Book Review ~ The Treasure Syndicate by Jatin Kuberkar

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Formats : Paperback & Kindle
ISBN-10: 9388424743
ISBN-13: 978-9388424745
ASIN: B082PR3GGK

 
 

A compelling mix of suspense, action and fantasy ’The Treasure Syndicate’ will see you ride on the crest of curiosity right till the end. Well crafted and beautifully narrated this story of a treasure hunt involving a motley group of five is unique in that each of its members stands for different attributes required to see the mission through. While Acharya Agnihotri as the ‘Nidhi-Palak’ stands for vision and fare-sightedness, Dr. Mahesh his nephew is the man who finances his missions secretly. He is the financier-cum-treasurer. Kumar an ordinary taxi driver has unfathomable luck on his side that’s needed to see a mission as secretive and dangerous as this one through without a hitch, and Jabbar is the man who with his uncanny ability as a master digger executes the job. Srikanth the odd man out though a common man holds the key to the success of the mission with his questioning mentality and foresight. Together they embark on a treasure hunt in a locality notorious for its granite quarries and accompanying mafia. With a failed mission that cost him dear behind his back the Acharya banks on luck and his crew to see him sail through this one and achieve success. Narrated in riveting style ‘The Treasure Syndicate’ is all about intelligence, foresight, team work and determination. It is the story of a mission undertaken for Lok kalyan.

Packed with suspense the story has its fair measure of twists and turns that are enough to keep the reader hooked. The characters each one, are well articulated and one can easily identify them with their strengths and weaknesses by entering their mind via the imagery created by the author. Each one of them takes the story forward in his/ her style thereby making it unique.

While the pace is steady, the language is crisp and devoid of unnecessary jargon that can spoil the mood. It helps maintain the flow that is crucial to the success of a story like this one.

VERDICT

A treasure hunt thriller that will leave you craving for more. Hope to read the next in the series for I believe there is one considering how the book ended, soon.


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Book Review ~ Something Old, Something New

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Format: Kindle Edition
ASIN: B084T22BKM

 
 

An anthology that holds within its pages a rainbow in the form of seven short novellas ‘Something Old, Something New’ sees seven authors known for their different styles of writing and totally different creative bend of the mind get together to explore a theme that’s dear to many a romantic at heart – second chances. While love is divine, deceit is damaging. While all love stories may not end in happily ever after, all failures in love need not be written off completely. ‘Something Old, Something New’ sees hearts battling against ego, fear, and guilt. Passions run high, and at times one can actually feel the heat of their anger, their ire. Will the protagonists in each of these seven novellas give love a second chance or will they turn their face away is a question only the authors and their stories can answer.
 

THE NOVELLAS
 
 

No Other Love by Aarti V Raman

When ego and jealousy overcrowd the mind, relationships turn sour and love takes a beating. To compound an already shaky relationship if you have overbearing parents too, then God alone can save you. ‘No Other Love’ by Aarti V Raman sees two souls born and brought up in two entirely different worlds see their relationship hit rock bottom and end up in a divorce. Will they be able to salvage their marriage or will they go their separate ways is a question that only a reading of this short and sweet novella can answer. 

Peppered with emotions like fun, frolic, passion, and despair in right measures, ‘No Other Love’ also saw my eyes go moist at one place. Though the story is all about giving love a second chance, it also sees the author address the issue of the delicate balance that needs to be maintained by every member of a family to see relationships survive and thrive albeit indirectly. A fine example of the adage opposites attract ‘No Other Love’ is riveting.

Never Stopped Loving You by Ruchi Singh

True to her nature author Ruchi Singh takes her readers on a ride on the crest of romance combined with suspense. She strikes right where it matters most the heart and the brain, a deadly combination when you consider that sometimes when the two get together they are liable to wreak havoc in the lives of the innocent and unsuspecting.

