BOOK REVIEW: ELT-DUK AND THE COMPANY OF GOLD HUNTERS

Book: Elt-Duk and the Company of Gold Hunters

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Author: Yash Sharma

Genre: Fantasy, Fiction

Published by: Invincible Publishers

Number of pages: 140 pages

My Rating: 3.5/5

MY REVIEW: I was provided with a copy of the book by the author in exchange for an honest review.

The story is set in Northly Earth. In the town of Mirkota, there reside Tigun and Misarel who are “gold-hunters” and O’blame who is a businessman.  Ispichu, Tigun and Misarel’s communicator pigeon brings them the news that there is gold to be found on Elt-duk.

Accordingly, Tigun and Misarel decide to embark on quest to Elt-duk to prospect for gold. They rope in O’blame as their financier and business partner and he decides to join them on their voyage.

But what is Elt-duk? It is a dark, doomed and cursed place where no one dares to go.

On the way, they rescue an elderly man who is being attacked by flying beasts. That man, Buk Parsomin, turns out to have magic powers. He warns them not to go to Elt-duk as the Trroths and the Burburks want to occupy it.

The gold hunters accompany Parsomin to the kingdom of Monaar in order to meet King Altreen to warn him about the coming dangers. King Altreen is reluctant but finally agrees to offer some help to Parsomin.

The author has ended the story in a way that makes one certain that he is planning a sequel.

I recommend this book to readers as fairly engaging and interesting. The main drawback in the book was that I kept feeling that the story has been heavily inspired by Lord of the Rings and The Hobbit.

BOOK REVIEW: HOME IN THE HILL

Book: Home in the Hill

Home in the Hill

Author: Muskaan Shah

Genre: Young Adult, Fiction

Published by: Notion Press

Number of pages: 93 pages

My Rating: 4/5

MY REVIEW: I was provided with a copy of the book in exchange for an honest review.  This book happens to be my first review of the year 2019 and I was certainly glad to have kick-started my year with this particular book!

What is remarkable about this book is that the author, Muskaan Shah is a 15 year old schoolgirl! The stories in the book are a fictional account of a girl’s childhood memories of her grandmother.

The girl’s grandmother in the book lives in an idyllic hill town. There are various anecdotes in the book about her grandmother, their neighbour Mr. Feeny as well as her cousins and friends.

The book is refreshingly different. Each story is brief and amusing as well as entertaining to read. The language used in the book is very clear and correct which is truly remarkable considering the age of the author.

If you are looking for a breezy and light read, I will certainly recommend this book to you. People of all ages will be able to understand, relate to and enjoy the book.

BOOK REVIEW: THE NEW DEWTAS

Book: The New Dewtas

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Author: Suraj Kothiyal

Genre: Fantasy, Science Fiction

Published by: Leadstart Publishing

Number of pages: 222 pages

My Rating: 3.5/5

MY REVIEW: I was provided with a copy of the book by the author in exchange for an honest review.

The story is set on the island of Bali. Neer, a priest from the Himalayas, travels to Bali as he has been having visions that the island is in trouble. On his voyage, he meets the Prince of Bali, Erlangga, who informs him that his vision is indeed true and that Bali is under attack by evil spirits.

Upon reaching Bali, Neer attempts to find a way to thwart the evil spirits on the island. He is aided by Erlangga and Empu. Neer soon learns that no one is to be trusted on the island as the evil spirits have their hold everywhere and no plan of theirs seems to succeed.

Finally Neer thinks about introducing new gods to the island of Bali.

Will Neer succeed in his mission to save the island of Bali? Will Erlangga be able to have a peaceful reign over Bali as king? The reader needs to read the book to find that out.

The author has ended the story in a way that makes one wonder whether he is planning a sequel.

I recommend this book to readers as fairly engaging and interesting.

 

BOOK REVIEW: YODDHA THE DYNASTY OF SAMUDRAGUPTA

Book: Yoddha The Dynasty of Samudragupta

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Author: Rajat Pillai

Genre: Historical, Fiction

Published by: Jaico Books

Number of pages: 316 pages

My Rating: 5/5

MY REVIEW: The author Rajat Pillai provided me with a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.

Chandragupta Vikramaditya of the Gupta dynasty of course is one of the greatest kings in Indian history.

The story begins showing Samudragupta, Chandragupta’s father at the peak of power and slowly beginning to show the signs of old age. Chandragupta has been raised in a village by a foster mother and does not know who Samurdragupta really is. He only knows Samudragupta as a benevolent relative who visits him and his mother from time to time. It is only when his foster mother is on her deathbed that Chandragupta comes to know that he is actually Samudragupta’s son and a prince of Magadha.

Chandragupta arrives in the capital, meets his father and assumes his rightful place as a member of the royal family. He is soon engaged twice, once as a political match and once out of love. He is also reunited with his brother Ramagupta.

