Review: Dominick & the Dragon by Anne K. Edwards


TITLE: Dominick & the Dragon
AUTHOR: Anne K. Edwards
FORMAT: ebook
GENRE: Fantasy Fiction ( For children)


Dominick is a lonely little boy who has an interest in dragons so when his brothers tell him about one living in the “dark forest” behind Dominick’s home, he longs to meet him. Imagine his surprise when he does. Here, he must outsmart the dragon named Elvis who is always hungry.


A short yet interesting read, one that is sure to appeal to the young mind, Dominick and the dragon reminded me of my childhood when I used to dream of elves and fairies, believed in creatures appearing in story books and was in awe of children elder to me. In fact Dominick stands for that child in us.

The book also reminded me of some sane advice given to me by my elders and later passed on by me to my child like be on guard when you talk to strangers, don’t leave the confines of the house unchaperoned.

There are some twists and turns and we see young Dominick using his wits to escape from the clutches of danger.

The language is simple and the pace is perfect.

Overall a cute read I’ll rate the book 4 on a scale of 5.


Review : Changing Places by Anne K. Edwards


TITLE: Changing Places
AUTHOR: Anne K. Edwards
Age level: 4-8
Price: $1.99/₹ 129.00
Pages: 14
ASIN: B06Y2DP993
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A black cat named Whiskers encounters a snake that has lost his home when he goes outside to see the world.


A cute little story, an instaread, that points to an important facet of life one that nearly all of us have encountered sometime or the other. Though ‘Changing Places’ is the story of Whiskers the black home cat and a homeless snake it is in fact one that reflects human nature indirectly. We as human beings are-

1) Never satisfied with what we have. For us the pasture is always greener on the other side of the fence i.e. till we experience it.
2) Curiosity ‘kills’ us. The thirst to experience and know the unknown prompts us to explore. Once our thirst is satiated we yearn for home. This is the time we thank our stars just like Whiskers the cat.
3) Many inspite of facing odds, are hesitant to take up challenges for fear of the unknown like the snake. They need prompting and cajoling.

The style of narration is perfect and engaging. Language is simple, crisp and lucid. Pace is perfect.

There are some eye- catching illustrations by Dasguptarts that by themselves convey the story.


A wonderful and refreshing read one that has a message for the young, I’ll give this one a 5 on a scale of 5.


The Author

Anne K. Edwards enjoys writing tales for children when she’s not focusing on a mystery. Some stories are ideas taken from little misadventures of her cat who actually did fall off the porch and land on a large blacksnake as it was sunning itself. Both were more than a little surprised.

Book Review: Radius 200


TITLE: Radius 200
AUTHOR: Veena Nagpal
GENRE: Fiction



What if a nuclear powered neighboring nation was to ‘steal’ an entire river from under our eyes?

What if a top-ranking Indian General was to take a unilateral decision to strike back, thereby triggering a cataclysmic reaction?

What if, in the aftermath of the nuclear attack, India was left with a devastated Exclusion Zone, 200 kilometers in radius?

And what if your love was stranded inside the Exclusion Zone…


PLOT/ STORY-LINE :- Set in the future, the story has at its epicentre Allahabad in North India.

A nuclear holocaust caused by a neighbouring country, leaves a trail of destruction its wake giving birth to people with mangled figures and land that is arid and devoid of vegetation. Termed the Exclusion Zone, the city of Allahabad is actually a ghost town. Vegetables give way to lizards and snakes as fodder for the hungry and disfigured men, women and children struggling to keep breathing for want of food and proper medication walk its streets. Water is rationed and illness is their constant companion.

Elsewhere in Mumbai there is one a journalist, who is hell bent on entering the Exclusion Zone come what, may. What is her motive? Why does she want to walk into the death trap? What was the provocation for use of nuclear weapon by the enemy? etc…etc…are questions that may plague you throughout the story.

While the living dead in the exclusion zone battle the after effects of the holocaust, those outside it face another challenge, a challenge which if not addressed urgently will slowly but steadily wipe out their very existence. It is one that is connected to the elixir of life water. But here again the solution lies in the zone that they dread to tread.

What finally happens? Does help ultimately reach the Exclusion Zone ? Is the journalist successful in entering it? Is the problem of water scarcity solved?…… To know the answers one needs to go through this engaging read.

