Read The Servant Boy: A Rags to Riches Novel by Reesha Goral Online


The Servant Boy highlights the adventures of Zayne Shah, a young man who lives through the most horrific disaster his village, Saidpur, has ever seen. An epidemic has unknowingly raged through Saidpur and is taking the lives of umpteen folk before his eyes. Zayne is determined to find a cure to the mystery, at whatever the cost may be, even if that cost is a price he cannoThe Servant Boy highlights the adventures of Zayne Shah, a young man who lives through the most horrific disaster his village, Saidpur, has ever seen. An epidemic has unknowingly raged through Saidpur and is taking the lives of umpteen folk before his eyes. Zayne is determined to find a cure to the mystery, at whatever the cost may be, even if that cost is a price he cannot presently afford.Zayne goes through a series of ups and downs as he takes you with him, embracing life through vivid details, all of which include paradoxes that anyone from any walk of life can relate to: life and death, happiness and grief, love and envy, friendship and animosity.Although The Servant Boy is a multicultural novel, and will appeal to those that will enjoy learning about the colorful and vibrant culture of Pakistan, it will also enchant those who enjoy mystery, fantasy, adventure, friendship, and romance. There is something in the novel for everyone....

Title : The Servant Boy: A Rags to Riches Novel
Author :
Rating :
ISBN : 9781633933446
Format Type : ebook
Number of Pages : 300 Pages
Status : Available For Download
Last checked : 21 Minutes ago!

The Servant Boy: A Rags to Riches Novel Reviews

  • Brooklyn Tayla
    2019-06-01 11:59

    I received a e - arc of this book in exchange for an honest review. This was such a raw and unique story, it was unlike any fiction that I'd read before.Powerful, mesmerising, a roller coaster of emotions, this book is truly a story of rags to riches, and the character development was insanely profound. It was so unique too, in the sense that the book was set in Pakistan, and the characters first language wasn't English. It definitely gave me an insight into culture there, and I definitely think everyone needs to read this!

  • Sheetal Maurya Godse (Halo of Books)
    2019-06-03 11:46

    Edit: Author Interview Interview of Reesha Goral, The author of 'The Servant Boy'You may read this book review on my blog The Servant Boy by Reesha Goral - Book ReviewThere are many who are living a miserable life, some accept it as a will of god or some fights with it until they achieve everything. The story of this book is something like this but has a phenomenal twist. I would like to thank the author as she has given me a chance to read her debut book.Plot Summary:Set in the colorful and beautiful Saidpur, Pakistan; the protagonist of the book is Zayne Shah. He lives with her mother in a shanty in the premises of their Peerzada.Peerzada are the affluent family who has helped the mother of Zayne in the past when she was thrown out of her house. Zayne and his mother are the Mullazim (Servant) of Peerzada.Zayne is the man who has an ability to learn anything quickly. He has to do everything on the order of Peerzadas. He hates to be a Mullazim and wanted to earn a respect and name in society. He has only longing in his heart is to earn a love of Asiya, daughter of Peerzada but their status in the society always brings him back to the reality.Between all these things, Saidpur is suffering from a fatal epidemic which is taking many innocent lives.On the other side, Zayne is proposed with an ownership right in the company of Gapoori, a friend of Asiya. Zayne is now earning everything which he desired but the cure of mysterious epidemic is still not found.Read this book to know the inspiring and amazing journey of Zayne from rags to riches? Will he ever find the love Asiya? And what is the cure for epidemic?My perception:What a brilliant book this was! Yes, this was the exact word I said after finishing this book. I have never read any book which has such a nice story and character development. Sometimes I felt that Zayne himself has written this book, Kudos to the author that she has perfectly voiced the character of Zayne. This book contains stories of a helpless mother, a son, a struggle, a lover, an achiever and finally a human. The epidemic twist was really amazing and it literally gave me a sleepless night. This book really deserves more appreciation and being a debut author, Reesha has done an incredible job. Backing the words of a fellow reviewer, I would love to see this book in a movie adaption. I would love to read more from the author. A must read book!

  • Reesha Goral
    2019-05-20 08:08

    Hey everyone! I just wanted to say thank you for reading and reviewing! I try to read all of your reviews, and will continue to respond to the ones that stick out to me. Secondly, I received an influx of emails this weekend through my webpage,, asking me when The Servant Boy will be available for purchase. Its actually already available for purchase (pub date 12/2016) nearly everywhere: Amazon, Barnes & Noble, iBooks, Kobo, E-bay, etc . If you have any further questions, please feel free to visit my webpage where your thoughts/questions will be properly directed. Happy reading! Sending you an infinite amount of love & light!

