Luka And The Fire Of Life, By Salman Rushdie

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The Independent Culture

Twenty years ago, Rushdie wrote the enchanting Haroun and the Sea of Stories for his first son. This fabular children's story, featuring Haroun as older brother to Luka, was Rushdie's gift to his second son on his 12th birthday.

At first, Luka looks as if it has got a case of the younger-brother syndrome, overshadowed by the bigger, better elder, with a familiar storyline about a boy who must save his stortyeller father ("the shah of blah") from dark forces.

But as Rushdie takes us further into Luka's quest to bring his father back from a deathly sleep, Haroun's little brother and his world of flying carpets and fantastical creatures, set amid the warm heart of an Indian family, works its own fictive magic.