There are twists and turns and there are places where you may feel overwhelmed. But ultimately one does realize that this story could be a window to the future, a window if not repaired on time may crash when the winds howl, allowing the gale to wreak havoc irreparable.

CHARACTERIZATION: A maze of characters makes up the story. While some are fleshed out well, there are others who come across as under- developed and prominent amongst these that need to be worked upon are Arjun and Om. There is a lot of potential in these characters but somehow they seem to have been neglected.

LANGUAGE: Simple, crisp and easy to comprehend. The author’s command over the language is evident from the word ‘go’ and this helps her weave situations such that one can easily visualize them. One feels that one is in the thick of action taking place at a particular point. This feeling has gone a long way in making the book an engaging read.

PACE: The pace is perfect. It is neither too slow nor too fast.


1) Of and on descriptions of people in the Exclusion Zone catching and eating rats and lizards was not savoury just like the subjects in question. It could have been cut down to minimal.

2) Kyra allowing Arjun to get intimate with her inspite of the fact that she does not love him and he is already married with two kids. Somehow this did not fit in well with the story.

An engrossing read, one that is well- researched and something different from the usual war- related stories, I’ll give ‘Radius 200’ a 4 on a scale of 5.


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Guest Post by Author Sumeetha Manikandan


Hello Friends,

So today, I have the honour of hosting


Author Sumeetha Manikandan.

She has penned –


Having read the English translation of first part out of five volumes of Kalki Krishnamurthy’s Ponniyin Selvan thanks to the efforts of Sumeetha Manikandan and having loved it ( Do read my review of the book HERE ), I was curious to know how Sumeetha came to take up this particular book for translation and what was her experience throughout this cumbersome process.


This is what she had to say:


“It has been an eventful journey so far. This project began ten plus years ago and I abandoned it thinking that I was no good. I got the confidence to revisit the project only after I had published two books and got reasonably good reviews for both. That and the encouragement of my readers who followed the translation avidly made me resume the project. I am grateful to Author Venketesh Ramakrishnan for encouraging me to continue this project. Even then, I just wanted to publish the chapters as a blog but requests started pouring in from many readers. They wanted to read the whole thing as a book.

Translating any literature is a tough prospect, more so than writing an original novel. Here you are working on strict parameters that have already been laid out. This is especially true for a classic novel like Ponniyin Selvan. The story, characters, their personalities, the plot – they have all been fleshed out, discussed and dissected for many years now. One cannot take any liberties there.

Humour was the most challenging aspect of this novel. It runs through the novel like a jugular vein. Try translating any vernacular joke or humorous situation into English and if you can make the audience at least smile at your efforts then you have done a good job.

Language is another feature of this project that I had to be very careful with. It needs to be formal and yet neutral. It can’t be too archaic nor it can be too modern. It had to be just right. Each word needed to be selected carefully lest it had modern connotations or associations.

One aspect of this project that I thoroughly enjoyed was presenting the pictures of different places, temples and landmarks that are mentioned in Ponniyin Selvan in my blog. It was a fascinating exercise that my readers and I enjoyed. I am still writing the fourth volume of the book and I have one more volume to finish. I hope to finish them by this year and release them as books.

More than anybody else, I owe a lot to Kalki Krishnamurthy because it was thanks to Ponniyin Selvan that I started writing and discovered that I could write!”

Well, let’s wish Sumeetha all the very best in her onward journey as an author as well as translator.

Thank you Sumeetha both for sharing your views and ‘Ponni’s Beloved.’ Eagerly looking forward to reading the translation of future volumes of the book. An Appeal: Don’t keep us waiting for long. 🙂


Book Review : Ponni’s Beloved: An English Translation Of Kalki Krishnamurthy’s Ponniyin Selvan


TITLE: Ponni’s Beloved
TRANSLATOR: Sumeetha Manikandan
PUBLISHER: Indireads



Kalki Krishnamurthy’s Ponniyin Selvan is a masterpiece that has enthralled generations of Tamil readers. Many authors have written phenomenal books in Tamil literature after Kalki Krishnamurthy, but Ponniyin Selvan remains the most popular, widely-read novel. It has just the right mixture of all things that makes an epic – political intrigue, conspiracy, betrayal, huge dollops of romance, infidelity, seduction, passion, alluring women, unrequited love, sacrifice and pure love.



