I feel superb! Just finished reading The Servant Boy. The author gave me the electronic copy (ARC) and as a return, I will give my honest opinion about the book. So here is what happen in the book.
Synopsis in goodreads:
The Servant Boy highlights the adventures of Zayne Shah, a young man who lives through the most horrific disaster his village, Saidpur, has ever seen. An epidemic has unknowingly raged through Saidpur and is taking the lives of umpteen folk before his eyes. Zayne is determined to find a cure to the mystery, at whatever the cost may be, even if that cost is a price he cannot presently afford.
Zayne goes through a series of ups and downs as he takes you with him, embracing life through vivid details, all of which include paradoxes that anyone from any walk of life can relate to: life and death, happiness and grief, love and envy, friendship and animosity.
Although The Servant Boy is a multicultural novel, and will appeal to those that will enjoy learning about the colorful and vibrant culture of Pakistan, it will also enchant those who enjoy mystery, fantasy, adventure, friendship, and romance. There is something in the novel for everyone.
I think the story is so colorful and vibrant. Not only talked about romance, but there’s a lot of values such as of Pakistani’s culture (including but not limited to clothes, cultural ceremony, and traditional foods), social norm and religion values that emerge in the story.
I am surprised by the fact that the author even though she’s live in the US, able to describe the setting which taken in Pakistan, as it is the place she was born with. It is so informative. I love to learn a new language so when the story using some of Pakistani’s phrases and include the meaning of it, I’m so happy. Confession: I read in the midnight and there’s a lot of food described in the story, it seems delicious that it stimulates my appetite. In the midnight! So, if you’re on your diet and easily affected by sweets, I highly suggest you read in your lunch time. Haha. Ha.
The story also enormously portray the social norms in Pakistan. That is to say, how social class so much affects the characters life. How the Malik treated the mullazim, how the mullazim seen by the people. It is so sad that even though Zayne, fortunately, transformed into a Malik, he still have low self-esteem when he faced Asiya or her relatives. But the good thing is that his childhood keeps him humble and prevent him from being arrogant.
As for religion values, I love the fact that even though Zayne is a Muslim, he’s not undermining another religion. We can see it when he’s got into a church and pray there. No, it is not an insult. He adores the religion in all forms. All he know is that God must be listen to him. He applied the principal of Manjadda Wa Jada. Who try really hard, must be successful. He prays twice. And His God granted it more than he expected. The term like maghrib, Jumaah prayer, Eid, Nikkah is familiar to me.
One sided love. Oh, the author also conveys a message of one-sided love. I love that the story is not utopic. I, though, after Zayne became a malik, he will also married with Asiya. But he didn’t. He accepts Gapoori and lives with her happily. He accepts that sometimes, we don’t always get what we want, but we must believe that God’s plan is better than our wish.
In addition, I adore the characters. Even though it is not deeply explored, but the fact that each character is unique is marvelous. I used to think that Zayne is so creepy but then I realized he was not. He was just an observant. And that’s okay. He’s quite, reserved, observant, feeler. I though his personality maybe INFJ. But it needs a further analysis so I’ll talk about it later.
For the story in general, I really love it. The end was unexpected because I thought it may be ended up with a scientific reason behind the epidemic. It turns out the secret remains. I was so anxious when I come to page 240 and the story is about to end. But so far, the end still acceptable.