Life in the royal palace is not what it appears to be as there is a deadly assassin on the loose as well as numerous conspiracies and rivalries afoot. Chandragupta finds himself in an asylum weak and in ill health, branded mentally unstable after a series of events.

Will Chandragupta be able to get himself out of this mess and will he stake a claim on the throne of Magadha? Will the assassin be caught? Who has hired the assassin? Who is the mysterious prisoner who is being held in the dungeons of the palace? The reader will have to read the story to find out.

It will remain to be seen whether the author will take the story forward in a sequel. I highly recommend “Yoddha”, as an extremely interesting story that will leave the reader hooked to the very end!

BOOK REVIEW: THE HIDDEN CHILDREN THE LOST GRIMOIRE

Book: The Hidden Children The Lost Grimoire

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Author: Reshma K. Barshikar

Genre: Fantasy, Fiction

Published by: Two Ravens

Number of pages: 401 pages

My Rating: 5/5

MY REVIEW: I was provided with a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.

The main character of the book is Shayamukthy or Shui as she is commonly known as. She is a teenager in high school, who plays basketball and loves to hang out with her best friends Nallini and Jai. Shui is not as normal as she appears to be, as she has been diagnosed with dyslexia. She used to live in the US with her family but they moved to India three years ago.

Shui’s life is disrupted with the arrival of a new girl in their class, Anya. Nallini takes an instant dislike to Anya but Shui is drawn to her for some strange reason.

Anya shows Shui how to summon butterflies using magic and just like that Shui finds herself sucked into the world of the Witana. Shui attempts to discover whether she has magical powers. Anya reveals to Shui that the grimoire belonging to Anya’s deceased mother is lost and that Anya is desperate to find it.

The story is very fast paced as the characters zip all around Mumbai. Does Anya have a hidden agenda beyond looking for the grimoire? Does Shui really have any magical powers? The reader will have to read the story to find out.

I highly recommend “The Hidden Children”, as an extremely interesting story that has left me awaiting the sequel!

BOOK REVIEW: THE TIMES WE LIVE IN

Book: The Times We Live In

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Author: Madhav Thapar

Genre: Thriller, Fiction

Published by: Notion Press

Number of pages: 195 pages

My Rating: 4/5

MY REVIEW: I was kindly provided with a copy of this book by the author Madhav Thapar.

The story has characters from the author’s previous book, A Friend Like Karna, playing a role in the story. However, for this story, the author has weaved an elaborate plot with characters based in the United States, England, India and Pakistan. The story also goes back and forth in time, from 1947 up to the present day. Moreover, there are numerous sub-plots in the story. I will endeavour to review the book without giving away any of the suspense of the story!

Girdhari Lal Mehta’s family attempts to cross the border from Pakistan into India at the time of Partition, with the assistance of his close friend Sarfaraz Khan, the Inspector General of Police. However, Girdhari Lal’s family is killed en route with the exception of his two children Sushma and Jai Prakash.

The main characters in the story are the progeny of Sarfaraz Khan and Girdhari Lal. The RAW officer Shashank Puri also plays a pivotal role in the story. Morever, there is a deadly assassin codenamed Cobra whose identity is unknown.

The thriller is action packed and taut with various twists and turns. The identity of Cobra is not revealed until the very end and comes as a major surprise.

A fast paced thriller that is definitely worth reading!

BOOK REVIEW: A FRIEND LIKE KARNA

Book: A Friend Like Karna

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Author: Madhav Thapar

Genre: Thriller, Fiction

Published by: Notion Press

Number of pages: 161 pages

My Rating: 5/5

MY REVIEW: I was kindly provided with a copy of this book by the author Madhav Thapar.

The story is set in modern times but readers familiar with the Indian epic The Mahabharata can certainly draw the analogy between the epic and this thriller.

The story is about two of India’s elite families, the Desais and the Sahnis. Veer Singhi, the central character works for Pranav Desai, a media baron and his spoiled son Jay. Veer considers Pranav Desai to be his godfather and benefactor and is extremely loyal to him and Jay.

On the other side, the Sahni family comprises of Pran Sahni, his widowed daughter Aditi, her three sons Mridul, Vidit and Varun as well as Aditi’s maternal uncle Vidur.

The Sahnis decide to take out a contract on Pranav Desai which is partially successful. Veer on behalf of the Desais, decides to retaliate.

The story has all the ingredients of a potboiler with suspense, passion and betrayal all being part of the story. The lovely Nisha Kapoor adds to the glamour of the plot and plays an important role as she is engaged to Vidit and in love with Veer.

The story races to a climax with Veer’s parentage being part of the mystery. I just wish that the ending was different!

A Friend Like Karna is an extremely enjoyable suspense thriller and I recommend it to readers.