi opens up these characters and reveals their flaws, allowing their personalities to shine through. She brilliantly writes these characters that it is impossible not to relate to them.

Aru: “Mango, what have you done?” The exact words (except with my real name) my mother told me a couple days ago when I spilled water everywhere. Coincidence? I THINK NOT.

Those were basically the words the Sleeper told Aru loll. I think it’s a universal parent saying.

Well...that got off topic.

Anyways, Aru was just as amazing in this book! Since Aru matured in the previous two books, Aru didn’t grow much in this book. But that didn’t make her any less awesome.

Aru was so supporting to her friends who were struggling. She encouraged everyone to be their best selves and I found that very sweet. Aru is definitely my dream book bestie.

She also become more leader-like! Throughout the book, you’ll come to realize that Aru was the one creating to plans to succeed in their mission. Aru has definitely earned a lot of respect from her peers, and I am extremely proud of her!

Mini: There’s the development! In the previous book, the spotlight was not really shown on Mini, so I did not have much to say about her. But this book totally made up for it!

I loved how many chapters were dedicated to Mini, and her self-esteem. Even though Rudy kind of destroyed her self-esteem by being a jerk to her, that didn’t stop her. I loved how she learned that she doesn’t need someone’s approval to know she’s awesome. And when she realized this, that didn’t change her modesty!

Mini grew from a self-conscious girl, always worrying about impressing people, to a self- confident leader with great ideas. Definitely an amazing character to look up to.

Brynne: So...there wasn’t much development in Brynne in this one. However, Brynne continued to be tough, caring, and defying the asura stereotypes. Brynne is a powerful character and a good one to look up to! She continues to show that anyone can be good, and anyone can be bad: It’s their choice. :)

I hope I will see more of her in the next book.

Nikita: Aw, I love her! Reminds me of my little sister. Nikita, is just so amazing! I kind of hated her at first. She acted arrogant, rude, and ungrateful. What’s there to like?

But, then Chokshi opened her up, as she always does with her characters. She revealed why Nikita saw the world this way, and the reasons for her behavior. Turns out that Nikita had a rough childhood, which ended up in hardening her and pretty much destroying her trust.

Throughout the story, Chokshi describes Nikita’s journey in such a way, you just can’t help but root for her. Nikita turned from an obnoxious, arrogant child, to a more trusting, generous persona.

Of course, Nikita still has that vibe that she’s the best person on the planet, but hey, that’s what makes her lovable. :)

Sheela: Well, there wasn’t much development in Sheela in this book. Probably because she wasn’t a major part of this quest. I’m hoping she will be more important in the next two books! She seems like a very cute sister and I would love to know more about her.

Aiden: So...not much development in Aiden in this book either. :(

I really like him, like he is very friendly, considerate and caring to his peers. But, there isn’t much conflict and development in him.

So...not much to say about him, except that he’s hilarious loll. I really hope Chokshi will ‘open up his soul’ in the next book. :)

Rudy: I really liked Rudy! I gotta be honest, I really despised the naga prince at first. He was arrogant, and such a jerk. Like, just because you’re a prince, doesn’t mean you’re above everyone else.

But, he was definitely the comic relief in this book. His self-confidence was so high to an extent it was hilarious.

However, as arrogant, and self-absorbed as he was, Rudy only acted that way to reassure himself. As the pages turned, Chokshi opened Rudy’s soul up just as she did for the others. When it was revealed that I was so shocked, and happy. Rudy had finally explained himself and I now had a reason why he always acted like this.

Throughout the book, when he discovers that not everyone will reject his identity, he becomes more trusting and friendly. He is great proof that you are special, and no one can tell you otherwise!

Chokshi really outdid herself with the characters! Sure, some things could have been done better, but it takes a lot to write about 7 characters. That too, weave in morals about these characters. Completely looking forward to the next book.

Finally, the writing:

The writing...*chef’s kiss* Like I mentioned before, Chokshi writes the action scenes beautifully, seamlessly, and gore-free. She also adds a touch of humor to the epic journey, Rick Riordan style.

She includes many tween/teen problems and how the characters face them, which I’m pretty sure a lot of people will be able to relate to.

Amazing writing, it gives me a completely nostalgic feeling.

To conclude, this was a perfect book. 10/10 on the plot, 10/10 on the characters, and 10/10 on the writing. It was an amazing experience reading this. It is definitely something I’d recommend to Rick Riordan fans. Huge fan of Chokshi’s, so excited to get my hands on the next book!

Omggg that cliffhanger- Review to come!
First Review: Awesome!!! Amazing plot twist at the end.
Profile Image for Alexandra Elend Wolf.
533 reviews252 followers
June 10, 2020
“No matter what happens to us, we have choices. We choose how to look at our lives. We choose what we can live with, and what we cannot, and only you can decide.”

Coming back to this world I had some idea of what I was gonna find but I was not expecting the utter deepness and emotion that it was gonna bring with it.

As a middle-grade book it's a fairly airy story crammed full of comedic relief but it also treats a number of sensible themes in a most mature, sensible, and heartfelt way that is sure to melt the iciest of hearts and to make you grab your thinking cap.

It was may more than I was expecting it to be.

“The things that scare us can also give us joy. We just have to learn how to see them in a different light.”

