FUN QUOTIENT: 3.5/5
Raja Raja and the Swapped Sacks has a wonderful concept of mixing history with mystery. The book very skilfully makes use of the story and characters to help the children learn a little bit of history as well. Since I myself am an adult, I don’t know how far my review will be an accurate or rather a fair one, for it is definitely true that only a child will be able to project her true likes or dislikes for the book. Nevertheless, i am here, writing this review and trying my level best at conjuring up an honest and credible one while keeping in mind the target audience for whom this book is actually meant.
The story happens in the times of the Great Chola King Raja Raja Chola who at one point of time had ruled over Tamil Nadu, Kerala, Andhra Pradesh, parts of Karnataka and even Sri Lanka and Maldives. During his period the Cholas used to trade in gems, precious stones, cotton and spices with the Song rulers in China. Once it happened that the goods that the Chinese were receiving were not what they had paid for, for example, instead of muslin cloth they found jute in the sacks delivered to them vide Indian ships, whereas instead of gem stones they got pebbles and instead of spices they got goat droppings.
This had been happening for some time now and was spoiling the Chola name very badly. The great Raja Raja had no idea who was behind this mess and was unable to arrive at a solution. In such hard times, he knew there was only one person who could be trusted and thus he called his “Only One” who was the cleverest and smartest person in his kingdom.
So how will the Only One catch hold of the real thieves or swappers? Will he able to save the Cholas of the Chinese wrath? Who is the culprit behind all this mess? All these answers lie in this fun filled book.
The characters are quite charming and very funny too. The story is also interesting and proceeds at a fast pace. In the end, the mystery is solved and the climax is quite fun too. In my opinion the children of ages 7 to 10 will definitely enjoy this book as much as I did. Overall, I rate Raja Raja and the Swapped Sacks three and a half out of five stars recommend it to all children in the aforesaid age group.