  • Emily Munn
    2019-06-01 13:38

    I was given a free copy of this book in exchange for my honest review. That being said, I absolutely adore this book. My normal genre is YA Fiction - Fantasy/SciFi, Magic, Fairytale Retelling.... So this book isn't my Normal Read. It does have some Fantasy, but also Love, Joy, Loss, Fear, and Happiness! This book was simply written and easily understandable. I think my favorite thing about this book is the Language. The narrator, Zayne Shah, speaks Urdu and English. The author makes it so you actually get to learn some words in a different language! Zayne is a Mulazim (servant) for the rich family, The Peerzadas, who took in his mother when she was pregnant with him, and kicked out of her home by her rich husband. She lost everything and was given a home and a job by the Peerzadas. They live in a shack, and have very little. Zayne is in love with Asiya, the Peerzadas beautiful daughter. When they were children, Asiya would talk about how she wanted to marry Zayne, but as they got older, he fell more in love, and she grew farther away. Zayne got his heart broken when he finds out that Asiya is to marry a rich man, Faisal, who we come to find out, is not a good man. Zayne has always known that he deserves more than a servant's life, and is extremely good at building things. He builds his mother a chair, and soon is asked to build a set of chairs for the Peerzadas. Gapoori, one of Asiya's best friends, shows the chairs to her rich father, and they soon ask Zayne to be partners in a business, Shah Customized. Zayne agrees, and soon becomes extremely successful! It doesn't take long for Zayne to become rich, and he is able to build his mother a custom home! He also invites his best friend, Assad, to be his Vice President! One thing I love about Zayne, is that he never forgets where he comes from. They keep their shack and often visit it. He also knew that he was worth more than just a servant, and to me, that shows inner strength and hope for more. We should all be so lucky to have that inside our hearts! And the fact that he brought his loved ones into the business with him is wonderful. He knew that he didn't want to keep his success and money all to himself. Sharing wealth is a very good form of love.There is also an epidemic in the town where he lives, Saidpur, Pakistan. People of all ages are dying randomly, with no clue how! This is extremely scary because anyone can die at any time. Zayne feels that the police are doing nothing, so he decides to investigate the epidemic himself. Spoiler Alerts Starting Here!Asiya soon married Faisal and we learn that she is very unhappy with him. The author is extremely good at helping us feel exactly what Zayne is feeling in many situations, like how broken hearted he is during this time. Asiya comes home at one point, and we learn that Faisal has a secret daughter named Anna, who is deathly afraid of him, and the only reason Asiya is staying with Faisal is to protect Anna. A horrible thing happens soon after Asiya goes back to Faisal... She gets killed by the epidemic. After this happens, Anna is adopted by Asiya's mother, who treats her very poorly. Gapoori, we find out, is in love with Zayne, and one day asks him if they could start dating. We see in the book how much she takes care of Zayne. She is always making sure that he is healthy and she, from the beginning, has always seen his strengths. She helped him to become everything he could be, and without her, he might still be just a servant boy. So, he at first, surprises us, the reader, by telling her no, they cannot date. They must be married at once! What! He realizes that she is the perfect wife for him! They are soon married and he is so happy with her! And even more, they end up adopting Anna, because she is so mistreated! Soon after, Gapoori becomes pregnant, and they have a wonderful family. During one day while Zayne is going to eat, he meets a homeless man, who is begging for food. Zayne takes him to lunch, and finds out that this man is his father! There's a message of Karma here, because the man tells Zayne how he was proud and selfish, and because of that, he lost his wife and son and everything else. He says, we were going to name our son Zayne... its a very touching chapter.I'm not going to tell the end of the story. I will say, that this is where to best of the Fantasy comes in. I love old Grandmother Tales, and this is a good one! In this book, we get to experience a different culture, where people treat their friends like their family. We get to imagine the different foods, and the beauty in the clothing and the land. We learn that there are the same kinds of politics between Rich and Poor. We learn that poor servants can become Rich, if they keep faith in their hearts. We learn that people all over the world feel the same emotions that we do - Love, Hate, Sadness, Joy, Excitement, Fear, anguish, and Hope!Thank you, Reesha, for opening my eyes to a different culture. Thank you for always responding to my messages, and above all, for becoming my friend! I've been recommending this book to many people, and I hope everyone who comes across this book will give it a chance!

  • bea
    2019-06-01 06:08

    I thought that this book was very good. The story introduces both characters that I have come to hate and come to love. One thing that I love about the main character, Zayne is that he's definitely not perfect. He makes many mistakes throughout the course of the book. Too many times in books, main characters are depicted as 100% perfect human, but that doesn't occur in "The Servant Boy". This is definitely one of my favorite parts. Totally recommend this book!

  • Cassandra
    2019-05-25 09:59

    Non spoiler section------------------I have to say this book brought me so much joy. I was surprised by how invested I got with each character, especially Zayne. His outlook on life and his selflessness and kindness really made me connect with everything he experienced throughout this novel. I feel this was a male cinderella themed novel, but that doesn't do it justice. It was the perfect combination of fiction, rags to riches and fantasy and I have to say this will be one of my favourite books. Thank you so much Reesha for creating such beautiful characters who spoke so eloquently and beautifully. It was truly mesmerising.Spoiler section-----------------I really want to say thank you for choosing me to read this spectacular novel. It had me in complete awe the entire time and I was shocked and amused and smiling at different parts that made he reading experience so much better. I loved Zayne and I loved how his life turned out and how he recieved all the joy he deserved. I'm greatful for the character of Gapoori and how she set an example of how a person should love another for who they are and not what they are. I was attatched to Aiysa and always will be but her end was beautiful met in a strange way and for them to take in her stepdaughter was a beautiful touch. Thank you again.