THE TRANSLATION:- The art of translation is cumbersome and the more you read a piece of translation and compare it with the original, the more you see scope for improvement. Hence to take up the translation of a piece of literature and that too of a popular classic is indeed an act of bravery. Hence, I must at the outset congratulate Sumeetha Manikandan for having taken up this difficult task. I myself have been into the world of translation since the past three decades and I know the challenges one faces in this field. So based on my experience and my reading of the book ( translation), I must say that the translator in Sumeetha has done a wonderful job. Yes, there are places where I feel there is scope for further improvement but like I mentioned earlier, a translation is rarely hundred percent perfect.

THE STORY:- A legendary piece of literature, ‘Ponni’s Beloved’ is Part One of five parts of the English translation of Kalki Krishnamurthy’s Tamil Classic ‘Ponniyin Selvan.’ It has as its protagonist Vandiya Devan a young soldier who belongs to the brave warrior race of Vanars. He is on a secret mission for the Crown Prince of the Chola Kingdom. What follows is an adventurous journey through the realms of the Chola Kingdom. Spiced with bits of gossip, fun- frolic and subtle romance, the story is actually that of deceit and dare. While we see that the thirst for power of a few, combined with the determination to wreak vengeance by some others, is ready to hit at the very foundation of a great empire, we also see the grit, determination and intelligence of one a woman, try match up to the conspiracies of the enemies in an attempt to thwart their mission and secure the future of the empire.

The story with plots and sub-plots and a range of characters, is interspersed with bits of historical facts here and there to enable the reader understand the characters, their place in the history of the region and the situation prevailing in those times better. These not only enrich the knowledge of the reader but also help in understanding the story better. They act as a guide to the Chola Kingdom.

The characters are well fleshed out and come across as normal human beings prone to known moral virtues and vices like love, hate, empathy, jealousy, loyalty, treachery, etc. Unlike the characters of the great Indian Epics of Mahabharata and Ramayana, those in ‘Ponni’s beloved’ do not have supernatural powers. They act and react purely by instinct and hence it is easy for one to connect to them, their thoughts and their actions and reactions.

The footnotes at the end of each page take care of the Tamil words, names, etc., that often crop up within the story. They are like the help-desk that provides fast and efficient service. 🙂

Overall an engrossing and interesting read, ‘Ponni’s Beloved’ did not satiate my thirst for the Tamil Classic. Instead it ignited an urge to know more of the story which is open ended in the first part. To be frank I was disappointed when it came to an end because it felt abrupt and incomplete. Felt like I was cheated. 😉 Can’t wait for the remaining volumes to hit the stands.


A truly wonderful read but……. with a few typos here and there, I’ll give the book a 4 on a scale of 5. Do pick up the book. You won’t regret it.


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Book Review – Rafflesia: The Banished Princess


TITLE: Rafflesia: The Banished Princess
AUTHOR: Gautam
PUBLISHER: Frog Books ( An Imprint of Leadstart Publishing Pvt. Ltd.)
GENRE: Fiction
ISBN: 9789352017164



Now if you go purely by the title and believe it is one of those fantasy stories that children enjoy or one about a beautiful princess then you are in for a surprise. No it is something different, something where a book by the name just forms part of the protagonist Apurva’s life. So don’t be mislead. Look forward to something different, something new.



The curtains draw up. Lights are dimmed. The musical is about to begin. As the beautiful princess descends on stage, the mythical creatures from her kingdom come alive. Flickers of brilliant colours blaze across as mesmerizing music pulsates from one corner of the theatre to the other. A fairy tale is about to unfold…

As young children, we often come across things that stay in our hearts forever. For Appu, it is a fairy tale about a beautiful princess. He lives with her in a world filled with the magical creatures from her kingdom until the real world beckons. A reluctant Appu steps into it as a striking young man and struggles to find his place.

What follows is an evocative tale of love and loss, friendship and betrayal, as the story travels through the snow-peaked mountains of Arunachal to the golden deserts of Jaisalmer, the tulip gardens of Holland to the lush greens of Kerala. Does Appu find what he had set out for? The answer lies in Rafflesia – The Banished Princess because in her story, lay his!


