Reviewed by Liz Konkel for Readers' Favorite
Padma and the Elephant Sutra by W.L. Snowden is a journey through history as elephants search for a better future, in an adventure filled with myth, history, and hope. When Padma is discovered in the water, the elephants find her strange as she has no stories of her name, and what she does recall are pieces of an ancient past. When Padma meets a human named George with a dark past, she opens up his eyes to a world he never imagined, the world of elephants. Together, they're determined to fulfill an ancient covenant, but obstacles in their past may prove more than they bargained for.
W.L. Snowden's writing is honest, so connected to the characters that the pain and hope the elephants go through is truly felt. The mythology throughout is perfectly fitted to the world, most of which is seen through the eyes of elephants. The connection between Padma and George is sincere, as Padma opens up his eyes to another reality, which includes the cruelty inflicted upon the elephants. There are moments of heartbreak as human nature is constantly shown regarding the elephants as something to be hunted or used. Though, it's often told of how this is due to humans not knowing or understanding.
The elephants are full of life and wisdom with a beautiful outlook on life. They're entirely personified, but the emotions and personalities don't stray from what you'd think of as an elephant's thoughts. One of the characters that stands out the most is Abu, a sweet and innocent young elephant that has the view point of a child and never fails to make me smile. Elegant and beautiful, with lovely descriptions, and vast in history, Padma and the Elephant Sutra is a unique read that's hard to put down. Definitely a must-read!