  • Simant ♥ Flipping Through the Pages
    2019-05-17 13:06

    As a debut novel, Reesha Goral has done a great job. This is a very good read and a quick one. The story is entertaining and intriguing and leaves the reader with more questions and expectations as each chapter ends. Though it took sometime for me to get a grip on the story, but once I was in, I just wanted to keep reading it.**The Servant Boy: A Rags to Riches Novel is a story about Zayne, a mulazim(servant). It depicts his journey of becoming rich from poor. Zayne has faced tough situations during his childhood and adult life. And in the meantime, his city has been facing an epidemic which is also affecting his life and Saidpur's.Between his personal life and the epidemic his found a best friend and who changes his life. His friend believes in him and recognizes his talent and because of his hard work and the friend, Zayne becomes rich. His life changes. But still he was not happy as people around him were dying due to the epidemic. Along with his friends he tries to find the solution and he succeeded and thus make Saidpur free from this unknown epidemic.**This book was heavy on emotions and it depicts the relationship of Zayne with various persons very simply during his phases of poorness and richness. You can imagine yourself there. The Pakistani cultural element was also very good. Though I am Indian so I easily related with each local word written, but for other people also, who are interested in multi-cultural knowledge, this is a great read to learn it.I main thing that I liked about this is that its a fast read. There was not even a single part which was stretched. For eg., Even if Zayne is thinking something, that was also just up to the mark. Nothing was exaggerated.I enjoyed it very much as the story was fresh. But why I gave it a star less is because, I didn't liked the fantasy element in the end, it ended too quickly. I felt that the reason should have been something different for the ending. As it was a simple mutli-cultural story from the beginning, it should have remained so in the end also. I thought that this fantasy element was not needed, hence the rating.Overall, it is a great read, and I would recommend it to everyone who is interested in reading about some different culture. And definitely I am waiting for some work from Reesha Goral soon.

  • Ashley
    2019-05-18 12:53

    What I loved about The Servant Boy was that the author used so many different themes: Myth, Mystery, Fantasy, Business, Friendship, Romance, Culture, AND EVEN science. I am a science major so this matters. Land reclamation and specular reflection! I am pretty sure that the people who did not give this book 5 stars did not understand either of those words. SCIENCE RULES! I think the book would have been better if she made it a series. I hope she makes her new book a series. Amazing writers need to have more than one book per story

  • Janella
    2019-06-10 11:51

    I totally love this book! I didn't expect much on this book it was one of the best reads I had for this month alone.My full review is in my blog, read here...

  • Anniek
    2019-06-07 10:53

    This book really wasn't for me... I was hoping it would be a refreshing read and I hadn't read a book like this in quite some time, but now I know why. It's just not my genre. It felt overly dramatic to me, and the whole poor boy becomes a rich man seemed mainly a bit cliché and unrealistic.

  • Bryan Gibbs
    2019-05-30 11:42

    The best book I've ever read!I didn't know what to expect, but I saw my social media friends posting about it everywhere on instagram/facebook/twitter. The cover looked pretty catchy too so I purchased a copy on Amazon. The novelist added so many different levels in one book and you don't even realize it until you are finished: Multiculturalism, fantasy, myth, business, love, lust, mystery. It is so insane and so beautiful how she was able to blend all of these factors so well. And the best part is every chapter is entertaining. I'm giving this book a 5 because I rate books on:Writing skills. This novelists writing style can be compared to some of my favorite novelists, like F. ScottFitzgerald. Her grammar and flow of words is out of this world. On character development. This books character development was so profound I could feel like I was there in the book. Story development. The story was surreal and everything blended great. It kept me guessing till the very end. And also I felt like I was in Pakistan ( never been but want to go now). And emotional attachment. Please don't judge me. But I cried ( I know I'm a man) in more than one chapter. I ordered five more books to give to my buds. I guarantee you will too after you read it.

  • Wordy Nerd
    2019-06-03 11:53

    What can I say that hasn't already been said in another review?! This book follows Zayne, our main character, on his journey to figuring out love, life, family, riches, socioeconomic status, etc. What I loved about this book: I LOVED the fact that this book immersed the reader in the Pakistani culture. I felt the culture surrounding Zayne's community was so vibrant and interesting. I found myself looking up several of the words and I just loved that. I not only got to follow Zayne on his journey, but I feel like I got to learn more about a culture I didn't know much about. Why I gave it 4 stars: I really liked reading this story from Zayne's point of view and seeing the relationships (his relationship with Gapoori) that he develops through his journey. I gave it 4 stars only because the fantasy element felt really rushed towards the end of the story. Now, I was warned before I received the digital ARC that it wasn't heavy on the fantasy so I knew that going in. Overall, I highly recommend this novel and can't wait to see what others have to say!