PLOT/ STORY-LINE:- ‘Rafflesia: The Banished Princess’ has more to do with the protagonist Apurva’s story than with that of a princess by the name. It is just a key to understanding the protagonist who attracts the attention of all he comes into contact with.

The plot/ story-line is interesting and throws up umpteen possibilities of understanding the protagonist. While to some he may come across as demure and one with a lack of confidence, to another he may come across as an sensitive person, soft and one with a heart of gold who is hesitant to take up challenges not due to lack of confidence but due to circumstances beyond his control. Whichever way you view him, you are sure to be intrigued by him.

As we turn the pages of the book we get an insight into the life of Appu aka Apurva right from childhood to adulthood. In fact the story oscillates back and forth between the two phases of his life i.e. childhood and adulthood his struggles, his friends, his family, the shaping of his personality, career and much more. The book is a sort of a psychological fiction that opens your eyes to certain realities, realities that those lucky not to have gone through the life such as that of Apuva, miss.

The plot holds immense potential and the author has done justice to it. Yes there are some areas that are confusing and one may have to go back and forth once in a while to understand certain things, but overall the story is interesting and engaging especially in the latter half.

The climax if you may say so again leaves room for various interpretations. It is open- ended so you can let your imagination take flight and weave your own story from where the author leaves. 🙂

There are twists that one may not anticipate and there are turns that at times are pleasant and bring a smile to your lips. There are also places that are sure to moisten your eyes. In short, the story of Apurva and those in his life are sure to move you.

Is there romance? No

Is there an element that hints at a thriller? No

Then what is it that appeals to the reader? I can’t put my finger on it, but I just know it is appealing.

CHARACTERIZATION: The main characters are well- developed with their imperfections. The quiet and sombre Apurva compliments the extrovert and boisterous Rahul. At times one comes across an innocent child in the adult Appu.

The characters of Misha, Trina, Sujata and Abair are also well- fleshed out.

Is there any one character with whom I’d like to have got acquainted more? Yes, that of Amala. I feel her character had more potential.

LANGUAGE: – Simple and easy to understand.

EDITING:- Needs to be tightened. A few grammatical errors and typos here and there act as stumbling blocks that need to be cleared before the book goes in for a reprint.


An interesting read but…. before you pick it up, let me warn you it is not a short read. The book is one of around four hundred pages. I’ll give the book 3 on a scale of 5.


I received a copy from Writersmelon in exchange for an honest and unbiased review.

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Book Review: The Indus Challenge


TITLE: The Indus Challenge
AUTHOR: R. Durgadoss
PUBLISHER: Rupa Publications
GENRE: Fiction (Historical / Mythological )



Bharat is in chaos. While the kingdoms fight each other, Alexander’s forces gather for the assault, their leader lured by tales of supernatural weapons and the elixir of immortality. Only one man can save the subcontinent from domination by the Greeks: the young Chandragupta Maurya, trained under the aegis of the ‘dark brahmin’, Chanakya.

When an ancient seal is found, sharing the secrets of the brahmastra, the redoubtable weapon of the Mahabharat, it is up to Rudra, young commander of the Mauryan Nava Yuva Sena and lifelong friend and confidante of Chandragupta, to decode it. Along with his fellow commandos, and with the able guidance of his guru, Rudra embarks on a quest that takes him from the snowy peaks of the Himalayas to the seas of Rameshwaram, hunting the clues that will lead him to the brahmastra. On the way, he meets the Chiranjivis, ancient beings tasked with divine duties, and learns the secrets behind his own birth and his mysterious powers.

But Rudra must be careful, for not all enemies were dispersed with the death of the mighty Alexander. Treachery lurks in the home, and when Rudra is framed for the attempted murder of his sovereign, he must pull every trick at his disposal to reveal the enemy, and save his kingdom from plunging, once more, into bloodshed and chaos.

A historical, mythological adventure story, The Indus Challenge is sure to appeal to readers interested in the storied past of India and the legends woven into its soil.