When I started the book I was unamused and completely ready to be annoyed with it. I thought it was gonna follow the same formula that the two previous books had kept to and I was not there for it.

So, when the book started and it seemed like it was gonna follow that same formula too, I was not thrilled... and I mean, it did followed it to a degree, but it was gracious enough that it also incorporated new aspects to the story and all the undercurrent themes it was dealing with gained a completely different feel.

It felt as if it was something more than a middle-grade book. It made me think so much and just... feel for these characters to an insane degree.

“He’s making a terrible mistake… And you will hate him for his love.”

The two previous books started to present to us the settings for everything but now they feel, starkly, as introductory books that were just setting the plateau for us and like this one is where things are really taking fly.

Everything has become so complex, and has well-developed layers that have been presented and explore, to a degree, so far but now we get to go so deep and to so much detail to other aspects of this whole situation.

It doesn't present the facts as something simple or white-and-black but something complicated and full of shades and shadows and corners-yet-to-turn-and-to-explore and just... how complicated life truly is.

How something done for love doesn't immediately make it something good or easy or grand.

“To our dreams. May they never turn to nightmares.”

The family dynamics in the book are just breathetaking.

Found family will always be something that gives me life and seeing it come together so slowly is so nice and satisfying -and man, getting that sentence right was hard. I love it when they literally grow together.

I swear, there were these little moments that would come where it was just pure sister-cheesy moments and those are between my favorite moments.

And even though the sweet moments were obviously amazing I also think that all the other family dynamics are just as worthy of mention and of love.

We have so many different family situations to deal with. So many representations that are just as meaningful and all of them are treated with respect and a deft hand. It'll make my eyes water because of the reality of it all. Because even though it is a fantasy world it's also well-grounded in reality.

“Sometimes a weakness felt like a blade turned inward, but that meant it was sharp enough that when turned around, it could be a weapon. You just had to be willing to face it and adjust your grip.”

The plot was... pretty much the same but at the same time, it had a really nice twist? It's kind of difficult to explain.

Like, the way things went, for the most part, were normal and expected from a quest-like journey. We set out, encounter some obstacles, win them in very unexpected-and-slightly-ridiculous ways, and then arrive at the destination for a major battle.

Nothing new there.

Yet, we have this huge thing looming over us, and at every turn, we are wondering and agonizing over it. Just... trying to play devil's advocate and discover the truth even if it hurts. And at every turn, being in deep denial that it could be possibly true.

It was really well done.

When the final plot twist arrived I was so surprised but at the same time I had that little moment "huh, that has been staring me in the face since the beginning," and it was... more than I was expecting.

It broke my poor heart a little.

“Pandavas, you are far more than the things you fight with.”

The characters, all of them, had their tiny moment when we just realize that they have grown and it made me make made a double-take of some of them because, when did that happen?

I loved Aru's journey through this all. She always has so much pressure but seeing the threads start to unravel and how that affects everything is... unsurprisingly satisfying.

Mini is fast becoming my favorite character in this series. I'm fast coming to the realization that I just love those characters with quite sorts of strength that can surprise you and use their brains better than anyone else. I was so proud of her and I wish we ever got to hear something from her perspective.

Brynne is quickly taking space in my heart and I just love how tough she is. How fiercely she loves and how much she is just who she is.

Aiden is funny and I just love how he and Brynne prove that you can do different things than what is typically expected and still be very much yourself -something really important in these books.

The new characters were... okay. Annoying -a little - at the beginning but as you would expect you warm to them soon enough.

“But in her heart, she knew it was more than that. It was a promise that had been ripped from her. A treasure she hadn’t even realized she’d lost.”

Something that does throw me off is the fact of how these 13 - 14 years-old kids are so wise.

Their analysis of the world is deep and pretty complicated for someone so young. I mean, I get that Chokshi needs to make some points come across and needs someone to explain and expose them but when I was that age I would have never made such thoughtful observations... I mean, you have one or two really old reviews that point and prove that point perfectly.

It was a bit... weird getting a kid come to such deep thoughts that explain the world just a little bit.

Terrible it's not exactly the word I would use but... I don't know, it just struck me funny and just off... I know it's most likely just me.

“Aru could only describe it as moonlight melted into song. It wasn’t of this world, and she knew she’d never forget it for as long as she lived.”

The writing style brings everything together magically and perfectly.

Mythology has an other-worldly air all on its own but combined with Chokshi's easy pen and fantastical description it was easy to get lost in the world and all the magic and beauty and sincerity that she crafted.

I would encounter these quotes every so often that would just take my breath away and make my heart pump a little harder while they resonated with my soul and played with the threads of my heart.

“That’s just how the future is. It has a funny way of making itself true.”

I ended up liking the book a lot more than I thought I ever would. Coming to terms with that was more difficult than I would like to admit.

After all that went down and the way things turn out -I still can't quite believe the ending - I can say that I'm really invested in what the future of this series has in store for us. If the quality keeps improving I'm gonna love the next book.

I'm also completely ready for all the drama that will ensue.

“If you’re scared… just turn on the light.”


... I was not expecting that ending. I have no words aside from "it was really something."

Entering the book I had no expectations and was actually a bit annoyed with it but... Wow. It really turned into something deep.


