Order of The Galaxy Book-1
The War for The Stolen Boy
Order of The Galaxy Book-2
The Snowflake of Life
Order of The Galaxy Book-3
The Book of Legends
Laiba Abdul Basit
An unusual festival of imagination
The author Laiba Abdul Basit has not yet entered her teens. This is her third book in the ‘Order of the Galaxy’ series. Those who come across this book, ‘The Book of Legends’ for the first time will no doubt be baffled; as I was. Here is a mind that soars on the invisible wings of imagination, not in search of unfamiliar and distant ‘places’ but towards new dimensions in the galaxy. The ‘plot’ is all about the adventures of four children; Oliver Arthur Blue, aged 13, Mike Gibelus Blue, aged 11, Avery John Blue, aged 9 and Olivia Mary Blue aged 6, all of them belonging to the Order. They fly on ‘Cloud’ that would take them to mysterious places and even more mysterious situations and characters.
In this volume they go to Pegasus Riding Academy where they encounter interesting characters. On Pegasus they explore the galaxies to encounter new sights and situations. They visit the Asteroid lake, Emberwoods, Mount Adlivers and such unimaginable locales. The reader is introduced to the mysterious Book of Legends, the Tree of Enchantment and the Jar of Eternity. The imagination of the young author runs riot in the descriptions of these enchanted spots. For instance, in the lake, “there are birds known as Twilight Beauties who looked like swans but with peacock tails.” There is “rainbow-coloured grass and a nice little stream which provided any drink you think of.”
The inter galaxy adventure is not all mystery and fun. There are forces of darkness that the ‘Order’ has to encounter. But the members of the ‘Order’, though young have their own powers. Lord of the Dark, Dorox is evil personified. He is the enemy of light. The author portrays him with interesting details. “The purple-fired torches illuminated his frightening features. He had skin which had been cursed years ago; coloured deep green. It was darker at some places, making him look like a snake. He had glittering red laser eyes and his left hand was an eagle’s claw.” Lord Dorox who wears a black robe with long sleeves and whose throne is flanked by cobras is picture –perfect evil.
There is excitement, adventure, mystery and conflict in the narration. The author’s grip over the language is phenomenal. She knows when to elaborate and when to compress and to what desired effects. The strength of the novels in this series is that the author has every detail in her mind. As a result, she is able to develop the story gradually and dramatically. The pace of narration fits perfectly into the progression of the adventure. These adventures in the galaxies and the enchantments depicted in this novel present a hyper reality that is akin to the magical dimensions that J.K. Rowling made familiar with her Harry Potter tales. Though imagination runs wild in this novel, the author has remarkable control not to be sidetracked by such descriptions at the expense of the central thread.
Summarizing the story in this brief foreword would be doing injustice to the novel. The excitement of the adventure should be savored by the reader in utter bewilderment.The precocious author who has mastered the art and craft of storytelling is blessed not only with abundant imagination but a profound sense of propriety and control to make the narrative crisp and catchy. I have no doubt that Laiba Abdul Basit will sooner than later command global readership as she has no dearth of strange, stranger and strangest stories to tell. Her imagination is robust and uninhibited. She has remarkable mastery to develop the situations and keep the narration racy. Her language is lucid; it acquires the required hues while dealing with enchantments and mysteries. Let her nascent literary journey be long, eventful and rewarding; let her make us all proud. I have no doubt she will; she being an inexhaustible fount of creativity.
K. Jayakumar I.A.S.
Author, lyricist and bilingual poet
(Former Chief Secretary, Kerala,
Former Vice Chancellor,