PLOT/ STORY-LINE : Interesting, intriguing and one in which the author’s imaginative side is very much evident. To weave a story combining history with mythology seamlessly is indeed a tough task. However the author has to a considerable extent succeeded in the same. Revolving around the Maurayan Empire lead by Chandragupta Maurya, the story has as its protagonist neither Chandragupta nor Chanakya but someone with special powers, one who holds a key to Brahmastra, a man blessed to meet five of the eight Chiranjivis. He is none other than Rudra a close companion and confidante of Chandragupta Maurya and a dear disciple of Chanakya.

Rudra’s journey from infancy to his untimely death at thirty is filled with adventure. While his mystic powers make him the most powerful man in the empire, they also tend to be the source of his agony given that Chandragupta Maurya’s Greek wife Helen feels jealous and insecure of his close bonds with her husband. What follows is a tale of treachery and deceit.

There are twists and turns, some expected and some unexpected but what held my interest is the mystery shrouding Rudra, his mission and the eight keys or eight commandoes who hold the keys to eight shastras (sciences). What is their mission? Do they accomplish it? If so, how? To get the answers to these one must read this book which I must stress is a piece of historical ficion and not history.

CHARACTERIZATION: The characters of Rudra and Helen are well- developed. While Rudra comes across as a true warrior, a man of his words and duty bound, Helen comes across as a vile one, expert in the art of treachery and one jealous to the core.

However I feel that the characters of Chandragupta Maurya and Chanakya leave room for improvement. They somehow seem sidelined. A little more effort on their character and their role in the story would have added value to the book.

LANGUAGE : Simple and easy to understand. There are no jargon that act as stumbling blocks nor long winding sentences to trip upon.

PACE: Slow at first but gradually picks up and when it does, one can’t help spending more time with the book.

NARRATIVE: This is where I felt there is still a lot of scope for improvement. The opening sentences in nearly all the chapters put me off. I wish they were constructed differently. It would have made the transition from one chapter to another smooth and enjoyable.


An engaging read, I’ll rate the book 3 on a scale of 5.

Click here to get an insight into the brain that weaved this story, Author Durgadoss


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Book Review: The Rise of the Dawnstar


TITLE: The Rise of the Dawnstar (The Avalonia Chronicles #2)
AUTHOR: Farah Oomerbhoy
PUBLISHER: Wise Ink Creative Publishing
GENRE: Fiction (Fantasy)

To read my review of ‘The Last of the Firedrakes (The Avalonia Chronicles #2)’ a prequel to ‘The Rise of the Dawnstar’ click HERE



The seven kingdoms of Avalonia are crumbling and evil is spreading across the land like a plague. Queen Morgana is close to finding a way to open The Book of Abraxas and it’s only a matter of time until she uses the power trapped inside its pages to enslave the entire world.

With Avalonia growing more dangerous by the day, Aurora must travel through war-torn lands and deep into the heart of the fae kingdom of Elfi. Her goal is to find a legendary weapon infused with the last of the realm’s ancient magic—the only weapon in the world powerful enough to stop the queen.

Aurora might have survived her first battle against Morgana, but the true fight to save her kingdom and restore her throne has only just begun…


STORY-LINE/ PLOT : I took up ‘The Rise of the Dawnstar’ with lots of hope having loved the prequel to the same i.e. ‘The Last of the Firedrakes’ and I must say Farah has done it once again. ‘Riveting!’ is the word that comes to my mind.

The story is full of twists and turns none that one can forsee and the imagery is something I have no words to describe. The book transports one to the magical world of faes, mages and much more. The events seem to unfold before your eyes and you can’t help but be on the edge looking out for the next bolt that’s sure to hit you from the blue.

The story is a maze of emotions; love, hatred, empathy, deceit, fear and inner strength.

To be able to enjoy the book and appreciate Farah’s flight of imagination and creative skills one must read the book. It is one that I’m sure I’d like to re-visit again and again.

CHARACTERIZATION: The characters are well fleshed out with their imperfections. The story does spring some surprises towards the in terms of characterization but then it is best one knows what I mean by reading the book. No clues from my side.

LANGUAGE: ‘Smooth sailing!’ The language is simple, crisp and lucid. No jargon to act as barriers. This is another thing that endeared to me as a reader. The author definitely has a way with words. She is I’ll say a magician when it comes to weaving magic with the letters and knows how to keep her readers hungry even after the story ends. Can’t help but wish I could lay my hands on the next to the series immediately.