  • Ioana Maria
    2019-05-23 07:05

    First, I would like to thank the author very much for giving me this book to read and review.The Servant Boy is such a unique story. It's real and raw and you can feel it to your bones. The story is about Zayne, a servant, and his ascension from rags to riches. What I loved about him was that even if he achieved his greatest wish, to overcome his poverty and become someone worthy of respect from everyone, he didn't forget where he came from. He was humble, kind and generous. He helped his mother, his friends and even poor strangers. But what i loved most was his relationship with Gapoori, and their transition from friends to lovers. And during all this development, Saidpur, the location where the story happens, is suffering from a fatal epidemic. All the twists and turns were so seamlessly integrated, the whole story flowed.It was the perfect mix of fantasy and fiction. The Pakistani culture was also well immersed in the story; it is such a vibrant and interesting culture and definitely something I would want to read more on.One thing Zayne's mother tells him in the story stood out to me and I think that it perfectly describes Reesha Goral's writing: "She could tell a brilliant story. She painted our imaginations with images we had never seen in reality. And emotions we did not know, we could now feel".The book was interesting from start to finish and I couldn't stop reading it. If you love mystery, fantasy and adventure and if you're interested in other cultures this is a book I whole-heartedly recommend!!

  • Rana
    2019-05-25 06:48

    This book was amazing. I loved all of it and every bit of it. Reesha Goral you are my hero.

  • Putri
    2019-05-25 08:03

    Do you love to read a multicultural novel? Or do you love to read a novel which has various focus? Then you should read The Servant Boy by Reesha Goral.It is a story about a mullazim, a servant boy, who had a great, fascinating life. Transformed from mullazim into a Malik, from a servant become a CEO of his own factory, from a secret admirer, half-hearted lover became reserved and accepting life as it is, and he became an ‘illegal’ detective. The situation entailed to his story is so vibrant and colorful. From the Pakistani’s culture such as famous phrases, traditional clothes and foods, cultural ceremony and etc. Islamic culture, Social norms, also emerge in the story and enormously enrich the story. Full review is here: https://ardentbibliophile.wordpress.c...

  • ༺Uma༻♥Books.Bags.Burgers.♥
    2019-06-03 08:52

    (I received a free eBook from the author in exchange for an honest review.)CHARACTERS Zayne Shah is the servant boy who along with his mother works for the Peerzadas; an affluent family in Saidpur, Pakistan. His character is well written and relatable at most part but I can't say he was a character I loved. I disagreed with him at many points, especially his obsessiveness with Asiya which was basically stalking. He doesn't mean any harm but his stalking her at all times didn't sit well with me.I have mixed feelings about Asiya too. At some points she seemed like a well put together mature person and at other points I wasn't a huge fan of her thoughts or actions.My favourite character in the book was Gapoori. She adds so much liveliness to the story with her personality! I loved every scene with her and found her to be extremely relatable and wonderfully written. She's kind, bossy, sweet and level-headed and once can't help but smile every time she is mentioned. PLOT I really enjoyed Zayne's rags to riches story and the small mysteries that keep happening around him. The fantasy part of the story absolutely had me hooked but I wasn't completely happy with the ending. I had so many questions and wanted to know more.I enjoyed how the story moved at a relaxed pace but never bored me once. The story is more than a rags and riches novel. Set in the wonderfully colorful Saidpur, the story is about human character, love and friendship. They may not be a part of the bigger plot but they are what give the story it's cozy feel. I enjoyed reading about the culture of Pakistan, with the gorgeous weddings and colourful kite festivals! WRITING I absolutely enjoyed reading the author's description of life in Saidpur; the weddings, festivals, fairs and what not. The writing was even paced and the imagery was wonderful. WHAT I LIKED ABOUT THE BOOK - The Diversity- Most of the plot- The Writing- Gapoori WHAT I DIDN'T LIKE ABOUT THE BOOK - How the fantasy plot line ended- Certain actions/thoughts of some characters CONCLUSION The Servant Boy while being a rags to riches novel is also a wonderfully diverse and well written book about friendship, love, family and loss.

  • Zane
    2019-06-06 07:57

    I was referred to read this book by someone who knows the author and I can honestly say I wasn’t able to put the book down since I first downloaded it. This book is now one of my favorite’s, as is the ridiculously talented author.

