Alex Clark in The Guardian:
The stories that adults invent for children – whether they're designed as entertainment, diversion, education, balm or a mixture – come with a built-in dramatic irony. Not only does the teller have control of a particular narrative, how it proceeds and, perhaps most significantly, how and when it ends, but they will usually have a more developed understanding of what a story is in the first place, and know the approximate coordinates of the border between reality and fiction. But that kind of knowledge, as Salman Rushdie suggests in this engrossing and fantastical fable, loses its lustre if you stop believing in the stories you're telling; at which point, an injection of childlike innocence might be exactly what you need.
Luka and the Fire of Life comes to us 20 years after Haroun and the Sea of Stories, written shortly after the pronouncement of the fatwa against Rushdie. Haroun was partly a response to the monstrousness of his enforced withdrawal from the world and partly a gift for his son Zafar, who had asked him to write something that children might enjoy reading. Its central story – a boy who must enter a magical realm and defeat malevolent forces on his storyteller father's behalf – is repeated in Luka and the Fire of Life, which has been written for Rushdie's younger son, Milan, who rather understandably wanted his own book.