When the handsome and suave Arjun Singh Tomar and his ex-wife Radhika come face-to-face at a restaurant in Mumbai little do they foresee the upheaval the same is going to cause in their already complicated lives. The meeting an unsavory one that sees Radhika throw a glass of wine right into Arjun’s face, culminates in the opening of the proverbial Pandora’s Box. Truths both savory and unsavory tumble out of the box. Love seeks another chance, but will the deceit of the past allow it to succeed? Will ego give way to humility, and will the scars of the wronged one be ready to forgive and forget?………Only a reading of this intense and racy romantic thriller will reveal the truth.

My Warmest Sorrow by Preethi Venugopala

Religion and social status have always played spoilsport where matters of the heart are concerned. ‘My Warmest Sorrow’ by Preethi Venugopala sees the beautiful and petite Diana and the young and handsome Ajay Menon hit it off right from the day they meet. However, by the time they realize that they are made for each other fate intervenes. Diana ditches Ajay for another. Does Ajay go the Devadas way or does he strike back with vengeance? Will Diana ever forgive herself or will she forget and move on in life?……. ‘My Warmest Sorrow’ alone has the answers.

An absorbing read, ‘My Warmest Sorrow’ shows how one wrong move can wreck lives, and how one right move can spread light. Along with dealing with societal evils ruled by religious fanaticism and false notions about status standings, the story emphasizes the need for family support to overcome the dark phase in one’s life arising out of anxiety and depression albeit indirectly. It also addresses the need to talk and sort out things instead of making assumptions and arriving at conclusions that are likely to aggravate situations and make matters worse.

Coming Home by Andaleeb Wajid

Ditched by his love, Jahangir turns out to be an embittered man. Years later when fate intervenes in the form of his aunt’s illness Jahangir sees a closed chapter of his life open up once again. How will Jahangir react when he comes face to face with Meesha his ex-lover? Will bitterness overshadow good sense? Will Meesha still have the power to ignite the flame of love within him?……. Coming Home holds the answers.

Written in lucid language ‘Coming Home’ is a story of childhood love crushed before time due to parental pressure. It is also the story of a single mother’s struggle to keep not only the home and hearth warm, but also provide psychological support to her son who finds it difficult to come to terms with the fact that his father has abandoned him forever. It is the story of broken hearts and a broken home. Replete with emotions like love and regret, ‘Coming Home’ is a breezy read with a little bit of twist in the form of Natasha. Now, who is Natasha?……..Find out for yourself ;).

My Heart’s Regret by Shilpa Suraj

When Chief Officer Raghav Cherukuri returns home after years of self- banishment, he has no intention to cause an upheaval in the feisty Samaira Reddy’s life. He just wants to ensure that his parents lead the rest of their life in peace and for that he plans to take them away from the Hyderabad to Chennai. But fate has other plans both for him and his parents. Misunderstandings cleared, old flames are rekindled, but the path ahead is a rough one full of thorns. Family honour plays spoilsport and sees ex- lover’s partway once again. Will a day come when they will re- unite or will they pine for each other throughout their lives is a question that only a reading of the novella can answer.

A cleverly crafted story ‘My Heart’s Regret’ sees humiliation give way to fury, and misunderstanding lead the way to loss.

Paper Hearts and Promises by Devika Fernando

Broken hearts and broken promises lead to bitterness that’s not easy to forget. ‘Paper Hearts and Promises’ sees an embittered Luke accidentally come across his ex-flame. What follows is a story vivid with imagery that is sure to keep the reader hooked. The how, what, and why of Luke and Taara’s relationship is delivered by the author in lucid language that sees each little expression be it the twitch of a muscle or a grimace delivered flawlessly, making it easy for the reader to relate with the feelings of the characters, their situations, and their dilemma with ease.

If one were to ask me what is unique about this story, and what sets it apart from the rest six then I’d say that the characters drawn from two different continents with diverse cultures makes it unique, and it is the imagery and style of narration that sets it apart from the other novellas in the anthology.

Blood Red Love by Neil D’Silva

A unique take on second chances, ‘Blood Red Love’ by Neil D’Silva stands out in that it has a Pakshin as its protagonist and is a combination of romance, horror, and fantasy.

