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Tamarind & the Star of Ishta

Jasbinder Bilan

Tamarind & the Star of Ishta


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  • Facts & Information - lists, stats and plenty of facts
  • Friends & Family - tears and laughter, and happy ever after
  • Facts & Information - lists, stats and plenty of facts
  • Action Adventures - chills, thrills and plenty of spills

Average rating

5 out 5

37 reviews

  From the author of the Costa Award-winning Asha & the Spirit Bird comes a breathtaking, magical adventure ... WINNER OF THE INDIE CHILDREN'S BOOK AWARD LONGLISTED FOR THE BLUE PETER BOOK AWARD 'I absolutely adored it ... an achingly beautiful story' Sita Brahmachari 'A lush, gorgeous setting in a novel as vivid and original as her Costa-winning debut.' The Guardian 'Beautifully written, richly atmospheric and touchingly spiritual, this brief novel sparkles like a polished gem' Daily Mail Tamarind never knew her Indian mum, who died soon after she was born. So when she arrives at her ancestral home, a huge mansion in the Himalayas surrounded by luxuriant gardens, she's full of questions for her extended family. But instead of answers, she finds an ominous silence – and a trickle of intriguing clues: an abandoned hut, a friendly monkey, a glowing star ring, and a strange girl in the garden who calls herself Ishta. Slowly, Tamarind unravels a mystery at the heart of who she is ... The second novel by Jasbinder Bilan, author of the Costa Award-winning Asha & the Spirit Bird and a rising star in middle-grade fiction. Perfect for readers aged 9 and up – for fans of Kiran Millwood Hargrave.  A beautiful and emotional family drama lightly woven with magic, in a breathtaking Indian setting.



it was a very moving and powerful book age 9+

Esquire Quincy Palm-tree 18.12.2023


I thought that this book was a bit mysterious and dangerous at the end. I liked Tamarind best because she is Indian but lives in England. I would recommend this book to someone who likes action and adventure.

Anonymous 04.09.2022


I liked the bit where she made friends.

Director Wanda Foxtail 31.07.2022


This book is fabulous and adventurous.

Anonymous 23.07.2022


I love this book because its talking about a girl and her mum's family that accuses her of her mother's death but she didn't loose confidence

General Pixie Legend 18.07.2022


it shows different cultures

Professor Kangaroo Glitterball 06.07.2022


Tamarind was my favourite! She saved her mean cousin Sufia from being attacked by wolves, even though she did not like her.

Queen Harmonica Astronomical 14.02.2022


Love the book about young tamarind growing up without a mum and finally understood the truth

Baroness June Sunshine 05.09.2021


an awesome book

Principal Honeycomb Toothpaste 28.08.2021


A heartwarming family story about a girl who meets the ghost of her deceased mother. This was as gripping and unputdownable- actually, much better, as Bilan's debut novel 'Asha & The Spirit Bird'. I was always guessing what was to happen next and this lovely story will definitely be a one that stays with you after turning the last page. I was swept away by words to a magical world of spirits and memories- I definitely recommend to all fantasy-lovers, and is suitable for children and young adults.

Lady Cupcake Ketchup 26.08.2021


I loved hearing about Tamarind's mum and the swing on the Tamarind tree. My favourite character was either Tamarind, Hanu or Sufia. I would really recommend this book to people who like a story about a family. If I could, I would rate this book 10/5 stars!

Captain Kiki Vampire 23.08.2021


Tell us what you thought? I LOVE this book and it is in my top three best books!!! Write down your thoughts about what you have read? I love how it was set in India and the storyline. If it was fiction, which person did you like best? My favourite person was Tamarind of course but, only just though. If it was factual, why did it interest you? I just love leaning, nature and adventure. Would you recommend this book to someone else? YES YES YES I have told my mum and about it and how I with there was another one.

Queen Pixie Wellington 15.08.2021


IT WAS THE BEST BOOK EVER!!I would totally recommend it even though it was quite sad. My favourite character was Tamarind.

Princess Fifi Slingshot 14.08.2021


I liked Tamarind, the main character of the story. I would recommend this book to a reader who likes adventure stories.

Officer Bubbles Sudoku 12.08.2021


This book was about a girl called Tamarind who went to stay with the family of her Mum (who died when she was a baby) in India. While she is there mysterious things happen and she meets a golden monkey and a girl called Ishta. This book was an adventure story and I enjoyed how exciting it was. My favourite character was Hanu. I would recommend this story to anyone who likes a mystery to solve.

Judge Quincy Tinkle 10.08.2021


tamarind because he was so much crazy

Constable Pablo Chipperfield 09.08.2021


i think that this book was quite captivating read. The person which i like the best is Ishta her mother who form the book is quite a skilled archer I Would recommend this captivating fictional book to ages 10+.

Principal Majorca Skateboard 08.08.2021


I loved this book, it’s full of secrets and it’s a bit wild. It was amazing the way Tamarind rind brought her mother’s spirit back to the garden.

Empress Rose Shortbread 07.08.2021


Cool book - bit scary at times. Cliff hanger. Overall pretty decent

Madam Peaches Sunshine 05.08.2021


I enjoyed this book greatly and I got it from a friend. My favourite character is Tamarind because she has lost her mum when she was born. But she never gave up hope on finding why she died even when people kept the secret she kept trying. And that is what I love about Tamarind, she never gives up and keeps on trying. I recommend this to all ages up to 12 or 10.

Anonymous 05.08.2021