I... had completely forgotten this book even existed.

To be fair, with all the things currently happening is no surprise.

Thankfully, I was reminded it exists and I'm so excited to read this new installment!!!

For once, I actually don't have any expectations going into the book except, maybe, to have fun while reading it. I think that's not too much to ask, right?
Profile Image for Fanna.
987 reviews498 followers
May 8, 2020
May 8, 2020:

Aru Shah and the End of Time ★★★★★
Aru Shah and the Song of Death ★★★★★

Aru Shah and the Tree of Wishes is a third in the series that so gracefully empowers young girls and sensitises young boys by weaving an adventurous & emotional story through the beautifully complex fabric of Hindu mythology set in the modern times.

Representation: Gujrati Indian-American MC, Indian-Filipino-American MC, South Indian-American MC, Hindu MC.
Ownvoices: Indian & Hindu representation.
Trigger Warnings:

Let's welcome a clairvoyant, a botanical manipulator, and a prince to the squad.

While we had an excellent group of tweens in the previous two books, the Tree of Wishes adds even more excellency in the form of Nakul & Sahdev reincarnations and a Naga-Loka prince. Nikita and Sheela are introduced after an acrophobia-inducing stunt pulled off by Aru and Mini as part of the 'little' life-saving tasks they now procure as Pandavas. Soon after, Nikita is projecting her chlorokinesis and Sheela is prophesying the future.

To spike the humour and fashion points of this group, Rudy—yes, that cool music-playing Naga boy from Song of Death who asked for Aru's number—joins the Pandavas as a...Pandava-adjacent adjacent since he's the cousin of Aiden. And when on a journey so adventurous, he makes sure to flaunt his love for some beats and being a prince as long as it's all about using the title in authoritarian dialogues.

Find the lost Tree of Wishes and save the world from a walking demon—the Sleeper.

After hunting for three keys while travelling through the Kingdom of Death in End of Time and after searching for a dangerous thief to clear the allegations on them in Song of Death, the story is all about finding a hidden wishes-granting tree, Kalpvriksha, in this third instalment before the Sleeper makes a wish on it and leads to destruction.

But now, the group can't seek help by using their true identities or keep their mentor Gods—Urvashi and Hanuman—informed for emergency responses. Basically, it's a secret mission counting down to the fifth day when, if things are not set right, Holi celebrations might not be as fulfilling as one usually excepts them to be.

These teen kids are growing and the development might make you teary-eyed.

Tree of Wishes really delves into Aru's emotional perspective as the main protagonist whose point of view we witness, but it's a pleasure to see others crossing bridges and reflecting character enhancement. For a large part of the book, Aru's mind is fogged with the possibility of being grimly hinted at in the prophecy that Sheela pronounced, followed by a lot of self-questioning and doubt stemming from her lineage or birth father. She feels a lot and that makes you feel a lot too.

Simultaneously, Mini's borderline neurotic personality makes some space to define her as a sensitive, calm yet fierce component of this group by moving a serenely sweet limelight on her. Brynne's almost aggressive reflexes give an even clearer picture of 'don't mess with those I love' than her debut in the previous book did. Aiden has built a more brooding personality from the silent nature he first projected in Song of Death, but remains to be a young boy worth looking up to for his compassion...and the way he subtly places Aru Shah in the friend zone no, I'm not going to ship middle-grade characters.

While this is Nikita and Sheela's first appearance in the series, they can win you heart right off the bat with almost opposite personalities (a soft twin & a stern twin) and well, because they're younger than the others so cuteness points can easily be awarded. In addition, they have an underlying sadness from being children of the Otherworldly Foster Care System so some walls around their hearts can initially be expected. Rudy makes for a self-obsessed novelty who has a better reason for wanting to be on this quest than he lets on as a fashionably egotistical teen boy.

Credits to these otherworldly personnel for making a special appearance in this Hindu-mythology based fiction.

Much like the first two books, this one also destines the squad to encounter ethereal as well as muddy beings that have been a part of the myths & legends. From a dangerous encounter with Rahu-Ketu (custodians of the Crypt of Eclipses) to a weirdly funny conversation with Shani (the Saturn God) where the Twilight book is being sarcastically bashed, the story keeps you entertained with more and more names that one might've only heard about in Hindu epics.

Similarly, some tales are also recited or incorporated like those with Vishnu (the God of preservation; one of three main deities) reincarnations in the form of Narsimha and Mohini, or how Chandra (the Moon God) ended up with twenty-seven wives. If you were always interested to know why snakes and birds can't get along but want a mythological explanation, Garuda—the half-eagle half-human vahana (vehicle) of Vishnu—takes the centre stage to narrate a story.

Warning: If you read the first two books, you will pick up this one and once you're done reading this, you will eagerly be awaiting the next one.

Overall, Tree of Wishes is yet another great tale in a series all about brave heroines and their side-kicks embarking on a journey filled with exciting mythological personas, terrifying possibilities, a lot of young fun, and strengthened ties that can pull them out through the other end once they save the mortal realm and the Otherworld.

Disclaimer: I received a digital copy of this via my participation in a blog tour but that, in no way, affects my rating and/or views about this gem. Thank you, Rockstar Book Tours & Rick Riordan Presents!

