Category Archives: Book Review

BOOK REVIEW- THE CONSPIRACY OF MERU

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TITLE: The Conspiracy of Meru (Vikramaditya Veergatha Series Book#2)
AUTHOR: Shatrujeet Nath
PUBLISHER: Jaico Publishing House
GENRE: Fiction (Fantasy)
ISBN: 9788184958874
 
 
 

(For details including review, of Book #1 of the Vikramaditya Veergatha Series i.e. THE GUARDIANS OF HALAHALA,’ CLICK HERE )
 
 
 

THE BOOK
 
 
 
TITLE & COVER DESIGN

While the title points towards deceit, the cover design gives us a fair idea of the tumultuous times we are about to witness within the pages of the book.


 
 
 

BLURB

VICTORY IS TEMPORARY
THE BATTLE IS ETERNAL

Vikramaditya and his Council of Nine have fought valiantly to repel the rampaging hordes from Devaloka and Patala – but Avanti has been brought to its knees. Ujjayini lies battered its citizens are scared and morale is badly shaken. Meanwhile, the barbaric Hunas and Sakas are gathering on the horizon and cracks are emerging between the allied kingdoms of Sindhuvarta.

The only silver lining is that the deadly Halahala is safe. For now.

Bent on vengeance, Indra is already scheming to destroy Vikramaditya, while Shukracharya has a plan that can spell the doom for the Guardians of the Halahala. How long can the human army hold out against the ferocity and cunning of the devas and asuras? And will Vikramaditya’s love for his queen come in the way of his promise to Shiva?

 
 
 

MY TAKE

PLOT/ STORY-LINE: The second book in the Vikramaditya Veergatha Series, ‘The Conspiracy of Meru’ continues to keep us on tenterhooks. The transition from the first book i.e. ‘The Guardians of Halahala’ is smooth and the author has cleverly managed to maintain the suspense regarding the Halahala and its whereabouts till the end. In fact the Halahala still evades not only the Devas and Asuras but the readers as well.

The story is as I mentioned is intriguing and engaging and keeps the reader on tenterhooks with its twists and turns. While the fierce battle scenes especially that off the coast of Dvaraka are enough to give goose bumps, the havoc wreaked by Ahi is spine chilling.

Once again the author takes us through a maze of emotions. There is chivalry, love, deceit and much more that only a reading of the book can bring to the fore clearly. No review can explain the intricacies involved in the story with perfection. There are certain startling revelations that can have a bearing on the unity of the Guardians of Halahala and the turn the story takes in the next book in the series. While the mystery deepens, the conspiracy thickens and unholy nexus between the foes starts taking root to defeat the King and his Council of Nine. Will they succeed? Only time will tell.

CHARACTERIZATION: Characters are well- developed especially the secondary characters of the Series who take centre stage in this book (Here King Vikramaditya has been relegated to the background). But what stands out is that even the characters of the Devas are relatable. They are not entirely sugar coated. They have vices just like ordinary human beings. Lust, jealousy, deceit and a sense of helplessness at times makes them integrate easily into the story

LANGUAGE AND STYLE: Crisp and lucid. I loved the author’s style of narration and use of words.The flow takes one along with it and the imagery helps to transport the reader to the thick of action taking place. The battle scenes had me spell-bound.

PACE: The pace is perfect. Will keep one glued to the pages without giving a gap to let out even a yawn.

 
 
 

VERDICT

Picked up the book with a lot of expectation having thoroughly enjoyed the first book in the series ‘The Guardians of Halahala.’ Must say the author did not disappoint. A wonderfully crafted story, one that one can’t possibly regret having picked up, I’ll give it a 5 on a scale of 5.


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GET A COPY @ : Amazon.in // Infibeam // Flipkart

THE AUTHOR

SHATRUJEET NATH

To visit author profile and know more about his other works CLICK HERE

Book Review : The Wrong Turn

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TITLE: The Wrong Turn
AUTHORS: Sanjay Chopra and Namita Roy Ghose
PUBLISHER : Om Books International
GENRE: Historical Fiction


THE BOOK


BLURB

1944, Kohima — a small, sleepy town in northeast India. Subhash Chandra Bose and his Indian National Army (INA) along with the Japanese, are on the brink of bringing the Empire to its knees and forcing the British out of India. But, inexplicably, the tables turn. The INA’s advance is thwarted and the victory march to Delhi is halted. Seventy years later, the British admit that the Battle of Kohima was the greatest battle they had ever fought. Even more so than the battles of Waterloo and Dunkirk.

