Illustration: Priya Kuriyan
Illustration: Priya Kuriyan

Young Lit | The Magic of The Dazl Corals

One of the best series in Indian science fiction fantasy reaches its grand finale

Shining stars

When talking about Taranauts, it would be impossible to just focus on the latest release without harking back to the entire eight-book series. And this is true even if The Magic of The Dazl Corals is the last in Roopa Pai’s breathtaking adventures of Zarpa, Tufan and Zvala aka Team Taranauts.

The Taranauts’ adventures, which began in late 2009, are set in another universe called Mithya, which has eight worlds, Shyn, Lustr, Sparkl, Glo, Syntilla, Shimr, Glytr and Dazl. Illuminated by 32 stars, the eight worlds are plunged into grief and darkness when the bad man Shaap Azur, a twin of Mithya’s Emperaza, Shoon Ya, makes away with their stars.

The Mithyakos who inhabit the worlds have almost given up all hope when the three heroes step in to try bring the light back into their lives. They have to pit their wits against Shaap Azur’s maze of riddles, in which lies the key, and use their military skills to combat the dangers facing them in their quest.

So there you go. What I mean is that when you pick up The Magic of The Dazl Corals, the others are necessary accessories, unless you already have them.

The Magic of the Dazl Corals: By Roopa Pai, Hachette, 128 pages, Rs225
The Magic of the Dazl Corals: By Roopa Pai, Hachette, 128 pages, Rs225

Until The Magic of The Dazl Corals, Zarpa, Tufan and Zvala have brought back 28 of the stars back to their own world. As the stage is being set for the last campaign to recover the rest of the stars, a breach of security at Zum Skar, the training academy where the Mithyakos hone their skills, brings news that Shaap Azur and his Downsiders (inhabitants of the lower world of Mithya) are preparing for the Great Zamara, a mighty war that is sure to destroy the trio’s beloved universe.

Time is running short as Zarpa and friends rush into the pink world of Dazl to reclaim the remaining stars. The mission begins with a shock as the enemy kidnaps Zvala, en route. The two remaining Taranauts have to marshall their forces and not separate till their mission is accomplished.

That is easier said than done as Shaap Azur pulls out every trick in the book to finish them off. And in the “Gul"-dominated world of Dazl, he raises as many obstacles as they can dodge. Can the Taranauts pull this off? Can the Great Zamara be avoided?

As the Taranauts fade into the sunset, they leave behind a body of Indian science fiction fantasy that children can enjoy. Its popularity can be judged by the use of Taranaut lingo in messages from the Taranuts (fans of the book) on the website (www.taranauts.com). In the world of Indian science fiction fantasy, where memorable stories are in extremely short supply, The Magic of The Dazl Corals is the perfect ending to whet your appetite for more—from other writers too.

M. Venkatesh is the founder organizer of Bookaroo, a children’s literature festival.

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