May 6, 2020: I'm sad. No, the book is perfection once again but my ARC is absolutely fucked up because it has the last three pages missing and there's no closure so of course I'm bawling. Which God should I ask for help in this case? Anyway, even though I don't how it actually ends, I definitely loved the adventurous journey and the new addition to the squad: Nikita, Sheela & Rudy. I was slightly underwhelmed with the plot but that was made up by Aru's emotional discourse throughout the book. Full review to come!

This book counts for Asian Readathon [book by an Asian author], the South-Asian Reading Challenge, Hypa-A-Thon [magical elements], and for the Asian-American & Pacific Islander Heritage Month.

May 5, 2020: I'm not ashamed, in fact SUPER PROUD of my choices, to say that I binge-read the first two books [End of Time & Song of Death] in two days and am already jumping into the third one because my mythology-loving heart and the adorably fierce young teens are compelling me.
Profile Image for rachel, x.
1,691 reviews855 followers
January 8, 2023
#1) Aru Shah and the End of Time ★★★★★
#2) Aru Shah and the Song of Death ★★★★☆
#4) Aru Shah and the City of Gold ★★★★☆
#5) Aru Shah and the Nectar of Immortality ★★★★☆

Trigger warnings for .

Representation: Indian-American mc & scs; bisexual sc.

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Profile Image for Prabhjot Kaur.
1,039 reviews141 followers
March 10, 2021
Wow! This was fun.

Our Pandavas are a year older now. They are all training hard and are sent on a mission to save a Clairvoyant from Rakshasas (demons). The Clairvoyant has a prophecy which The Sleeper wants but our Pandavas along with Aiden are to make sure that he doesn't get the prophecy. That Clairvoyant turns out to be a ten year old Sheela who also has a twin sister Nikita. I knew straightaway that they are the fourth and fifth Pandavas (the twins, Nakula and Sahadeva).

The prophecy still gets out to The Sleeper and the Devas decide to sit our Pandavas on the side as they failed their mission. But our Pandavas discover that the 'tree of wishes - Kalpavrishka' in the heaven isn't the real tree and they go on a secret mission to retrieve the tree of wishes sanctioned by Boo otherwise known as Subala. But the twins cannot leave as they are underage and can be tracked at all times by the Devas so the three Pandavas Aru, Mini and Brynne along with Aiden decide to go on this mission. Also, they only have five days until Holi when the prophecy mentions that The Sleeper might attack and win.

Aru, Mini, Brynne and Aiden are also joined by the Naga Prince, Rudy who also happens to be Aiden's cousin. All of them together go from Vishwakarma to house of months to Rahu-Ketu to Garuda to Chakora forest to Chandra to Nakshatras to Shani and Aranyani.

I loved the mythology part woven in the story in this. No one part took a lot of time but it was done very well. I also loved the fast pace and action in this. I especially loved the Chakora forest part with Sohail. That made me laugh out loud and I had tears in my eyes.

Aru is fourteen now and she is struggling with the fact that The Sleeper is her father and he once journeyed to look for the tree of wishes to change his future and now Aru is doing the same and she wonders if she is really different from The Sleeper or she is just like him. A line mentioned in the prophecy also makes her wonder where her loyalties lie. I didn't like Aru in the first book at all and in the second she was a bit better. Even though I still don't really like her, I did like the fact that she didn't really lie in this and the author didn't say that lying equals to imagination like she did in the first book. I liked her character development. May be, I'll end up liking her character in the next book.

Mini, I have adored her from the beginning and I continued adoring her in this. She was resilient in this and quite the badass. Brynne was a surprise for me in this and I absolutely loved her. She is such a Potato. Aiden's Apsara abilities charmed me in the second book and he continued to charm me in this as well.

Rudy was cocky and I didn't like him in the beginning but he grew on me and he made me laugh out loud so many times. Sheela and Nikita were okay. I didn't like them but I didn't dislike them either.

I loved the girl-power in this. I also liked that, no one character got more to do than the other except Aru as this was more of a team effort and everyone had kind of equal time in the book. I'd like to say that I really want to know more about Aiden's mother's background. Again, this book took me by surprise and I can't believe how much I enjoyed this. That ending was AMAZING and I can't wait for the next book.

4.5 stars
This entire review has been hidden because of spoilers.
Profile Image for Ashley.
774 reviews418 followers
April 12, 2020
Star Rating: —> 5 Stars

These books are seriously GOLD. I loved every single thing about this book; it was everything I could have (n)ever imagined ! Just... perfection.

Heartwarming, thrilling, hilarious & quirky; it is imbued with amazing pop culture references, all sorts of silliness & shenanigans, both wonder and danger around every turn... adventure, magic, mayhem, love...

It truly has everything! Ugh I loved itttt!
I just love the bond that is ever increasing between the pandava sisters, Aru, Brynn, & Mini (and we are introduced to two new pandavas!), and the adorable “pandava-adjacent” Aidan. 😉 His “pandava-adjacent-adjacent” cousin, Rudy, was an amazing addition here as well.

I love how Chokshi manages to immerse us so deeply & completely in Hindu mythology, without hitting us over the head with it. Everything feels organic, never forced. I feel that this is a book for all ages. A story that anyone can enjoy.

