Sceadu - Prashant Pinge


All this while, Matilda’s shadow had been growing larger and larger. Suddenly, it lunged
out of the ground and swallowed her, like a python does its unsuspecting prey.

Nine year old Matilda ends up with a century old book through a series of strange coincidences. And disappears. Her brother and cousins are forced to suspend their hostilities and pursue her to Sceadu, a land inside the human shadow. Once there, the reluctant visitors find themselves chased by the vicious Hefigans, creatures of Sceadu. However, everything changes with the revelation of an ancient prophecy that foretells the doom of the world they left behind.

With the stakes suddenly raised, the children must now navigate the dangerous terrain, overcome grave challenges, and unlock the secrets of the shadow. But can they do it in time to thwart the plans of the treacherous Hefigans? Or will they succumb to the guile of a ruthless enemy who is equally determined to destroy mankind?

Sceadu is a fast-paced adventure which blurs the boundary between the physical and the psychological, the real and the mythical.


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Year of Publication

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No of Pages

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Though billed as a young adult read, Sceadu, Your Shadow Holds a Secret will easily reach into adult circles as well (despite the ages of its young heroes and heroine), and promises as thrilling, unpredictable a read as any an adult fantasy.

Diane Donovan, Senior eBook Reviewer, Midwest Book Review, Nov 21, 2014
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‘Sceadu’ is a soon to be released book by children’s author Prashant Pinge. At its core it is a young adult fictional piece of work, full of thrills and based on mythology, psychology and fantasy. ‘Sceadu’ follows the adventures of four children who find themselves transported to another world, the world of Sceadu, and their fight to save the human world from evil and return home. It is packed with all the elements essential to keep a young mind intrigued and hooked onto this book till the very end. What stands out most about the book is that the author doesn’t undermine his reader’s intelligence, giving the reader enough to analyse as the book is detailed, descriptive and deep in many aspects. The plot is interesting and the banter between the children keeps this book fun and enjoyable. This book deserves a reading.

Gayatri Sahasrabuddhe, Afternoon Despatch & Courier, Nov 5, 2014
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Sceadu is such a worthwhile and invigorating read that it is quite likely to spawn a cult following, who will soon be asking for more stories in the same vein.

Lois Henderson,, Oct 22, 2014
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Prashant Pinge masterfully reels in psychology and mythology to create and validate a shadow land replete with faeries, imps and other fantastical creatures but often in ways that are unusual and not conventional. The novel hooks you from the beginning with the way it moves from the past to the present, from menacing strangers in the dark to the life of a young, bright girl called Matilda. The four children are carefully imagined, each distinct from the other and memorable. Well-crafted and executed, this is a book that is worthy of belonging to the time-honoured fantasy genre.

Himanjali Sankar, Editor at Bloomsbury India, Bestselling children’s fiction author of The Stupendous Timetelling Superdog, Crossword Book Awards finalist

The book bewitchingly titled Sceadu – a mysterious word for shadow, fully lives up to its promise. The moment you have stepped into this rich, textured tale, it follows you like a shadow. If you pause, as you sometimes have to, when real world interrupts, it lurks in your mind and brings you back to face it again. The journey takes you through a psychological labyrinth that Matilda experiences while holding you in a tight grip never allowing for even a momentary slip. The elements of mystery, fear, fantasy and adventure make for a potion that will appeal not only to fans of this genre but new readers as well. If you are new to this genre and would like to read it with your child, this is a great book to begin a journey into the amazing world of fantasy fiction.

Ajit Andhare, Chief Operating Officer, Viacom 18 Motion Pictures

Prashant has a gift for describing places in a vivid and elaborate manner which makes a parallel world appear completely possible and even real. The story is filled with twists, stratagems, prophecies, dangers, deceits, and magical powers that keep the plot moving at a fast pace. Some lighter moments ensure that the narrative does not become dark despite the occasional moments of despair.

The quirks and traits of the four central characters make it easy for the reader to relate with them and their changing fortunes and consequent range of emotions – exultation, frustration, fear, hope, and determination. Their evolving relationship with one another and with themselves is subtle and touching.

Sceadu succeeds in delivering a powerful message that every child can relate to – belief in oneself. Without preaching, the writer also conveys the need for balance – between action and patience, intellect and intuition, and at a higher level, the balance of energies that is needed to maintain order in the universe.

Dr. Pramath Raj Sinha, Co-founder at Ashoka University, Founding Dean at Indian School of Business, Managing Director at 9.9 Mediaworx

Prashant Pinge writes lucidly. I found myself transported into another world right after reading the first few pages, which had an ominous sense of resonance with the underlying theme of the book, where four children find themselves magically whisked away into a magical world, Sceadu.

Sceadu sounds very much like its meaning, ‘shadow’. Prashant Pinge has done a brilliant job in making one see that very ‘shadow’ we all take for granted, in an absolutely sparkling new ‘light’.

I would highly recommend this book me made into a movie. But you must read the book first. One of the rare instances when I’ve read a book and wanted to see the movie (which is not there as yet but I’m confident will be in the near future) as well!

Full of twists and turns, this is one roller coaster ride you don’t want to miss!