When the determined Vimal Kapoor falls for Yamini little does he realize that he is playing with fire, a fire that has the power to annihilate him. However, a determined Vimal is bent on making her his. So once he learns about the secret that Yamini is desperate to hide from the world, he makes it his mission to help her out. Success comes knocking on his door in the form of Tapish, a quiet young one, but the price he pays for the services he enrolls him for, is something he has not reckoned with.

A story of love, loss and the supernatural ‘Blood Red Love’ has the power to send a chill down the spine and is laced with a twist that turns out to be the icing in the cake (read story).


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Book Blitz ~ Something Old, Something New

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Something Old, Something New
– A DRA Production

 
 

 
 

Seven bestselling authors.Seven incredible second chance romances.One epic anthology. 
What would you do for another chance with the one you love? 

 

Something Old, Something New – a unique novella anthology – tries to answer this question with fantastic, different, desi dramas.

Whether it is shapeshifters or shifting interracial relationships, single moms in small towns or rich alpha heroes, friends-to-lovers or passionate ex-husbands; this anthology has something for everyone.

Something Old, Something New explores the many different facets of love, forgiveness, fated mates and more in seven, distinctly Indian tales!
 
 

Coming Home by Andaleeb Wajid

When fate brings you back to face the one you loved and lost, what will you do? 

 
 


 
 

When Meesha breaks Jahangir’s heart and marries the man her Abbu has chosen for her, an angry Jahangir leaves the small Coorg town of Dhakara, vowing never to return. But when an ailing aunt brings him back to the town, nearly a decade later, Jahangir finds that Meesha is now a divorced, single mother and his heart still yearns for her. Will Jahangir put behind his anger and forgive Meesha and give the two of them another chance or is it too late for him to come back home, to the one place and the one woman his heart has never stopped loving?

 

Read an Excerpt from Coming Home

‘Did the doctor say when he would be discharging you?’ Meesha asked as she settled into the chair near the bed. 

Nausheen aunty opened her mouth to say something but then her eyes were drawn to the door and Meesha turned to see who it was.

Jahangir stood at the entrance to the room, filling up the space entirely and Meesha got to her feet, her mouth dropping open in shock. Was he really here or had she conjured him from her dreams and fantasies?

‘What are you doing here?’ he snapped out, his voice harsh and unrelenting and Meesha reared back slightly. He was here. She didn’t quite know how to answer him.

‘Nausheen Aunty, the nurse says the doctor will be here tomorrow. I’ll talk to him about discharging you then,’ he said, ignoring her as he walked inside and standing near Nausheen Aunty who looked at him, bemused.

She tried to sit up and automatically Meesha’s arms went around her shoulder to help her and Jahangir did the same thing from the other side. Their fingers touched and both drew back their hands, feeling that same electric spark. They looked at each other – Meesha couldn’t believe it was really him. What was he doing here? How long it had been since she had seen his face, she wondered as she drank in his features – his sharp nose, those intense eyes, his slightly oddly shaped ears – everything about him that had been imprinted into her brain. She took in the differences in his appearances as well, and rather swiftly at that.

He had filled out – he was no longer a lanky boy. His forearms were sinewy and his shoulders had become so much broader. She could see his chest outlined under the shirt he wore, at how deliciously male he was and she swallowed, as her own body responded treacherously, her nipples turning into hard points. She blushed, glad she was swathed in layers so no one could see what he was doing to her, and she tried to put away her reaction to him, the intensely physical reaction that she hadn’t experienced in years.

‘Why are you here?’ he asked her once more, rather sternly as though that would make her quail before him.

‘I don’t need a reason to visit Nausheen Aunty,’ she snapped, using anger as a shield.

Nausheen Aunty cleared her throat and looked from Meesha to Jahangir and shook her head.

‘Tch, children. Fighting even after all these years?’ she said. Jahangir’s nostrils flared the slightest bit and Meesha almost wanted him to go so she could breathe easily. But she wanted to keep looking at him too. She never wanted to stop.

Ignoring her, Jahangir turned to Nausheen Aunty. ‘So, I’ve made all the arrangements back in Mumbai. And just tell me what you need to take with you right now and I’ll pack it up. I’ll come back and pack the rest of it for you but we’re leaving as soon as you’re discharged,’ he said in a tone of finality.