Truly wonderful- I enjoyed myself so much while reading.

100% recommend !

ALSO ! The audiobooks for these Aru Shah books are just fantastic. My copy of this book was held up in the mail so I started listening it on audible... and I truly didn’t want to stop listening ! I usually ALWAYS prefer to read. The narrator blew me away- I was SUCKED. IN. Every single character has their own voice. I know that is always the aim, but it is rarely achieved in such a manner. I highly recommend the audiobook, OBBBVVVIOUSLY, as well.

Profile Image for The Nerd Daily.
720 reviews344 followers
May 29, 2020
Originally published on The Nerd Daily | Review by Anuska G

Some reasons to read this book and the Aru Shah series in general, just in case you still remain unconvinced:

- Aru and her sisters share a super strong bond, and all five of the Pandavas are utter badasses!
- Cool (and not so cool) medical facts, courtesy of Mini.
- Aiden Acharya. That boy, the reincarnation of Draupadi, wife of all five Pandava brothers, is a sweetheart, even when he’s being sarcastic! He will make a place for himself in your list of favourite book characters in no time!
- A mindblowingly adorable ship that develops over several books! If you’re a fan of the friends-to-lovers dynamic, you’re in for a treat!
- Birds! Murder birds, lover birds, cocky birds (aren’t they all) and your regular, harmless birds too, I guess. Lots and lots of birds!
- These kids are disaster cinnamon rolls, and as soon as you meet them, you’ll be ready to adopt them all!

Read the FULL REVIEW on The Nerd Daily
Profile Image for Sahitya.
1,021 reviews203 followers
July 16, 2020
Definitely a 4.5.

I don’t think I’m currently reading any middle grade books except this series but I can never let this one go because it’s too special and close to my heart. It took me a while to get to it because of the pandemic but reading it was a joy and I’m so happy.

The strength of this series has always been how well Roshani seamlessly integrates various stories from Hindu mythology into a modern adventure tale, and it never fails to bring a smile on my face. There were many of my favorites this time around including the legend of the Kalpavriksha, the Narasimha avatar of Lord Vishnu and the story of the Amritha manthan - but I absolutely loved the way the Yakshaprashna sequence from the Mahabharata was included. There are also many laughs to be had along the way, but the action felt more scary and the stakes were definitely higher this time. The pacing is quite fast and if not for my slumpy mood, this wouldn’t have taken me more than a day to finish. The characters are thrown into situation after scary situation, and there’s hardly any time to take a breath in the middle of their quest - and we readers are equally swept away on this thrilling adventure.

The characters have really come a long way through these three books and it shows. Particularly Aru spends a lot of this book self-reflecting on the life she could have had if things had been different with her father, contemplating if she is the right person to be the de facto leader of their group, and how would she ever be successful in this war. We really feel very connected to her emotionally and long for her to realize that she is worth it.

We also get our final two Pandava sisters Nikita and Sheela who have their own powers with plants and prophecies respectively. But they are also ten years old, so it was kinda adorable to see some little ones who had already suffered a lot, but still wanna fulfill their destiny. We also Rudy, Aiden’s cousin who is a bit of a self-obsessed obnoxious royal but brings a lot of humor to the proceedings with his pretentious dialogue as well as absolute cluelessness about anything earthly. Brynne and Aiden also get to shine, especially in the action sequences and it was marvelous to see her bravery and his resourcefulness in full light.

But I really thought Mini got a great chance to standout even though we never get to read the story from her POV. She has always been someone who has a quiet strength about her and is very loyal to her sisters, but in the aforementioned Yakshaprashna scene, we really get to see how thoughtful and wise she has grown to be, and how much more she deserves to be celebrated.

To conclude, this was an absolutely delightful read and I had so much fun buddy reading it with my dear friend Tova. If you are someone who loves middle grade adventures with great characters and a beautiful mythological backdrop, then you should totally checkout this series. And if you are already a fan but haven’t gotten the chance to read this latest installment yet, do pick it up soon because I promise this is the exact kind of fun story you need during these anxious times. And after that doozy of an ending, I am eagerly awaiting the next book which already has a spectacular gold cover, and it can’t come out soon enough.
Profile Image for Mrinmayi.
155 reviews573 followers
May 29, 2020
NOTE TO SELF: Don't start series that are not complete or else you will be left high and dry because of a book 📚🤦🏽‍♀️

My only thoughts after reading this book:

The Rudy character reminded me a lot of Thorne from TLC🌜🌠
Aru reminds me of Cinder👠
We all need a Hufflepuff in our life❤❤
The girl power in this book should be portrayed in every YA book👭🏾
The way this book has zero girl on girl hates makes me cry happy tears😭
These people gave me # SQUAD GOALS
I need a Karna reincarnation in the next book
The Karna reincarnation should get their HEA
I will PROTECT Karna with my life❤❤⚔⚔

If you are wondering why I am obsessed with Karna .....here's why( Although no one asked me this is my review and I will write why l stan Karna)
My mom is not a huge books fan
Yeah you heard that right she would rather do paintings than read books
P.S. : She tried making me love painting but l couldn't love it the way l love reading
* pretends to be shocked *
Anyway when she was expecting me she started having urges to start reading books
According to her she never read so many books in her lifetime as much as she read during those 9 months
So "RADHEYA" by Ranjit Desai( which depicts the life of Karna)was the first book she read with me in her womb.....so l guess it was my very first book * shrugs *
I am counting it as my first book🙈
So that's why Karna has a very special place in my heart
Ok end of the story.....