  • Rose
    2019-05-31 08:43

    Initial thoughts: Wow! I didn't like all of it, but I liked a fair bit and the story is awesome.————————————~I received a copy from the author and willingly reviewed it~Zayne Shah is a Mullazim, a lowly servant to a rich family. He works for a girl named Asiya and her relatives, however Asiya is the only girl Zayne has ever loved. But they are no longer children, and one day Asiya marries another man. If this wasn't bad enough, their village suddenly encounters a mysterious disease which kills many young women. This enigma calls to Zayne, and he will stop at nothing to solve the mystery.This book certainly isn't what I expected, though that isn't necessarily a bad thing. At first, I thought the love story would go one way, yet it went so differently. Assuming this is simply a tale of servants becoming lords was definitely wrong on my part too, for The Servant Boy is much more than that; it is mystery, romance and success.Intrigue and mystery slowly creep into the book, so quiet it takes you a moment to shout in surprise as they yell "boo!" in unison. It's yet another thing I didn't know I'd be in for; a solid mystery story much like the ones featured in the thrillers I so love to read.There are only a few characters we get to know well, but even those we know in passing have developed identities within the constraints of a second viewpoint. Those who mean more harm than good aren't painted as villains, but rather complications in the pathway of good.Reesha Goral brings you a lovely tale set in Saidpur, Pakistan. This book taught me a lot about their culture and though I think a glossary could've been used rather than brackets the rich vibe of a different culture lives its lively life in The Servant Boy.

  • Sean
    2019-05-22 07:08

    Fantastic novel! I have to say I haven't read a novel like this in a very long time. I read a lot, almost every day and it takes a lot to impress me. This novel took me in for a surprise, especially because Goral is a debut author but her novel sounds anything BUT a debut.The plot is extremely interesting. Usually books get boring very fast, it seems like authors don't have enough material to write so they start blabbering non sense. This is not at all the case with this novel, every page was interesting and it was hard for me to put it down. If I didn't have a commitment to my job I would have finished it in one day. I am already looking forward to the next novel this author writes.I also dearly hope this book becomes a movie. I would be the first one in line.

  • Shirley Bajpai
    2019-06-08 10:52

    I just finished reading this book. Reesha Goral defiantly has a new perspective and fresh voice. I've never read a book where I fell asleep until I read this one. This was the first non-academic book I read and finished it altogether. If you have not read this book yet and are tired of the old boring stories, I very much recommend you read this one.I hope this author writes more books. I just gave the book to my mother in law, I think she will love it just as much!

  • Ridah Azhar
    2019-05-19 12:41

    This was a fantastic read. It was captivating, fast paced, and enticing. I felt as though Zayne and I were one. The journey that Zayne endeavors hard but worth it in the end. This book is both inspirational and enticing. This book changed my life and it will change yours too, in the best of ways. If there's a book you will read this winter, let it be this one