‘You’re going away?’ Meesha addressed the question to Nausheen Aunty, her heart sinking at the prospect of her favourite person leaving the town.

Nausheen Aunty looked at them both and shook her head slowly. ‘Jahangir thinks for some reason that I’m going with him to Mumbai,’ she said softly.

‘You are,’ Jahangir said.

Meesha looked at him, anger emerging from her exhaustion and she narrowed her eyes, even though she had absently noted how decadently deep his voice sounded.

‘You don’t get to decide for her!’ she snapped at him.

About the Author:

 


 
 

AndaleebWajid is a hybrid author, having published 24 novels of which the last six have been self-published on Amazon. Andaleeb enjoys writing in a number of different genres such as Young Adult, Romance, and Horror. Andaleeb’s horror novel House of Screams has been optioned for the screen and she has an upcoming romance novel with Penguin Random House in 2020. Her YA novel When She Went Away was shortlisted for The Hindu Young World Goodbooks Award in 2017.

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Book Review ~ The Patriots’ Legacy: Forbidden Treasure by Apurva Bhuta

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Paperback: 308 pages
Publisher: Apurva Bhuta
ISBN-10: 9389058147
ISBN-13: 978-9389058147

 
 
Riveting to the core, ‘Forbidden Treasure’ is unique in that

(1) the plot sees not a motley group of ordinary treasure hunters with personal reasons set out to secure a treasure said to be buried somewhere, but a secret group of architects and archaeologists drawn from the four corners of the world, and with a history that connects them to the Kingdom of Allegiance, set out on this daunting task with the sole aim of securing it from the evil eyes.
(2) The hunt sees them take the help of some highly sophisticated gadgets to decode the clues, which I’m sure have not been developed t0 date. 🙂

Packed with suspense and a lot of twists and turns, the story sees the Patriots struggle with a lot of anxious moments, deceit, and unforgettable adventure that have the ability to see the reader sit on the edge. As one travels from one end of the world to the other with the Patriots, one also gets a glimpse into the history of that particular region. This aspect combined with the element of suspense makes the book a worthy read not only in terms of entertainment but also from the perspective of knowledge sharing.

Crisp and lucid, the narration is flawless and leaves the reader craving for more such gems from the author.

VERDICT

A cleverly crafted story that weaves history into its fabric with ease. 🙂


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Book Review ~ Lipstick by Vish Dhamija

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Lipstick by Vish Dhamija

 

Paperback
ISBN-10: 9353572835
ISBN-13: 978-9353572839
Kindle Edition
ASIN: B07ZS9S7W4
Publisher
HarperCollins India
 

A Rita Ferreira thriller ‘Lipstick’ is the story of a psychotic serial killer, one with a dual personality. Meticulous to the core, ‘The Lipstick Killer’ as he is named by the media, sees the best of Mumbai Police sweat it out to nab him. Always one step ahead of them, he is proud of his exploits till……. To know more you will have to pick up the book.

When three murders identical in nature take place, Rita Ferriera the super cop finds herself faced with a dilemma of sorts. The MO is identical, but while the first two victims share an identical background, the third one is from an entirely different one. Added to this is the fact that the killer shares no definite pattern regarding the interval between two hits and / or location. It all seems random. To compound the problem we have an overactive media that is out to conduct a public trial of sorts, dish out hypothetical theories and come to a conclusion even before the culprit is identified, just for the sake of TRP. Lipstick sees a clash of identities and reasoning but makes sure that emotions don’t run high. One is introduced to the killer right from the word ‘go’, and finds it easy to understand the motivation behind his crimes. Then what is it that makes the book a thriller, and adds an element of suspense to a plot that reveals the criminal? …….It is the identity of the perverted mind behind the gory deaths. Gory? Yes, gory are the scenes of crime, and gorier is the modus operandi of the killer. One can feel goosebumps and also a shade of disgust build up when one envisages it from the narration, such is the skill of the author in creating the scene of the crime. If there is anything that proved as a dampener then it is the investigation part. Felt as though it was lacking in that element that is known as a twist and turns. There was nothing out of the ordinary there. The end too appeared to be rushed through.

