The Phoenix of Persia: A Book Review


April 5, 2015

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The following book review was recently published in the FEZANA Journal. The FEZANA Journal is the leading publication of FEZANA and over the last two decades and more has become the leading publication in the Zoroastrian diaspora. Currently headed by dear friend and Chief Editor Dr. Dolly Dastoor it is a labour of love printed four times a year. We would urge all our readers to subscribe to the FEZANA Journal

The review was forwarded to us by regular reader Kersi Shroff and printed with permission from Dolly Dastoor.


Zara Green (age 12 years; granddaughter of Zoroastrian Association of Metropolitan Washington’s Founding-President, Mr. Adi Davar) published the following frank book review of Jhangir Kerawala’s ‘The Phoenix of Persia,’ in the FEZANA JOURNAL, Fall 2014, Vol. 28, No 3.  

The Phoenix of Persia


Author: Jhangir Kerawala

Published by Unicorn Books 2014 pp 239 Indian Rs 295

ISBN 978-81-7806-347-8

BOOK REVIEW by Zara Green, Falls Church, Virginia, USA

The Phoenix of Persia is a good book about Zoroastrian history. It is about a young boy named Jamshid and how he, and a group of Zoroastrians, find a way to practice Zoroastrianism freely and safely, because the Arabs and the Islamists did not allow it after they conquered the Persian Empire. Jamshid and the group of Zoroastrians travel for a long time, trying to escape the Arabs so they can practice their religion. During this time, Jamshid matures from a young boy to an adult, and learns more about what it means to be a Zoroastrian.

There are some things I liked about this book, and some that I did not. I liked how the author described Zoroastrian history. Instead of just writing about what happened to these Zoroastrians, he wrote about what happened to them through a person, so I could understand what it must have felt like to be in their place. Another thing that I liked was that it described things uniquely and in detail, so I could visualize clearly in my mind what was happening and why.

The things I didn’t like about this book were probably because this book is meant for adults, and I am only 12. I disliked that the print was small, because it made it difficult to read. There were also many words I did not know the meaning of.

The beginning of the book was a little slow for me. But once I got into it, the plot was very gripping; I kept wondering what would happen next. I also think that I was a little young to read it. I would recommend this book to anyone interested in Zoroastrian history, from the age 14 and up. I think that in a few years I would like to read this book again, and I am sure that I will enjoy it even more than I did this time. ”

FEZANA JOURNAL’S EDITORIAL NOTE: Mr. Kerawala’s is probably the first novel set in any period of Zoroastrian history. Despite taking a “novelist’s licence” relating to the time period of events and the intensity of persecution inflicted on Zoroastrians after the Arab conquest of Iran, as noted in its Foreword, the book will give a feel to our young and old of our history in that period that led to the exodus to India. It certainly has, to a 12 year old Zarathusti in Falls Church, Virginia, USA, whose review of that book is published above.

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