Middle Grade Spotlight & Excerpt: Aru Shah and the City of Gold by Roshani Chokshi …plus a giveaway!

I am thrilled to be hosting a spot on the ARU SHAH AND THE CITY OF GOLD by Roshani Chokshi Blog Tour hosted
Rockstar Book Tours. After reading the post, be sure to enter the giveaway!

About the Book:

Title: ARU SHAH AND THE CITY OF GOLD (A Pandava Novel Book 4)

Author: Roshani Chokshi

Pub. Date: April 6, 2021

Publisher: Rick Riordan Presents

Aru Shah and her sisters–including one who also claims to be the Sleeper’s daughter–must find their mentors Hanuman and Urvashi in Lanka, the city of gold, before war breaks out between the devas and asuras.

Aru has just made a wish on the tree of wishes, but she can’t remember what it was. She’s pretty sure she didn’t wish for a new sister, one who looks strangely familiar and claims to be the Sleeper’s daughter, like her.

Aru also isn’t sure she still wants to fight on behalf of the devas in the war against the Sleeper and his demon army. The gods have been too devious up to now. Case in point: Kubera, ruler of the city of gold, promises to give the Pandavas two powerful weapons, but only if they win his trials. If they lose, they won’t stand a chance against the Sleeper’s troops, which will soon march on Lanka to take over the Otherworld.

Aru’s biggest question, though, is why every adult she has loved and trusted so far has failed her. Will she come to
peace with what they’ve done before she has to wage the battle of her life?



“Touching, riotously funny, and absolutely stunning.”–Kirkus


Praise for Aru Shah and the End of Time:

“An imaginative novel that puts girl power and diverse protagonists front and center.” Entertainment Weekly


“[An] engrossing adventure tale.”Teen Vogue


“Roshani Chokshi spins a modern-day fairy tale that adults and children will love.”-Bustle





Aru Shah and the City of Gold

Chapter 1


I’m Your Long-Lost Family!

(Insert Jazz Hands)

Aru Shah felt like she’d been struck by lightning.


And she knew all about that feeling, thanks to a terrible experiment. Once, when she was extremely bored, Aru had decided to find out what being struck by lightning would feel like by using Vajra, her lightning bolt and sometime Ping-Pong ball.

“Dude, are you serious?” Brynne had said.

“I can’t watch this,” Mini said. “You could—”

“I’m not going to die!” said Aru, rolling her eyes. “I’m a demigod!”

“That doesn’t mean Indra is going to protect you,” said Mini, crossing her arms.

Aru tossed up the Ping-Pong ball (“Trust me, nothing’s going to happen.”), then knocked it higher with her forehead.

Six hours later, Aru had woken up with a splitting headache, a twitch in her left eye, and a serious case of frizzy hair.

For a week straight, it had felt like someone had played soccer with her brain. Although this could also have been because Mini kept quizzing her about geography trivia to check her “neurological state.”

Aru had never wanted to feel that way again.

And yet here she was, chained to a rock in the Sleeper’s cave lair, feeling like she’d been electrocuted. She stared at a girl named Kara, who was crouched on the ground across from her.

I’m his daughter, Kara had just said.

Aru blinked, her head buzzing. “You… You’re the daughter of the Sleeper?”

Kara nodded. Earlier, she’d said it with pride, tilting her chin and looking down her nose at Aru. Now, something sad and unsure crept across the girl’s face. “But you’re his daughter, too…. Does that… Does that make us sisters?”

Sisters, thought Aru. She considered Brynne and Mini her sisters, even though they weren’t related to her by blood. But her and Kara? This was different. For a moment, Aru wondered whether the girl was another reincarnated Pandava brother, but that was impossible. There were only five, and they’d hit that number when they met the twins, Sheela and Nikita.

Could we be related? Aru wondered. Kara looked about Aru’s age…. Did that make them nonidentical twins? Aru searched the other girl’s features, hunting for something shared in their faces, but she couldn’t find it. Kara had a wide mouth, large honey-brown eyes, straight chocolatey-brown hair that fell to her shoulders, high cheekbones, and dark, glowing skin. Aru could brush her own hair for a century and it would never look that sleek. And the closest she ever got to glowing skin was standing under a lamp and spinning really fast.

Usually she tried not to let these things bother her, but Aru knew she looked nothing like her elegant, beautiful parents.

Whereas Kara… did. But if Kara was her sister, then why hadn’t Aru seen her in the Pool of the Past?

“I know what you’re thinking,” said Kara.

“Doubt it,” muttered Aru, but Kara didn’t seem to hear her.

“He was worried you’d try to run, so he made my room look like an awful dungeon,” Kara said. “But it’s really not that bad.”

Kara tapped a nearby stone with the shiny white-gold ring on her finger. When it touched the rock, the cave walls started to shift. The space transformed into a sumptuous library with shelves carved into the stone. Near the ceiling, an enchanted orb cast the illusion of warm sunlight, and all around Aru could see little niches piled high with pillows and stacked with dolls and other toys. In the back wall of one of the niches was a half-opened door, through which Aru could glimpse a neat bed with a bright-yellow quilt and a plush bunny on the pillow.

Aru was still chained to a rock, but she forgot all about it when she saw the huge built-in screen on the opposite wall, where a Netflix box read are you still watching?