FINAL THOUGHTS: * practices breathing exercise*

Now the Sorting CEREMONY 🎉🎊🎊🎉
Aru : Slytherin
Aiden: Hufflepuff
Sheela: Hufflepuff
Nikita: Ravenclaw
Rudy: slytherin
The Sleeper : Death Eater
Boo: Slytherin
Rahu: Gryffindor
Vishwakarma: Gryffindor
Shani: Gryffindor
Garuda: Ravenclaw
Aranyani: Hufflepuff
Profile Image for Jenny Baker.
1,252 reviews195 followers
April 10, 2020
I love this series! They're so much fun to read and they're filled with likeable characters and there are funny moments. In this one, they make fun of the Twilight series.
Profile Image for belle ☆ミ (thisbellereadstoo).
1,619 reviews133 followers
April 20, 2022
As always, I adore this series. It teaches a lot of lessons not just to the characters but also the readers. For example, the heaviest burden is guilt, sticking together as friends through the toughest of moments, and the true consequences of knowing. These are just some instances. The humour is still prevalent (e.g., snakes = leathery ropes with faces) and the pop culture references are A+ (e.g., I am Groot). I had so much fun reading this instalment. The ending almost ended me because ROSHANI CHOKSHI ENDED IT IN A CLIFFHANGER!! wtf!!!!

In this book, Aru Shah becomes aware of the Sleeper’s past. It’s not easy for her to be on this quest especially when the enemy is her father. Some memories are recovered which led Aru to revelations about her father.

Mini’s still linking everything to death. She became more confident of herself in the second half, which I absolutely adored. She has been too unsure and insecure for the past 3 and a half books. I’m so proud of her progress. Brynne’s still hilarious. Aiden’s still taking photos and being a Wifey to the Pandavas.

New characters
➳ Rudy: arrogant, rude, annoying. but also, lost, vulnerable. he uses his status as a prince a lot throughout the book. it’s an amour to him. but he soon finds out that, that status means nothing to some.
➳ Nikita & Sheela: Nikita’s more hostile and unfriendly at first. she’s the older sister who’s consistently on the lookout and very protective of her younger sister. Sheela's more... floaty. They’ve both been burnt before, so they’re extremely cautious when they first met the crew. their friendship with the rest grew to be sweet. I really liked the progression.

Also, the Indian mythology is as fascinating as ever. Meeting new mythological characters (gods/goddesses/demons) is always interesting.

books in the series:
1. aru shah and the end of time: ✰✰✰✰
2. aru shah and the song of death: ✰✰✰✰
3. aru shah and the tree of wishes: ✰✰✰✰
4. aru shah and the city of gold: ✰✰✰✰
5. aru shah and the nectar of immortality
Profile Image for Andy.
2,360 reviews185 followers
April 24, 2021
This series is always such a fun time. I love Aru and her internal dialogue so much. Though this book did have too much use of the term "guys" when referring to multiple people who are in fact not male. Just something that I'm noticing more and that annoys me.

Aru, Mini, Brynne and Aiden are off on their newest mission to find a clairvoyant with an important prophecy. When they do find her, it turns out she has a twin and these two are the final Pandava sisters. Soon after, Aru, Mini, Brynne and Aiden head out on a secret mission to find the Tree of Wishes and keep its wish from the Sleeper.

I really love getting to see all the Pandavas interact with each other. Along with Aiden, it's the purest found family and I want more of it. I also can't wait to see more of the twins along with the other three. As the newest additions, they definitely don't get as much screen time, also it doesn't help that Aru and the other two leave them behind for a bit of the book.

This series is just the best, between the action & adventure, the mythology and the familial bonds, it's easily one of my favorite middle grade series. Now we just need some LGTBQIAP+ characters...
Profile Image for Lata.
3,499 reviews187 followers
May 29, 2020
Aru and her Pandava sisters Mini and Bryn, and Pandava adjacent Aidan, have been training hard together as a group, and are on a mission at the book’s opening. The gang end up fighting off demons and rescuing the two remaining Pandava sisters, Sheila and Nikita. Shiela is a clairvoyant, and ends up delivering a prophecy in the demons’ hearing unfortunately, as they’re minions of the Sleeper. This necessitates the gang go on a new mission, kind of urged on by Boo, to recover a magical tree that grants wishes. With Holi less than a week away, and war looming between the gods and the Sleeper’s forces, the gang go through all manner of dangerous situations and tests all so they can find the tree.
Aru also ends up seeing early memories of the Sleeper before he went bad, giving her some insight into the man he was and the father he could have been. In fact, Aru has a lot to think about her family (in between evading gods’ traps and sniping and quipping with her sisters), and what life could have been like if she’d had a father. This leaves Aru open to questioning a lot she’s held as the truth, making this entry in the series deeper and richer, as fourteen-year old Aru begins to really figure who and what is important to her, and who she wants to be. And that ending! Roshani Chokshi, how could you?? I have to wait a year for answers!!
Profile Image for Niharika✩ .
100 reviews79 followers
September 25, 2021
“Living things cannot help but be curious, to demand answers. There is a cost to opening doors that are meant to stay closed.”