PACE & STYLE: Perfect. Has the ability to engage the reader right from the word ‘go’ till the last word.

EDITING: Two to three typos that need to be taken care of.


A must read for the ‘young at heart.’ Will transport you to another world. The book scores a 5 on a scale of 5 from me.


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Farah Oomerbhoy is the international bestselling author of The Avalonia Chronicles. Her first book, The Last of the Firedrakes, was originally published on Wattpad where it gained over two million reads and a Watty Award. Since publication, her debut has gone on to win a silver medal in IBPA’s Benjamin Franklin Awards and the Readers’ Favorite Book Awards, along with winning a finalist placement in the USA Best Book Awards. Farah loves the fantastical and magical and often dreams of living in Narnia, Neverland, or the Enchanted Forest. With a master’s degree in English literature from the University of Mumbai, Farah spends her creative time crafting magical worlds for young adults. She lives with her family in Mumbai, India.

(Courtesy : goodreads)



For each stop on tour, there will be a special number at the end of the post. Collect all the numbers, add them up, and enter to win one of three prizes! Once you have all the numbers you can enter the giveaway here :

My lucky number is 16

The giveaway opens at the end of the tour and closes on May 21st, 11:59pm Eastern US time.



Monday, April 24th

Review– Of all the books I’ve loved before…
Interview– Lisa Manterfield

Tuesday, April 25th

Review– The Reading Cat
Review – The Book Lover

Wednesday, April 26th

Guest Postand Review – Celebrityreadshush
Review– Bubble Bath Books

Thursday, April 27th

Guest Post & Review– The Bewitched Reader
ReviewCreative Bookie

Review– EndlessReading
Guest Post– A Redhead’s Ramblings

Monday, May 1st

Review– Reads All the Books
InterviewInterview (click here for giveaway number) – Motif by Tanya

Tuesday, May 2nd

Interview and Review– Books and Stars
Guest Post and Review(click here for giveaway number) – Paranormal angel blog

Wednesday, May 3rd

Review– Writing Pearls
Interview– Eliza Green

Thursday, May 4th

Guest Post and Review– The Reader and the Chef
Review– JBronder Book Reviews

Friday, May 5th

Review – Miranda’s Book Blog
Interview– Sarah Benson

Monday, May 8th

Guest Post and Review– Creatyvebooks
Guest Post – J. M. Butler (Telling stories, reading books, and savoring life)

Tuesday, May 9th

Review – OldVictorianQuill

Wednesday, May 10th

Guest post and review – Kindle and Me (
Review – LiyareadsYA ( )

Thursday, May 11th

Interview and review – The YA Wizard (
Interview – Coffee Addicts Book Reviews (

Friday, May 12th

Review – Darcy’s Book Blog (
Guest post – Rockin’ Book Reviews (

BOOK REVIEW : The Tree with a Thousand Apples


TITLE: The Tree with a Thousand Apples
AUTHOR: Sanchit Gupta
PUBLISHER: Niyogi Books
GENRE: Fiction



‘If a criminal was once a saint and a saint was once a criminal, then who is a criminal and who is a saint?’

Inspired by true events, this riveting narrative traces the lives of Safeena Malik, Deewan Bhat and Bilal Ahanagar, three childhood friends who grow up in an atmosphere of peace and amity in Srinagar, Kashmir, until the night of 20 January 1990 changes it all.

While Deewan is forced to flee from his home, Safeena’s mother becomes ‘collateral damage’ and Bilal has to embrace a wretched life of poverty and fear. The place they called paradise becomes a battleground and their friendship struggles when fate forces them to choose sides against their will. Twenty years later destiny brings them to a crossroads again, when they no longer know what is right and what is wrong. While both compassion and injustice have the power to transform lives, will the three friends now choose to become sinful criminals or pacifist saints?

The Tree with a Thousand Apples is a universal story of cultures, belongingness, revenge and atonement. The stylised layered format, fast-paced narration and suspenseful storytelling make for a powerful, gripping read.


WOWs !!

STORY-LINE:- Gripping & insightful!