Aru stared. How did one even find an evil lair with Internet? For a bizarre second, she pictured a demonic real-estate agent patting the stone wall: Comes fully equipped with a crocodile-infested moat and complimentary Wi-Fi!

“I’m sure you’re used to a lot nicer things in the human world,” said Kara quickly. “But Dad did his best.”


An ache bloomed inside Aru’s ribs as memories from the past day flew back to her. The only time she had ever called the Sleeper Dad was when she’d thought that she and her sisters didn’t stand a chance against his army. She’d hoped calling him that had hurt him as much as it had hurt her.

She could still hear the sounds of clanging swords and battle cries as they’d fought in the magical grove that belonged to Aranyani, goddess of the forest and protector of Kalpavriksha, the wish-granting tree.

Aru remembered throwing her arms around the Sleeper’s neck like she was hugging him. But it was never a hug. It was a reminder of the person he could have been, of all the memories he’d sacrificed in pursuit of the tree that he’d thought could change his destiny.

Aru even remembered finding the Tree of Wishes….

But she no longer remembered whether she’d made a wish on it. When she pushed herself, all her mind could conjure was a vision of snow.

It made no sense.

Aru shook her head. She could worry about it later. Right now, she needed to find out what happened to Brynne and Mini, Sheela and Nikita, Rudy and Aiden. Were they safe? Had they gotten away? Or had the Sleeper abducted them, too?

“What am I doing here?” demanded Aru.

“He wants you to be safe,” said Kara, before adding nervously, “I hope you don’t mind me prying, but I know lots about you, Aru. Dad told me your mom kept you away from him.”

Your mom. So Aru and Kara weren’t twins. Had the Sleeper cheated on Krithika? Aru wondered. It made her stomach turn. Was that the real reason Aru’s mom had put him in the lamp?

“He brought you back here so we could be a family,” continued Kara.

Family. Aru flinched at the word. If her father really wanted them to be a family, he wouldn’t have become a monster. But even as she thought it, an oily voice in her head whispered, But you saw how he was forced to give up his memories, Aru Shah. You know that perhaps he could not have helped becoming what he is….

“Where is he?” asked Aru. “Where are the others?”

“He only brought you,” said Kara quickly. “And then he left again. But… he made plans before he left. His army is planning to march on Lanka by the end of the week.”

Lanka? Aru knew that name. It was the city of gold ruled over by Lord Kubera, the god of wealth and treasures. The words march on lit a panic inside her. An invasion? So soon? The devas weren’t expecting that. She needed to warn the Otherworld. And her Pandava sisters. Her real sisters.

Aru glanced at her wrist. What she thought had been a chain connecting her to the rock turned out to be nothing more than an illusion on a thin ribbon. Aru jerked her hand and the ribbon tore, setting her free. On her other wrist, dangling from a braided string bracelet, was a glass sphere containing Vajra in Ping-Pong–ball form. Aru slammed the sphere on the ground, and the glass shattered.

Vajra bounced up and Aru caught it one-handed. A gentle, delicious electricity immediately laced up her arms, and Aru felt the familiar static energy lift her hair a little. She jumped to her feet, eyes scanning the room.

“You can’t leave!” said Kara, panicked.

“Watch me,” growled Aru, hurtling Vajra against the library shelves.

Electricity spangled across the hundred-foot-high wall of bookshelves. The air boomed with thunder, and a couple of volumes went up in flames. But the wall remained intact.

“It’s reinforced with enchanted rubber,” said Kara. “You could burn down the whole place, but that still wouldn’t get you out. Only . . . Only I can do that.”

Aru whirled around. She thought Kara would look haughty as she said those words, but instead she just seemed uncomfortable, as if she wasn’t used to talking to anyone. She twisted the ring around her index finger.

“If . . . If you want to be free,” said Kara, lifting her chin, “then . . . then you have to make me a promise.”

“What do you want?”

Kara swallowed hard. “I want you to take me with you.”

About Roshani:

Roshani Chokshi (www.roshanichokshi.com) is the author of the instant New York Times best-selling books in the Pandava series, Aru Shah and the End of Time, and its sequel, Aru Shah and the Song of Death. She also wrote the New York Times best-selling YA books The Star-Touched Queen and The Gilded
Wolves. She studied fairy tales in college, and she has a pet luck dragon that
looks suspiciously like a Great Pyrenees dog. The Pandava novels were inspired
by the stories her grandmother told her as well as Roshani’s all-consuming love
for Sailor Moon. She lives in the south and says “y’all,” but she doesn’t really have a Southern accent. Her Twitter handle is @roshani_chokshi.

Website | Twitter | Facebook | Instagram | Goodreads | Amazon

Giveaway Details:

3 winners will receive a finished copy of ARU SHAH AND THE CITY OF GOLD, US Only.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Tour Schedule:

Week One:


A Dream Within A Dream



Lisa-Queen of Random


Week Two:


BookHounds Ya



For the Love of KidLit



Kait Plus Books








Week Three:


Emelie’s Books



What A Nerd Girl Says



Little Red Reads






Amani’s Reviews


Week Four:


Moonlight Rendezvous






Feed Your Fiction Addiction



The Momma Spot



I’m Shelfish


Week Five:


Book Briefs



Confessions of a YA



The Book Nut : A Book Lovers Guide



The Book Dutchesses



Two Points of interest


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