  • Rachel (never_too_many_books)
    2019-05-24 05:39

    Actual rating: 2.5 starsGoodreads synopsis is as follows:"The Servant Boy highlights the adventures of Zayne Shah, a young man who lives through the most horrific disaster his village, Saidpur, has ever seen. An epidemic has unknowingly raged through Saidpur and is taking the lives of umpteen folk before his eyes. Zayne is determined to find a cure to the mystery, at whatever the cost may be, even if that cost is a price he cannot presently afford.Zayne goes through a series of ups and downs as he takes you with him, embracing life through vivid details, all of which include paradoxes that anyone from any walk of life can relate to: life and death, happiness and grief, love and envy, friendship and animosity.Although The Servant Boy is a multicultural novel, and will appeal to those that will enjoy learning about the colorful and vibrant culture of Pakistan, it will also enchant those who enjoy mystery, fantasy, adventure, friendship, and romance. There is something in the novel for everyone."* * *I'm finding it difficult to rate this book... I really wanted to like it, but honestly it wasn't my cup of tea. However, I've done my best to be as objective as possible with my usual "pros vs. cons" lists. I hope you find this helpful in determining whether this book is for you!Pros:It was quite interesting learning about the culture of Pakistan. That was probably the most enjoyable part of this book for me and I do wish there had been more of it! The Pakistani lifestyle is so different from our American lifestyle and I have always enjoyed learning about cultures that different from my own.This book also gives insight into the uncomfortable balance of rich vs. poor in Pakistan. Obviously there is poverty everywhere, but I think that sometimes it take reading about another country's poverty to fully recognize its existence in your own. It's always important to remember that there are those less fortunate than yourself and act accordingly. Their lot could be yours in the blink of an eye! We are all human beings and deserve to be treated as such, regardless of financial status.I appreciate how Reesha Goral's writing style reflects typical Pakistani English. It isn't always grammatically correct (per the author's choice), but that only adds spice and color to the tale. The choice of writing style undoubtedly helped me to get into the story and visualize the setting.The main character underwent quite a lot of character growth throughout this book. At the beginning of the story, Zayne seems shallow and almost petty (sorry, Zayne!); but by the end of the story, he's become strong, independent, and an admirable character.(SPOILERISH!!!!!) I especially love Zayne's excellent (and amusing) relationship with Gapoori. As they became closer throughout the book, I began "shipping" them in my head by default. ;) Couldn't help it! They make a cute couple. <3 Really though, they are an excellent example of a healthy, budding relationship by the end of the book. It was very enjoyable reading about the growth of their friendship. :)Cons:I won't deny that Zayne drove me CRAZY through the first half of the book. Really, Zayne? You built freaking SPYING LOCATIONS into your crush's house? Pervert... And it really bothers me that he didn't even find this creepy. Yes, he made a point to never spy on Asiya's room when she was alone (blah, blah, blah), but that only makes his creepiness a bit more dignified. Ugh. So glad his character developed throughout the book!No glossary! Reesha Goral introduces us to so many Pakistani words, but they're only translated once (the first time they are introduced). There is absolutely no way to find the meaning again without going back through the entire book searching for the definition. As much as I love learning words in foreign languages, I found this to be quite frustrating.Possibly even more annoying is that the use of Pakistani words seems extremely random. For instance, there's this one sentence where it says that Zayne was "soaking wet." However, it was written as "Zaye was soaking [Pakistani word for 'wet']." It feels unnatural when the words are that random. However, I did like it when Goral used whole phrases in Pakistani and then translated them. That felt authentic.Another slightly annoying thing is that this book alternates between using very simple English and using words that not even a college graduate is guaranteed to know. I pride myself on having a good vocabulary, but there were words in here I actually had to look up. Maybe your typical Pakistani working class man would know those words, but if he does, then I applaud him! Because those were some ridiculously obscure words... (Again, if this large-word-usage was deliberate, then I don't have a problem with it! But it felt unnatural.)As I mentioned in the "pros" list, I very much enjoyed learning a bit about the Pakistani culture. However there was a lot of "food" and not much else. (Like, "Hi there, I'll list a ton of Pakistani names for various foods but then give you the most boring translation possible.") Some well-worded descriptions would have gone a long way!! Tell me about the plants of Zayne's city, the foliage, the people he passes on the street. Describe Zayne's going to prayers in better detail--his thoughts, feelings, emotions. Give me more than the bare bones of Zayne's day. I want to know him, what his life is truly like (not just his Asiya-obsession), and how he goes through his days. Tell me about his neighborhood, his childhood, his (non-Asiya) aspirations. Give me more to go on through Zayne's eyes. Despite all Zayne's character growth, I still don't feel like I know him.The main reason I docked so many stars from my rating is that the plot line is strange, confusing, and convoluted. It's like the author was trying to focus on too many topics in too short a time period. We have Zayne-the-stalker, Zayne-the-servant, Zayne-the-businessman, Zayne-the-(spineless)-friend, Zayne-the-romantic, etc. (to put it fairly brutally...). This story has a lot of potential, but it needs fleshing out. There are too many changes without enough "life." In my opinion, everything moves too quickly without enough explanation.I also found the ending to be a bit disappointing. Although I do appreciate where Zayne's story ended (or rather, continued... :) ), the whole idea behind the "plague" was weird and random. This book was so down to earth (and therefore believable!) until they reveal what the cause of the plague is. Doing my best to avoid spoilers here, but try thinking Little Mermaid gone rogue... :( Sooooo yeah, rather disappointing. * * *Long story short, this book wasn't really for me. It has a lot of potential, but it falls short. However, you may enjoy this book! It has pretty good star ratings on Goodreads (4.3 stars), and that makes me wonder if I somehow missed something critical. So if you read this book, let's discuss it! I was to know what you think of it. :)Content (10= extremely high focus; 0=non existent):Adventure content: 3Creepiness content: 1Grief content: 2Language content: 0Religion content: 4Romance content: 3Sexual content: 1Violence content: 3

  • Victoria
    2019-06-10 11:55

    "The Servant Boy" by Reesha Goralfollows Zayne Shah a hardworking mullazim (servant boy) who happens to be madly in love with his beautiful neighbor Asiya. Meanwhile his city is in the midst of a horrible epidemic. As the unexpected deaths continue, Zayne is determined to find out what is causing them. Zayne has to adjust to life as he rises to riches when his hobby of making chairs gets noticed. This results in him becoming an owner of a very wealthy furniture company. I admired that Zayne stayed humble throughout all this and did not let pride get the best of him as we learn his father once did. A element I enjoyed from this book was that it was multicultural! It takes place in the city of Saidpur in Pakistan. This created a very rich environment unique to the story. Woven throughout the novel were words from their language, with I learnt is Urdu. This was a very smart touch to the story. Though I think it would have been smarter if the author had included a glossary at the back of the book as it was not always easy to recall what some of the words meant. I think the author wrote well, especially with English as a second language. There were not phrases I found to be strange or out of place. Instead the writing was eloquent and mostly simple to understand. However, I did notice that there was the occasional tough English vocabulary word that I had never heard of.I enjoyed reading about Zayne's relationships with his mother, his best friend Assad and Gapoori, though his obsession with Asiya at times was borderline creepy.I felt that the weakest part of this book of this book was probably the plot. It was alright at first but then began to feel a bit repetitive: he works, he sneaks in Asiya's room to read her diary, he looks through the dead people's phones for clues... Even when the exciting events took place, they felt abrupt and a little rushed. It was also frustrating when the characters did not take thorough precautions while visiting the well that they knew was potentially dangerous. Instead they took unnecessary risks and brought along another character, who later dies because of it. The plot took confusing turns and was seemingly random at times, especially at the end. This was overall a fine book though I felt the plot was lacking, I enjoyed the message the author was trying to deliver through Zayne's story. Personally, I thought the best part of the novel was its multiculturalism though there is potential that other readers would like it for more. Thank you to the author for sharing a copy of this book with me in exchange for an honest review!

