The Boy Who Saved a Bear
In this charming adventure;, boy meets bear and, while It’s definitely not friendship at first sight, boy and bear form a bond of trust and respect, that takes them on the journey of their lives to return the legendary Key of Nissanka to their Queen.
Nuwan sneaks into the Great Library of the North to spite his more popular brother, in whose shadow he has to live. He discovers that the librarians are about to pull the wool over the Queen’s eyes and keep the Key of Nissanka to themselves, hidden in a library book. When the librarians realise the game is up, they chase Nuwan who finds himself in the cave of a terrifying bear, Karadi. But the joke is on the librarians and in a wonderful, colourful, adventure full of thieves round every corner, scary nights in the jungle, unsympathetic locals and genuinely funny moments between Nuwan and Karadi, they eventually make it to the Queen.
This is the fourth adventure set in Serendib, a fictional Sri Lanka, and deftly brings the glorious colour, customs and wildlife of that country to life. Another layer of richness is an underlying message of honesty, friendships based in trust and how the most fearsome things can be a lot less scary when we take a moment to think. Nuwan grows in confidence with each challenge and by treating an animal with such respect, also learns that he too is capable of commanding the same and is more than equal to his brother.
An overall cracking read and wish I could visit Serendib for real!