Rohit Trilokekar, Author of The Kitty Buddha

Prashant Pinge creates an intriguing shadow world in his fantasy novel titled, Sceadu (pronounced Shay-du). In an early chapter, one of the main characters, Matilda, has a disturbing dream that she’s being swallowed by her own shadow. Her nightmare becomes real when she discovers the verse in an old leather bound book inscribed with the single word, Sceadu. Similar to the story in The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe, a central character is transported to another land, but in Matilda’s case it’s a world filled with goblins, faeries and imps. Soon after, she is joined by her brother, Robert and two cousins, Patrick and Steven, who have come to rescue her. Together, they must navigate this mysterious land filled with both grotesque and fanciful creatures in order to figure out a way back home. Each character overcomes personal weaknesses as they face the terrifying obstacles thrown in front of them. Steven, the rational one, is often challenged when science fails him and magic can be the only explanation for the healing powers of the streams and gargoyles who can turn creatures to stone with one glance. As the young travelers discover the story behind Sceadu’s existence, they also discover the plot by the creatures of Sceadu to escape the land of shadows in order to overtake the human world. Matilda and the others realize they can no longer focus on rescuing themselves, but on saving the human race.

Prashant’s prose is poetic and ominous in places – “…..thick grey bellied clouds that had entombed the neighborhood in grim silence.” There are interesting riddles and prophecies throughout the book to captivate the reader, but ultimately, it is the fate of the four well drawn characters that one comes to care about.

Susan Griner, Author of The Cemetery Sleeper

I read Sceadu in four nights, simply because I was hooked! From the very beginning it was full of intrigue and mystery, begging the reader to delve into the book to gain the answers. It was full to the brim with rich thought-provoking descriptions allowing the reader to picture the surroundings as if they were actually there.

Leonnie Fisher, WeAreTheCity
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It needs herculean effort to write and create a totally different world and make that visible to the readers but Prashant Pinge has done a marvellous job in this book and will make the readers crave for more.

Purnendu Chatterjee, Timid Fingers (blog), Nov 4, 2014
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Sceadu is a book that children will immensely enjoy for it is a tale of adventures and grief, of struggles and hope and ordinary heroes who emerge victorious firmly rooting in our mind that no matter what, in the end, good shall triumph over evil.

Anusree Burman, Beyond Words (blog), Oct 13, 2014
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This is a great book that draws you into the suspense immediately. It is very well written and yet it flows so well it is a breeze to read. A clever play on words throughout the story adds to the mystery and suspense.

Susan Day, Susan Day Author and Illustrator (blog), 09 October 2014
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Matilda sat at her old wooden desk, staring into the thick yellowed pages of a book under a dull moth ridden beam cast by the night lamp. But every time she blinked, it seemed as if the words had played a round of musical chairs. And the moths, fluttering through the words at times and hovering over them at others, did not make things any easier.

Matilda was about to turn the page when there was a tug at her feet. It was a very gentle one, almost imperceptible. Surprised, she glanced down, but there was nothing. Perhaps it’s just my imagination, she thought. She was about to shake her thick dark brown curls out of her face when she felt it again.

Matilda pushed her head down and looked into the dark void with furrowed brow. Her skinny legs stared back. But before she could decide on whether she had actually felt anything, there was another tug, an unmistakable one this time. And another one. The truth suddenly dawned upon Matilda. It was her shadow, trying to drag her into itself.

Matilda jerked back the chair, kicking hard at her shadow. But it snapped back, pulling at her even more viciously. She stomped upon it repeatedly. But the dark grey shape began jabbing at her feet and ankles. Matilda pushed herself up and made a frantic attempt to run. But her legs refused to move, and she almost toppled forward.

All this while, Matilda’s shadow had been growing larger and larger. Suddenly, it lunged out of the ground and swallowed her, like a python does its unsuspecting prey.

Griffin - Sceadu
Fracod - Sceadu
Imp - Sceadu
Dragon - Sceadu

After writing children’s fiction for more than a decade, what prompted you to write a young adult fantasy novel?
I have always wanted to experiment with different genres. However, the decision to write a young adult fantasy novel was not a conscious one. The catalyst was an idea I had early one morning a few years ago. But once it took seed, I knew I had to write this book. I shall, however, continue to write children’s fiction, a genre I immensely enjoy working in.

The title of your book is quite unique. How do you pronounce it? Where did you get the idea for this book?
The title is pronounced as ‘shay-du’. It is the old English term for shadow. I have always been fascinated by human shadows, our constant companions who are relegated to playing second fiddle most of the time. In physics, shadows are formed when an object blocks light. In psychology though, the concept of the shadow is a very interesting one. However, I shall leave that for the readers to discover in the book.

Did you draw any inspiration from your own life when it came to developing the characters?
As a matter of fact, I did. It was easier to flesh out realistic characters this way although I took the liberty of exaggerating certain aspects of their personalities to make them more interesting. I feel this will really help readers identify with the characters, immersing them into the adventure.

How is Sceadu different from the other works of fantasy fiction available in the market today?
If I were to think of one reason, it would be the logical basis of the entire fantasy which makes this a thrilling yet plausible adventure. I also believe it is the only story out there where the human shadow has been given centre stage.

You have been published traditionally by some of India’s top publishers. What made you take the self-publishing route with Sceadu?
The decision to take the self-publishing route with Sceadu came after a lengthy period of deliberation. The primary drivers were complete creative control and the ability to reach a global audience. However, I do plan to work with publishers, with my next work of children’s fiction already picked up for a 2015 release.

What has your experience been with self-publishing so far?
My self-publishing journey so far has been a very rewarding one, allowing me to learn a lot about the different facets of this industry. It has also been a very difficult one, especially due to the lack of resources. In fact, it wouldn’t have been possible without the help of a lot of people who have contributed to my endeavour in various ways.

Do you have another project in the works? If so, can you elaborate on it?
I am currently working on a piece of commercial fiction which would fall in the domain of romantic comedies. I hope to have it completed by December 2014.