  • Melissa Haber
    2019-05-24 08:52

    Every so often a book comes along that picks you up and whisks you away to another world, the writing flows freely, allowing you to effortlessly float through the story as if you were watching a movie instead of reading a book.The Servant Boy by Reesha Goral is one of those books.It follows the story of Zayne Shah, a servant to the wealthy Peerzada family in Saidpur Pakistan, as he raises himself out of poverty.The first chapter opens with a list of names being read aloud which is revealed to be the names of recently deceased members of the village, where residents are falling victim to an unidentified epidemic almost daily in alarming quantities.Zayne desperately wants to uncover the mystery behind these deaths, fearing someone he knows will be next, but finds his duties to the Peerzada family occupying most of his spare time.His infatuation with the Peerzada's daughter Aisya makes his work less dull and is a source of both pleasure and pain for Zayne. Pleasure at being able to serve her family and be close to her, and pain knowing that he can never be with her as her heart belongs to another.Life as Zayne knows it will be turned on its head as his circumstances change, and what follows is a beautifully written almost fairytale like rags to riches story with a bit of mystery thrown in, making for a captivating story that is difficult to put down.The reading out the names of the dead at the beginning put me off for a moment as I thought the book was going to be morbid, but the reality is that assumption could not be further from the truth!As I mentioned, the story has a fairytale like quality to it and the descriptions of the Pakistani village and market were charming. I could almost smell the samosas and taste the spicy chai, feel the humidity in the summer air and hear the sounds of celebrations and laughs of the village children. I even learnt a few words in Urdu!It was a pleasure to see Zayne develop and share in his joys as well as his struggles, and the fact that he came from modest beginnings ensured he remained humble even in his success.I could in no way have predicted the ending, I love that it was so far away from what I was expecting and how things tied in nicely with the villages history.The Servant Boy is a beautifully descriptive book with a captivating mystery with an all round sense of hope running through the entire narrative that lets us know that no matter how dire your situation is, things can change for the better.

  • Emma (loveofboooks)
    2019-05-18 09:46

    I recieved this book by the author in exchange for an honest review, so here is is. I have several impressions of this book, some are bad and some are good. What first struck me is that i haven't read a book with a setting in Pakistan before, and therefore i was very happy to recieve this book. It's always refreshing to read about something new and different. And reading about the society, it's muslim rules and traditions, was enlightening and interesting. The author also threw in foreign words and then translated them, which was a nice touch. Furthermore this book really focused on Zayne's relationship to his mother, which was fun to see since a lot of books has the family theme and the family love on the back burner. It was also interesting to read about someone who defies social hierarchy.While the language was contemplative and interesting, it also had many flaws. Often i felt like the word choices were odd and just didn't work. And things kept happening without any build up, things just happened out of nowhere which made certain events seem unrealistic and rushed.Even though i thought that the plot about the epidemic would be central, it came into the book very late, it was just mentioned quickly in the beginning. Instead the first half of the book was about the love Zayne had for a girl called Asiya, it was obsessive, creepy, unhealthy and also dragged out for too long. One third of the book described the epidemic, but it was a bit illogical and didn't seem to be very thought through. I would have liked more of the book to focus on the epidemic since it was the most interesting element of this book.

  • Rhi Campbell
    2019-06-15 08:46

    I was lucky enough to receive a free copy of this book from Reesha. The book follows Zayne Shah, a servant boy from the village of Saidpur who lucks in just as the rest of the village seems to luck out. There is an unexplained and mysterious epidemic in full swing, and Zayne is determined to get to the bottom of it. On one hand a mystery story and on the other a tale of prejudices, the confines of social statuses, unrequited love, and new beginnings, The Servant Boy is an original and vibrant story which immerses the reader in an exciting new culture, and takes them on a whirlwind journey from rags to riches through the power of love and the strength of the human spirit.

  • Catherine
    2019-05-28 09:06

    I received a digital ARC of this book in exchange that I review and share it afterwards. What a unique and captivation story. You learn so much about Pakistani and Islamic culture. Readers would admire the main characters and get swept away with all its twist and turns. At first I thought it seemed like a New Adult Contemporary/Romance and I was looking for the Fantasy elements in it, and although there was only bits of fantasy and magic in this story, it was very well put together. I really want my own hard copy. My only critique would be there are some grammatical errors and some words are repeated. Then again this is an ARC and I expect a published hard copy won't have these problems. Loved this book!

