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Reviewed by Divine Zape for Readers' Favorite
Daisies and Dragon Slayers of the Equator by Penny Singham is both adventure and drama with fine hints of the supernatural. Set in Malaysia after the end of British rule, the story's narrative centers on the classic case of an arranged marriage. Oormila, the only daughter of a high-ranking civil servant, runs away from an arranged marriage. Feeling hurt and dishonored, the would-have-been groom, VK, uses supernatural powers to get his revenge. And as if this isn’t enough to make the girl’s life miserable, she teeters towards a more tragic end while the one person who may have the chance to save her is running against time.
Penny Singham's novel is for readers who enjoy drama, the kind one watches in Indian movies. The tone is light but surprisingly gripping. The author provides very interesting elements of the background, offering images and ideas that allow the reader to understand the cultural and historical characteristics of the setting. The female protagonist is immediately introduced, together with the conflict that moves the action forward. The plot has a powerful premise — it is bold and dramatic. Refusing an arranged marriage is something unheard of; it is like bringing dishonor to a family, an act which breaks the bond between two families. It is an act of courage for the heroine, but one of insult to her groom to be. This is the conflict that gives birth to the action that runs through this intriguing story. I loved the emotional and psychological implications of the themes and the realism that permeates the narrative makes it enjoyable to read.