Penulis/Author: Philip Pullman (1995)
Ilustrasi/Illustrator: Peter Bailey (2004)
Penerbit/Publisher: Corgi Yearling
Cetakan/Edition: Reissued 14th, 2004
The first thing that strucked me from the book is the idea. It’s just unusual and very imaginative! Who would have written about a fireworks-maker and his daughter? Pullman said he was inspired by the the funky names of fireworks, hence the sweet reading. Indeed, the names used for fireworks inside the book are very funny! This book is a winner of Gold Smarties Prize Award in 1995.
Lila set herself off to Mount Merapi in order to get the Royal Sulphur, the requirement to be a firemaker. Since young, she had helped her father to make fireworks, she even created some new ones. But until she has the Royal Sulphur, she cannot call herself a “Firework-Maker”.
Lila’s father, Lalchand, didn’t deliberately tell her what is the requirement to be a firemaker. He actually planned to keep it a secret. Without realising it, he gave away the secret to Lila’s friend, Chulak, who then told Lila about it. The thing is, Lalchand didn’t tell everything in detail, thus Lila may now be in danger.
Climbing herself to Mount Merapi, Lila ignores the burn hands and feet. She is very determined to meet Razvani, the Fire-Fiend, to ask him the Royal Sulphur. She almost kills herself because she doesn’t have the magic water from the Goddess of the Emerald Lake. She also doesn’t know she has to bring the Three Gifts when meeting Razvani. Her journey climbing Mount Merapi is almost wasted. But Chulak and Hamlet, the white elephant, do their best to find and help Lila. They went to the Emerald Lake to get the magic water and then bring it to Lila in time. She still doesn’t have the Three Things to be given to Razvani but she finally passed the walking-in-the-fire test.
While Chulak and Hamlet chase Lila, Lalchand is seized by the King’s soldiers for helping Chulak to steal Hamlet. The King orders a death penalty. With Hamlet’s plea, Lalchand and Lila are given time to prepare themselves for a grand contest against the very bests. If they win, they are free. If they lose, Lalchand is dead.
I realised that Pullman always include things from Indonesia on his two novels that I read. Although I cannot decide what suppose to be the location for this novel, but Pullman uses Mount Merapi as Lila’s destination. He also uses batik, Java and sarong inside the novel. Previously on “The Scarecrow & His Servant” he used Borneo and Orang utan :). These are small things but somehow it matters to me and it increases my appreciation for Pullman, adding into my respect for his imaginative minds. Click here to read the excerpt. And oh, about the Three Gifts, the whole book actually represents them in longer descriptions ;).