  • beautywithbooks
    2019-06-05 12:43

    Find the complete review on my blogbookshelfofabibliophile.comFirst a huge thank you to the author to give me this book to read and review.The story is set in the colorful, vibrant Saidapur, Pakistan and is narrated by the protagonist Zayne Shah. Zayne Shan is a mullazim (servant) staying with her mother at the peerzada's premises. The Peerzada's are the rich family who helped Zayan's mother and took her in, when she was pregnant with Zayan and was left alone by her husband. The main characters in the story are Zayne Shan, Assad (Zayne's friend), Asiya (Zayne's love interest and Peerzada's daughter), Gapoori (Asiya's best friend). The story revolves around the life of Zayne, his growing up, his love and obsession for Asiya, his friendship with Assed, his change from a mullazim to the owner of Shah Customized, Gapoori's role in uplifting his life from a mullazim to well respected man in the society, along with the mystery of so many deaths in the city.Since childhood, Zayne always wanted to be a respected person in the society and not be treated as an servant, as he always was. He secretly loved and cared for Asiya, but their social difference in the status was always a barrier. He could do nothing but simply see and envy the person to whom his love of life is getting married to. But Zayne was good in one thing. He was a quick learner. His this talent helps him to become the owner of furniture showroom Shah Customized with the help of Gapoori. The twists in the plots and the mysterious epidemic keeps the story interesting. The book has mystery and touch of fantasy. Read the book to know the twists in the plot, the mystery of the innocents deaths and the fantasy factor. I am not revealing much, not to give away the spoilers. What i loved about the book is the simple language and generous use of urdu words. Also the story paints the perfect picture of poverty, the helplessness of a mother, the struggle of a lover because of different social status, a true friendship beyond social barriers, the uncertainty in life, and the doubts and confusions in human life. There are so many questions i have after reading this book. I am giving a spoiler alert here. So those who haven't yet read the book can stop reading further.First question, was it really required to bring in Zayne's father in the story as other then Zayne forgiving him and being generous to him, there is nothing much of his role in the story. And when Zayne found out that the begger is his father, why he didn't reveal that he was his son, and why he didn't tell this to his mother and bring his father to home?Second question is about the fantasy factor. The story narrated by Asma, to his son Zayne tells that the area behind the Showroom was an ocean thousands of years ago. Then when now in the story the place is occupied by a well, shows a human intervention. And if humans were involved then obviously the Black mermaid who is trying to get back her beauty would had tried killing humans during the construction of the well. Wouldn't it would had been better to picture the place as some pond or other water body.Third question, how is that if the Black mermaid's tongue touches ones face, its venom will destroy you eventually, then why nothing happened to Assad or Zayne.The book was quite interesting till the end. I could not put it down till the end. the reason i give 4/5 is the abrupt end to the fantasy. I didn't feel it went so well with the whole story. Its and interesting book, do go for it if you love mystery, adventure and fantasy.

  • Raechel Ann
    2019-06-05 14:00

    I received a e - arc of this book in exchange for an honest review."The Servant Boy highlights the adventures of Zayne Shah, a young man who lives through the most horrific disaster his village, Saidpur, has ever seen. An epidemic has unknowingly raged through Saidpur and is taking the lives of umpteen folk before his eyes. Zayne is determined to find a cure to the mystery, at whatever the cost may be, even if that cost is a price he cannot presently afford.Zayne goes through a series of ups and downs as he takes you with him, embracing life through vivid details, all of which include paradoxes that anyone from any walk of life can relate to: life and death, happiness and grief, love and envy, friendship and animosity.Although The Servant Boy is a multicultural novel, and will appeal to those that will enjoy learning about the colorful and vibrant culture of Pakistan, it will also enchant those who enjoy mystery, fantasy, adventure, friendship, and romance. There is something in the novel for everyone."I really enjoyed reading The Servant Boy. I appreciated that there was so much culture and language packed into this novel. It was rich in diversity and experience. The food and customs were so interesting to read. The story itself was easy to get into, it was well paced and kept me interested. I wasn't sure where the magical element would fit in, but was surprised to finish the book and still have it stuck in my mind. I enjoyed the good friendships between the characters as well as the relationship between Zayne and his mother.I liked that there was a history before the romance and not just love at first sight. It was a well written and enjoyable book. Although at times I was confused by the way it was translated, I feel that it only added to my experience of the book. I think it is a lovely book to read, not just for the story but for the cultural experience.

  • Taylor (Bookish Tay)
    2019-06-06 13:04

    I was given The Servant Boy from the author to read as the book becomes more popular and available in the U.S. I really enjoyed this book. I liked Zayne and overall the story was written well and in a way that made me want to keep reading. I didn't want it to end because the book was beautiful. I would say that the end was not what I had expected but I still really enjoyed it. The story was great, Zayne didn't get everything that he thought he wanted, but he got so much more in his life and I loved watching him grow throughout the novel. Everyone should read this book!