― Roshani Chokshi, Aru Shah and the Tree of Wishes


I think you've guessed this is going to be a very. long. read. HOW CAN YOU RELAX WHEN YOU'VE READ THE MOST AMAAAAZING BOOK?!

Aru Shah is assigned to keep a prophecy from the Sleeper's army. When she fails, she once again finds herself on a quest. She has to find the real Tree of wishes to defeat the Sleeper. Before that, she needs to find the location of the tree.

The plot isn't too special. But then again, it's not even the most important part of a story. But I enjoyed it. Rashani Chokshi always finds ways to make the quest more complex ;)

aah the writing! Top notch!

1. Engaging
2. Funny

“We’re trapped in the mountains with no camping supplies—”
Aiden reached into his backpack and pulled out a coin. He flipped it onto the ground, and three tents sprouted up immediately.
Brynne scowled. “Okay, well, definitely no food—”
Aiden dug out five protein bars and tossed them in front of the tents.
Rudy stared at him. “Dude, what is in that bag?”
“Precautionary stuff,” said Aiden simply.”

3. Modern! (Another thing which is VERY important when it comes to me)

The writing is always amazing. I've said this before, I'll say it again. A.M.A.Z.I.N.G.


*scowls* How many characters? 1,2,3 Ummm 7! Yup! 7 characters to review. Ugh!

Aru Aru is the same. Eager to make a mark and desperate to prove herself. Like always, I liked Aru's nature and her. Ok, 1 down, 6 to go.

Mini I wonder why I bother reviewing Mini. She's the same Mini. Except a little braver perhaps the the same.

Brynne Not much about Brynne this time. She didn't come much in the book. But I'm assuming she's the same.

Aiden Like always is a classic grandma (even if he is a male) I mean, you read that right? The quote?

Now the NEW characters.


"I, Prince Rudra of Naga-Loka, wish to make a withdrawal."

Yes. You read that right. He's a prince. But if I talk about him, it'll a spoiler nightmare.

Nikita Is the 4th pandava sister. She's a ten year old girl who has the power of earth. Ok nothing more.

Sheela is the fifth pandava sister, therefore completing the entire 5 pandava sisters along with Aiden aka Draupadi in another life. She can foresee the future. Nikita is really protective of Sheela and yes, they are twins.

Soo that's the end of this long-waited review. Now I'm EXAUSTED. Bye!
Profile Image for Kalie.
129 reviews31 followers
January 1, 2020
What an excellent way to kick off 2020 - by finishing the next installment of my favorite on-going middle grade series. These are the books I wish I had when I was younger. As a kid, I would have dreamed going on adventures with this crew the same way I once imagined myself strolling through the halls of Hogwarts. As an adult, I just want to wrap all these children up in warm blankets and protect them with my life so that nothing can hurt them again ever. EVER, OKAY? There's so much heart, humor, and fun seeping through this series that I challenge anyone to not get emotionally attached or laugh at the chapter titles.

And it’s never too late to dive in either. There’s still one more book left to go and I’m already aching for it.

I’ve become such a shill for the Rick Riordan Presents imprint. But how could I not be when every book that’s been published so far has been delightful? Thanks, once again, to Disney for giving me the chance to read an early copy of this!
Profile Image for Enne.
718 reviews113 followers
July 23, 2020
4 stars

I think you can definitely tell that the books take a turn for the darker side of middle grade with this one. Chokshi starts to explore more complex themes with this one, such as what it really means to be good or evil and how those are typically portrayed. With this one, Aru Shah really starts to question how much of what she's been told about her father is true. She starts to question whether a lot of the stories that are told in Indian folklore and mythology are true. I really loved the complex themes being explored in this book because it really does give it a more sophisticated feel, which really surprised me at first, but which I ended up really enjoying.

I think all of our already established characters experienced so much growth and development in this book. In particular, I really think Mini shone in this book, which was definitely unexpected for me, but I really loved it. And I also really loved the development we saw from Brynne and Aiden. It was also really fun to see the already established relationship dynamics between Brynne, Mini, and Aru and how they functioned in this book.

The one thing that I do wish we had seen more of, though, and probably the only reason this isn't a full 5-star read, is the new Pandavas that are introduced in this one. While we do see a little more of them towards the end of the story, I didn't really feel like their dynamics with the already established Pandavas was really developed to the extent that it could have and it felt like a missed opportunity for me. I think they would have been really interesting characters to have in this one, and I can't wait to see more of them in the next one.

All of the other technical elements in this novel were on par with other installments in this series, if not better! The plot in this one is just as well-established and complex and fast-paced. It constantly keeps you on the edge of your seat and eager to know what happens next and results in me having the best time reading this book because it's hilarious and, at times, bizarre as only a book based on mythology can be, and I just adore it with my entire heart.

The world is just as interesting as it is in previous installments and I always learn about so many new facets of Indian mythology whenever I read an Aru Shah book and it's just fascinating to me!! And again, I love how Roshani Chokshi incorporates those mythological elements into the contemporary world because I think it's incredibly creative. And I love how we are constantly learning new things about concepts that were already previously established and building more on that knowledge.