The story takes one on a journey of life in the valley albeit a short one yet enough to make one ponder. Within the 279 pages one comes across the feeling of brotherhood shared by the Kashmiri Pandits and Kashmiri Muslims, the sudden souring of relationships and the communal flare-ups, the birth of terror and terrorists, the loss of innocence ……. But what stays with the reader at the end of the read is the strong bond of camaraderie shared by the protagonists i.e. the three childhood friends Bilal, Saifeena Malik and Deewan Bhat.

The sufferings, the embitterment as well as the good times are portrayed beautifully in the book. Finally on closing it one can’t help but ask a few questions such as –

“Have we as a Nation failed in integrating the youth of the valley into the mainstream?”

“Where did we go wrong?”

“Why is there so much hatred among people of different communities?”

“Who or what is the root cause for the crisis that saw Hindu Pandits leave their homeland and why are we still not able to instill a sense of security in them to return to their homes?”

The book reveals some distasteful and disturbing facts; things one wishes are not true.

CHARACTERIZATION :- Perfect. The characters are well fleshed out with all their imperfections. One can’t help but empathize with Bilal and Safeena.

LANGUAGE :- Simple, crisp and lucid, one that has the power to take the reader on a smooth and engaging journey.

PACE & STYLE :- The pace is even and perfect while the style of narration leaves no room for complaint.


I’m confused. Know why? Somehow I can’t understand how one General can continue to hold command/ call the shots in one place/ command area continuously for more than 20 years like General Choudhary.


An engaging read, one that is not only interesting but insightful too. I’ll give the book a 4 on a scale of 5.



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Started off as a part-time copywriter and then went on to co-found his own theatre group this young man worked as a freelance film screenwriter and as executive producer–fiction for a leading television network too.

Born and brought up in the hills of Himachal Pradesh, Sanchit Gupta’s short stories have been published in several publications and lit festivals, viz Muse India, Indian Ruminations, Contemporary Literary Review India and Tata Lit Live to name a few. He has worked with All India Radio as a talk show host and regularly features in poetry recitals at Prithvi Café, Mumbai. ‘The Tree with a Thousand Apples’ is his debut novel, the screenplay based on which has been long-listed in Sundance screenwriters’ International lab- US.

To follow Sanchit

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Website click HERE

Book Review – Key to My Soul


TITLE: Key to My Soul
AUTHOR: Probal Mazumdar
PUBLISHER: Maple Press
GENRE: Fiction



When Siddharth, a lonely young man with a failed marriage gets a sudden phone-call from a mysterious person about his lost childhood lover, Hazel, and learns that she is battling for life, he is shaken to the core. He also learns that she had left certain letters for him fifteen years back that never reached him.

It disturbs him so much that he rushes to the hospital in his old hometown. There he discovers an eclipsed past buried in time that is riddled with dangerous surprises, trauma, twists of fate, sacrifices that exemplify true love and the real reasons for the tragic end of their childhood love story.

But will Hazel ever open her eyes to see him…


STORY-LINE/ PLOT: Like sweet-salty ‘nimbu pani,’ there is a touch of romance and a touch of suspense but the end result is something cool and refreshing and heart-warming.

There is subtle romance as well as some fist-fight. There is treachery as well as love and care.The book takes us on a journey of amateur love that is caught up in a storm that takes years to settle down. The storm plays havoc in the lives of the protagonists only to see them especially Hazel, emerge strong. The author has been able to bring out the suffering and feeling of remorse experienced by Hazel and Siddharth respectively, well.

The strong bonds between the Father- son duo of Mr Banerjee and Siddharth as well as mother- daughter duo of Mary and Hazel is something one can’t miss. It is deep and one of understanding. However, one thing that I found wanting was more details on Sidharth and Kiran’s divorce.

CHARACTERIZATION: The characters of all including that of the least important ones are fleshed out well.

LANGUAGE: Language is simple and free-flowing. It reminded me of the water rushing in an irrigation canal in rains, cool and crystal clear.

PACE: Perfect. At no point did I feel my interest wane which would not have been so if the book was unevenly paced.


A wonderful read, one that has the capacity to hold the reader till the last word, ‘Key to My Soul’ scores 4 on a scale of 5 from me.






An IT Manager by profession, Probal Mazumdar is into fiction and poetry writing. Winner of the Al India Poetry Competition 2014, conducted by Poetry Society of India, Probal is a well- published poet having many of his poems make it to various national and international journals.