VERDICT

A psychological thriller that gives an insight into how childhood scars tend to shape one’s personality, Lipstick scores a three on a scale of five.

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Disclaimer

A copy of the book was provided via Writersmelon in exchange for an honest review. The thoughts, opinions & feelings expressed in the review are therefore, my own and have not been influenced by either the author or the publishing house in any manner

Book Review: The Mahāsiddha Field (The Mahāsiddha Series Book 1) by Dwai Lahiri

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Edition: Kindle
File Size: 1427 KB
Print Length: 284 pages
ASIN: B081SPR24B

Edition: Paperback
Publisher: G.J. Salutation (2019)
ISBN-10: 8193660277
ISBN-13: 978-8193660270

 
 

When the sleepy village of Srirangapura welcomes an old man of 5’8” with a ripped kurta and patched dhoti one dusk, little did it realize that this was the beginning of a quest strange. Bhadramanu the old one knew not what it was that awaited him here and the villagers of Srirangapuram in their turn were mystified by this man who had a magnetic aura around him.

The village was witness to some gory incidents since some time. With the arrival of Bhadramanu, the plot thickens and the banyan tree behind the village temple throws up something interesting. What?…….To know that, one will have to pick up this cleverly crafted book replete with insights into the connection between the asuras, danavas, manushyas, and devas.

A mytho sci-fi fiction, ‘The Mahāsiddha Field’ is a psychological- cum- spiritual thriller of sorts which sees a Siddha holed up high in the Himalayas astrally communicate with a disparate set of people and bring them together to execute a mission that baffles them, a mission they find hard to believe given that they are all rational thinkers and look upon supernatural sightings and stories of devas and asuras just as a figment of the imagination, a myth. What they achieve and how in this heart- stopping thriller, makes the book a unique read.

Peppered with insights into some of the martial arts, and the relationship between asuras and the danavas, the book also addresses the problems facing the present world albeit in an indirect way.

The footnotes at the end of the book are a bonus in that they offer an explanation to some of the terms that readers may not be familiar with, and help enhance one’s understanding of the story/ situations, etc, clearly.

VERDICT

Gripping to the core, ‘The Mahāsiddha Field’ will leave you craving for the second in the series.


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Book Review – The Smitten Husband by Sundari Venkatraman

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Paperback: 164 pages
Publisher: Westland (10 October 2019)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 9388754492
ISBN-13: 978-9388754491


 
 

When the strong and feisty and the mild yet determined meet what’s likely to happen…….will sparks fly or will this be just a marriage of convenience?……….Sundari Venkatraman’s ‘The Smitten Husband’ holds the answer. When Ram Maheswari decides to take the strong and feisty die hard romantic Sapna Purohit as his wife, little does he foresee the problems likely to crop up in their relationship. Unlike normal girls from the not so well-off families jumping in excitement at the idea of landing up a rich catch, Sapna looks at Ram’s intentions at marrying her with an eye of suspicion. What happens next ?……Only time and a read of the book will tell. 🙂

Presented in crisp and lucid language, ‘ The Smitten Husband’ also sees the author address some societal evils and norms in the course of the story with ease. The characters each one of them play a vital role in moving the story forward. However if there was one thing I missed in the entire story it was the twist and the vamp / villain who normally adds spice to a romance novel.

VERDICT

All in all a sweet and breezy read that can be covered in just one sitting. The book is sure to see you end it with a smile.

Interested?

Click HERE to read the blurb.


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Book Blitz ~ Love in Agartha by Sundari Venkatraman

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Print Length: 213 pages
Publisher: Flaming Sun (Indie published)
Publication Date: January 2, 2020
Sold by: Amazon Digital Services LLC
Language: English
Genre: Romance, Fantasy

When Sanat Kumara usurps the job that Naavya Batra has been coveting for a long time, her instantaneous attraction towards him turns to intense dislike.

But soon, she’s all in admiration for the man. When she finally decides to give herself to him, Sanat insists on telling Naavya something about her…

…something she has absolutely no memory of.

What does Sanat know about Naavya that she herself isn’t aware of? And what secrets are her cousins holding back from her?

