The book was sent to me by the publisher Disney Publishing Worldwide and it is the first book I was sent for review from a publishing house.
Neela is eleven years old an American of Indian origin - trying to fit in with the American school and not in any way to be different. She accepts the bindi and the aarti (dot on forehead and blessings with camphor and fire) which her mother does but it is just an acceptance for acceptance sake. She is however fluent in Tamil (her parents mother tongue) and loves her grandmother back home and Chennai where her grandparents still live. Neela is trying to balance it all.
Her grandmother gifts her a veena - and this is where the story actually begins. The veena - a stringed instrument famous for its dulcet tones - is a family heirloom and supposedly a Guru original. It also carries with it a way of disappearing and reappearing in a particular music shop in Chennai.
When this veena disappears from Neela's possession in a church of all places, Neela's curiosity is aroused - specially when she eavesdrops and hears snippets of her parents conversation as well as bits of information from strangely, unconnected sources. The appearance of dragons in different forms - from drawings, to the dragon on the veena, to a dragon kettle, to dragon embroidery convinces Neela that there is a conspiracy afoot and that there is much more to this disappearing veena than meets the eye.
Moving from Arlington, Boston to Chennai the story is a novel story - a story of trust and Neela's perseverance to the end to solve the puzzle of her missing veena.
Very suitable for young readers - eight years and upwards will enjoy the read. I did myself!