Was it then that old Indian curse — betrayal? Someone from within Netaji’s own ranks? Were there forces other than the British, waiting in the shadows closer to home, who stood to gain even more from the INA’s defeat? Or was it just love that irrevocably altered the course of India’s destiny?
The Wrong Turn: Love and Betrayal in the Time of Netaji, is a sweeping tale of passion set against the freedom struggle. Debraj, the rakish playboy and scion of a distinguished Calcutta family, and Nishonko, the fiery revolutionary sworn to the cause of the INA, must not only fight their common enemy, but also for the love of Aditi, the rebel with the healing touch.

A haunting tale of love, friendship and betrayal of an entire nation, The Wrong Turn veers inexorably towards a poignant redemption.


MY TAKE


PLOT/ STORY-LINE: An interesting one that’s destined to make one think of what the India of today would be if Netaji and his Azad Hind Fauj were to decide India’s destiny post-Independence.

Wonderfully crafted, the story is a saga of the struggle of the people and the mutiny that took place in the Armed Forces during that time that saw a steady stream of ragged Indian soldiers desert the British Indian Army to join hands with Netaji’s fauj in their yearning for dignity and respect.

While on the one hand we see intense patriotism drive common people to leave all that’s dear to them, sacrifice their loved ones, live a life of fugitive and at times resort to nothing short of guerrilla warfare, on the other side we see the ugly face of those that seek to take advantage of the situation. Driven by selfish motives and the desire to rise up in the ladder of life they are ready to turn in their fellow countrymen. Unfortunately it is people like Goopta who are the curse of Society, who decided the destiny of India of post- Independence. Corrupt to the core, it is they who stabbed at the very core of the Independence Struggle by their deceit and ensured that they had a say in the new order.

‘The Wrong Turn’ represents not only the wrong turn in India’s freedom struggle but also the wrong turn in the life of the protagonist Debraj Mookerji the Scion of an aristocratic family who is involuntarily drawn into the freedom struggle by circumstances beyond his control.

Steeped in myriad emotions like patriotism, deceit, love, jealousy, hate and empathy, the story takes us on a journey of sorts through a part of the freedom struggle and imparts a feeling of being in the middle of the action. It also gives us an insight into life in Kolkata of those days.

The twists and turns makes the book an engaging read but…….it’s the climax that turns out to be the icing on the cake.

CHARACTERIZATION: The characters are well- developed and easily relatable. One can’t help but see in them a strong resemblance of our next- door neighbours, friends, relatives and politicians.

LANGUAGE: Crisp and lucid.

PACE: Fast paced

STYLE: Perfect


VERDICT

A truly engaging read, one that will enthrall the historical fiction fan to the core, I’ll give it a 4 on a scale of 5.

(For more details regarding the book like excerpt, buying links, author bio, etc., do CLICK HERE to visit the Spotlight on the book.)


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BOOK REVIEW : HALF PANTS FULL PANTS

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TITLE : Half Pants Full Pants
AUTHOR : Anand Suspi
PUBLISHER: Paper Boat
GENRE: Non- fiction
ISBN: 9788193262016
AVAILABLE @ : flipkart / amazon.in

THE BOOK

TITLE

Apt. Conveys the essence of the book in simple yet strong terms.

COVER DESIGN

Reminded me of the days when 5 ps. And 10 ps. could buy us a handful of sweets, chewing gum etc.

WHAT THE BOOK IS ALL ABOUT

A debut novel that several Indian readers have compared with works of one of India’s greatest writers – R K Narayan. Universal in its theme, this book is a tribute to childhood memories and nostalgia. It vividly captures and celebrates the little joys of growing up before internet and mobile phones took away the simplicity of life. This is a childhood autobiography set in a small town in South India in the 1970s and 80s. At once an ode to innocence and mischief, this is a collection of effortlessly told memorable little tales guaranteed to set off a journey back in time. From playing a rare instrument, to asking Rajiv Gandhi intimate questions, to practicing dolphin dives, to hanging out of a running train in the middle of the night; to witnessing a world record, to being caught in a flood of sambar, to learning kung-fu with mosquitoes, to becoming the “inventor” of capris, to making magnets, to planning a borewell… Half Pants Full Pants is a collection of real-life stories of growing up in Shimoga. R. Balki, perhaps our generation’s best filmmaker and storyteller, touts this treasure-trove of stories as: “After Malgudi Days, I could never imagine that somebody could create another childhood classic for adults to regain their innocence even for a few hours. Suspi’s tales would have made R K Narayan smile. Oh! That beautiful Kannadiga gene!”