Read this tale of fantasy which takes you to three different realms on the earth, to find out if Sanat Kumara is really what he appears to be on the surface. But what about Naavya? Will her love for Sanat hold up under the circumstances?
It would be great if you can add this book to your TBR

Sundari Venkatraman is an indie author with forty-plus titles to her credit, which have sold more than 1.5 lakh copies around the world. Her books consistently feature in the Top 100 Bestseller Lists on Amazon in both Romance and Asian Drama categories. Her latest romance novels have all been on the #1 Bestseller slot in Amazon India for over a month.

As a child, Sundari loved to read books with ‘lived happily ever after’ endings. They were all about good triumphing over evil. As a teenager, her favourite books were romance novels from Mills & Boon. She was fascinated by them, so much so that she began to visualise the stories set in India.

Sundari was forty when she began her writing journey, completing the first draft of her first novel in thirty-five days. She has not looked back since.

Click here to check out all the titles by the author…

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Book Review ~ The Golden Eagle by Deepak Dalal

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Reading level: 8 – 12 years
Paperback: 112 pages
Publisher: Puffin (25 November 2019)
ISBN-10: 0143445715
ISBN-13: 978-0143445715


 
 

Heart-warming!

A book for all ages ‘The Golden Eagle’ sees Destiny bring together a squirrel, a bulbul and two pigeons along-with a golden eagle, to weave a tale of adventure, misadventure, and self-realization peppered with emotions like love, fear, empathy, camaraderie, and dare.

Cleverly crafted, and beautifully illustrated, the book sees the reader embark on a journey of adventure that has some hair-raising twists and turns enough to put him/ her on edge. However, what really strikes one is the story of Shikaar, the unique little squirrel a mis-fit among his kind, his relationship with Kabul, the bulbul, and his journey from the land of his birth to the Rose Garden. While the events at Storkpur a place where evil reigns and birds fear to tread (read enter), lends a sense of suspense to the narrative, the story of Shikaar is a lesson in empathy, love, self- discovery and self- acceptance.

The fourth in the Feather Series, ‘The Golden Eagle’ sees Regal, the Golden Eagle too in action and his role in Shikaar’s life- turning event. However, to be frank it is actually Kabul, the Bulbul that holds sway throughout. Regal’s role is very limited which actually is a dampner. Would have loved to see more of Regal. That would have actually justified the title.

VERDICT

A gripping tale sure to regale not only the young but adults too, ‘The Golden Eagle’ has the ability to see various emotions flicker across the one’s face. It will sure light up your day. 🙂


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Book Review: The King of Mathura by Sharath Komarraju

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THE KING OF MATHURA
Part One
KAMSA

 
 
Format: Kindle Edition
File Size: 4754 KB
Print Length: 209 pages
ASIN: B081593GCT


 
 
The Krishna we know and the Krishna we worship is the playful one, the one with a mischievous sparkle in the eyes, the one who won hearts just with a smile. However, ‘The King of Mathura’ depicts a different side of Krishna, a cold and calculating Krishna, one who is devious and has no qualms in deceiving the very people who look up to him for redemption, one who sides with Kamsa. But are things as crystal clear as they seem to the naked eye?……..To know the answer to this, and to get a fair idea of the intrigues that take place in Mathura post the arrival of Krishna and brother Balarama, one must pick up this book, a book unique in itself, a book that is laced with twists and turns, and is nothing short of a cleverly craft suspense.

Brilliant plot combined with an equally adept portrayal of characters make the book a smooth read, one that has the ability to hold the reader in its grip, play with his/ her emotions, see them love, hate, and empathize with the characters, as well as clap the palms to the mouth in wonderment. Is there a dull moment somewhere along the way? ….None that I could perceive of.

VERDICT

A page-turner that will take you through the corridors of power and give you an insight into a Kamsa you can’t help but empathize with, a Krishna you may feel wary of, and a Balarama who looks like a weakling. The book will help you look at all these characters from a different perspective and help you realize that sometimes what the eye sees, the brain perceives, and the ears hear are mere figments of the imagination,reality is something else.


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