Sri’s latest Puteri Naga Tiberius is the second Malay language fantasy novel I have read. Her previous offering of Odisi Tanah Kencana was my first.
I was sucked into the story from the first pages of Puteri Naga Tiberius, it reminded me of my first encounter with the fantasy / sci-fi genre when Aniza lent me her copy of Raymond E. Feist’s Magician back in form 5.
Sri’s world had structure, its own language and lores. I liked how she blended western and local elements to include the orang bunian and dragons in the same magical world. Familiar traits of different beings such as the orang bunian brought to mind the elves in Magician as well as Tolkien’s fair elven folk.
Puteri Naga Tiberius is different from Odisi Tanah Kencana in the sense that the latter had a very Nusantara feel to it, and also because of the target audience being the YA segment. But both had the elements of adventure, family and comradeship weaved into the respective tales. And magic, of course.
My only complain about PNT would be that it was only 400 pages long! Haha. Indeed, the story could be longer in certain parts, such as the battle where the Crown Prince Basilius managed to emerge triumphant or the confrontation in the tombs of Kings or a slightly longer storyline for the Queen Elemina and Basilius’ uncle Angas.
However, I am hoping the publisher would decide to let Sri write the sequel (or four!) for her fans to reconnect with the world she had created and learn what had become of Sula and Basilius after their final encounter in PNT.