MY TAKE

STORIES :- Enriching! Takes one down memory lane to those good old days when 5 ps. and 10 ps. could buy one lots of chocolates, chewing gums, etc. Each of the stories in the book is easily relatable for people like me who grew up in the 60s and 70s when a journey by train was nothing short of good luck, when Raleigh cycles were a novelty and being able to play an instrument was the in thing. They bring to life the innocence of childhood in those days; days when TVs were just making an entry into the Indian market and children preferred outdoor games to being bound within the four walls of the house.

The pages of the book are loaded with humor and innocence and though most of us have gone through the experiences mentioned therein, one can’t help experiencing a feeling akin to inhaling pure, fresh air when going through the same.

CHARACTERIATION: The characters are well- fleshed out and each of them has certain traits that make them stand out from the rest. They remind us of our friends and foes ( bullies) of childhood and make us nostalgic.

LANGUAGE: Language is simple crisp and lucid and has the ability to bring live the events narrated in the book.

VERDICT

A wonderful and refreshing read that is sure to appeal to people of all ages. While the book is sure to make people who were born before the mid- 90s nostalgic, it will act as a reference to those born later giving them an insight to the simple yet innocent life of earlier times when people were truly connected to nature and were not bogged down by gadgets, when eating out needed months of planning yet inviting someone over did not need a previous notice. I’ll give the book a 4 on a scale of 5.


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Review: Dominick & the Dragon by Anne K. Edwards

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TITLE: Dominick & the Dragon
AUTHOR: Anne K. Edwards
FORMAT: ebook
PAGES: 42
GENRE: Fantasy Fiction ( For children)
ASIN: B01N9F3RFS
GET IT @ amazon.com

BLURB

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.

MY TAKE

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.


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Review : Changing Places by Anne K. Edwards

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TITLE: Changing Places
AUTHOR: Anne K. Edwards
Age level: 4-8
Price: $1.99/₹ 129.00
Pages: 14
ASIN: B06Y2DP993
Find on amazon.com & Amazon.in

BLURB 🙂

A black cat named Whiskers encounters a snake that has lost his home when he goes outside to see the world.

WHAT I LIKED

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.

VERDICT

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.


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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

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TITLE: Radius 200
AUTHOR: Veena Nagpal
GENRE: Fiction
ASIN: B01MYBRT3L

THE BOOK

BLURB

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…

REVIEW
 
 
WOWs!!

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.

 
 
OOPs!!

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.
 
 
VERDICT

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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Get a copy of the book @

amazon.in II amazon.com

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

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TITLE: Ponni’s Beloved
TRANSLATOR: Sumeetha Manikandan
PUBLISHER: Indireads
ASIN: B01MUHYI5A

 

BLURB
(Goodreads)

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.

REVIEW

MY TAKE


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.


VERDICT


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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for the book

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Book Review – Rafflesia: The Banished Princess

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

THE BOOK

TITLE

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.

COVER DESIGN

BLURB

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!

REVIEW
MY TAKE

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.

VERDICT

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.


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

Get a copy of the book @ amazon.in

Book Review: The Indus Challenge

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

THE BOOK

BLURB

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.

MY TAKE

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.

VERDICT

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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GET A COPY OF THE BOOK >>>

amazon.in II flipkart II amazon.com II infibeam

Book Review: The Rise of the Dawnstar

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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 BOOK

THE BLURB

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…

MY TAKE

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.

VERDICT

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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GET A COPY OF THE BOOK >>>

amazon.com II nook II amazon.in II kobo II smashwords II netgalley


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MEET

FARAH OOMERBHOY

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)


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GIVEAWAY (US/INT)

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 : http://farahoomerbhoy.com/rise-dawnstar-now/

My lucky number is 16

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


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TO GET AN INSIGHT WHAT OTHERS HAVE TO SAY ABOUT THE BOOK
DO
VISIT THE OTHER BLOGGERS ON THE TOUR
HERE

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 (http://www.kindleandme.com)
Review – LiyareadsYA (https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCy57923LodhcqD8QLYurgyQ?app=desktop )

Thursday, May 11th

Interview and review – The YA Wizard (https://theyawizard.wordpress.com/)
Interview – Coffee Addicts Book Reviews (http://selenityjadebooks.blogspot.com/)

Friday, May 12th

Review – Darcy’s Book Blog (https://darcysbookblog.com)
Guest post – Rockin’ Book Reviews (http://www.rockinbookreviews.com/)