Overall, I just absolutely cannot recommend the Aru Shah books enough. They're easy to read and honestly they're just such an enjoyable experience. I always have the best time reading these because reading about kids going on quests to save their friends and family really is the greatest pastime.
Profile Image for Moniek.
275 reviews12 followers
August 10, 2022
Już napisałam recenzję tej książki, tylko że pod innym wydaniem. Ją pozostawiam:

A dodam jeszcze, że... Śpiący jest naprawdę jednym z moich ulubionych antagonistów literackich. To, że pochodzi z literatury dziecięcej, jeszcze dodaje i tej postaci, i całej historii wartości.
Profile Image for Kasia (kasikowykurz).
1,161 reviews29 followers
June 27, 2022
Co tu się dzieje! Pod koniec przyznaję, że moje zainteresowanie trochę spadło, ale ostatnie zdanie sprawiło, że chcę już teraz zabrać się za kolejny tom! Przeczuwam, że to będzie jazda bez trzymanki. Bez kitu, ale z każdym tomem to jest coraz lepsze :D
Profile Image for Wendy.
711 reviews7 followers
July 18, 2020
Book 3 of the Aru Shah series and it's as entertaining as ever. Every book sees an addition of interesting characters. This time, on their journey to find the Tree of Wishes, they met Rudy (a colour-blind, quite self-centred Naga prince who happens to be Aiden's cousin) and 2 young twins, Sheila and Nikita, who are also Pandavas. (Side note: spelling of names might be wrong - I listened to the audio book.)
As this is a series, it's hard to go into details without spoilers for the 1st 2 books. We see more of Hindu mythology and cosmology as the Pandavas travel through the magical world in their quest to get to the tree by the day of Holi. They have to rely on each other's strengths in the journey, while bickering and bantering like any other family. I laughed out loud when they were discussing group names and somehow ended up calling themselves the "Potatoes". Aru's personal journey and growth also continues, especially as she learns more about the Sleeper. I am eagerly anticipating book 4, especially as this book ends in a cliffhanger.
Profile Image for Eileen.
1,857 reviews71 followers
July 28, 2021
4.5 stars

These books are becoming more and more complex and I seriously love how the author weaves together Hindu mythology with contemporary issues of family relationships. Although there is plenty of humor to be found in these books, I think this book kicks up the seriousness into a higher gear. I had to remind myself that these really are kids and they should NOT have to bear the weight of the world on their shoulders. Okay, they are demigods, I grant you, but they are dealing with challenges that most adults never fully address. At this point, I love Aru, Brynne, Mini (she might be my favorite), and Aidan. I think I got to the point where I was tolerating Rudy, but I wasn't a big fan of the twins. Perhaps they will continue in the future books and I will grow to love them as much as the others, but time will tell. Either way, this author does a really great job of developing interesting, and dynamic characters. None of them are perfect, and even while you cringe over something one of them says, you know that it is completely realistic and what this person really would say if you met them in real life. Additionally, this book was non-stop action and I love the references the author threw in from contemporary pop culture, such as Harry Potter or Star Wars, etc. I'm finding that I'm enjoying this middle-grade series more than the Gilded Wolves series so far, but that might be because I am in the right frame of mind for this series (I've been having a blast flying through the Rick Riordan Presents series). Either way, after reading this series, I will be putting the Gilded Wolves and Silvered Serpents back on my TBR to be reread when the third book comes out!
Profile Image for Mila.
770 reviews66 followers
May 18, 2020
4,75 stars

I love this series so much! I think this book was a bit weaker than the others, especially in the beginning, but then the plot thickened so much and that ending, gods almighty! Also, Aru and Aiden, I love the subtle development of their relationship, it's honestly more interesting than a lot of YA romances. Now I'm both excited to read the finale and sad that this amazing series is going to be over. I just hope that more people check it out because it's that good.
Profile Image for Cory Marie.
261 reviews91 followers
July 12, 2020
I’m expecting a daughter any day now and something I’m very excited about is the fact that I’ll be able to share this wonderful series with her. Aru Shah is such a gem in the literary world and I wish there had been a multitude of books like these when I was a kid.
Profile Image for Calypso ♡.
53 reviews28 followers
July 7, 2020
Not the best of the series but it is still good

Profile Image for Minnie.
753 reviews27 followers
April 30, 2021
I don't know why but I didn't enjoy this nearly as much as the second book. This adventure just felt messy and rushed and I think it's part of because we suddenly got three new kids in our gang. The problem with our new addiotions is that they were introduced in the first 20 pages and just like that were accepted in the gang. But Sheela and Nikita couldn't go with Aru & Co to the new adventure so we actually didn't learn that much about them. In the end they were more present but for me those two were not introduced proberly.
Rudy on the other hand is great and I like his quirky behaviour but I think the gang is not appreciating him very much. This book isn't funny or adorable anymore, it got quite depressing and dark over times and I miss the funny times with Boo.
I can't explain why but most of the time I was bored. The end was really good and left me on a cliffhanger so I will continue the journey.
Profile Image for Hazel.
176 reviews20 followers
May 24, 2020
I really love this series so much, i seriously can't wait for the next book after THAT cliffhanger
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