BOOK REVIEW: ASHWATTHAMA’S REDEMPTION THE RISE OF DANDAK

Book: Ashwatthama’s Redemption The Rise of Dandak

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Author: Gunjan Porwal

Genre: Mythology, Fiction

Published by: Om Books International

Number of pages: 263 pages

My Rating: 5/5

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

Ashwatthama of course is a well-known figure in Indian mythology. A great warrior and an immortal, he is remembered for being cursed by Lord Krishna.

The story is set in the time period 100 years after the Kurukshetra War. Ashwatthama, who has been reduced to a shadow of his former self is living the life of a nomad in the forest. At the same time, strange occurrences are taking place at the southern border of the kingdom of Avanti. This leads King Vikramsena, the king of Surparaka, a kingdom in the Western Ghats and Rana, the prince of Avanti to team up. They suspect that the evil sorcerer Dandak is in the process of getting resurrected. Only a divine weapon can kill Dandak.

Accordingly, Vikram, Rana and Ashwatthama, embark on a quest to the mountains to retrieve the Kodanda, the bow of Lord Rama that killed Ravana.

Their quest takes them through the kingdom of Hastinapur, where they are welcomed by Janamejaya, the great grandson of the Pandavas. The three warriors are joined on their quest by Urmila, the princess of Indraprastha and the great granddaughter of Karna.

Their quest is fraught with many dangers. Though they manage to retrieve the Kodanda, this is just the beginning of their troubles as the “asuras” are on the attack. Will Ashwatthama and his friends be able to stop the rise of Dandak?

The action in the book is extremely fast-paced. The entire story is littered with many fascinating little-known facts and details about the Kurukshetra War.

I highly recommend “Ashwatthama’s Redemption”, as an extremely interesting story that has left me awaiting the sequel!

BOOK REVIEW: KAIKEYI-THE MOTHER OF A GOD

Book: Kaikeyi-The Mother of a God

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Author: Suresh Kala

Genre: Mythological Fiction

Published by: Inven Tech

Number of pages: 353 pages

My Rating: 4/5

MY REVIEW: The author Mr. Suresh Kala provided me with a copy of the book in exchange for an honest review.

I was happy to read and review this book as I enjoy reading mythology, especially Hindu mythology. Also, it made a refreshing change from the recent novels that I have read.

The story is about Kaikeyi, the queen of King Dashrath and the stepmother of Lord Rama. Kaikeyi has always been depicted as an evil figure in Hindu mythology as it was at her behest that Lord Rama was sent into exile for fourteen years.

The story is told from Kaikeyi’s perspective and brings a whole new twist to the story of Lord Rama. We read about Kaikeyi’s childhood and upbringing, the circumstances that led to her marriage to King Dashrath and the thought process and reasoning that led Kaikeyi to ask her husband to send Lord Rama into exile.

Kaikeyi has been portrayed as a warrior princess and then a queen who was an extremely clever war strategist. Though she was not Lord Rama’s birth mother, she played an active role in his upbringing and grooming to be the future king of Ayodhya.

I loved the author’s portrayal of Kaikeyi as a feminist and a strong, independent woman. The story skilfully builds up the suspense and leads to Kaikeyi’s revelation of her motives behind her actions.

Do read the book if you enjoy reading mythology. I recommend it to readers as enjoyable, interesting and informative.

BOOK REVIEW: TARIKSHIR

Book: Tarikshir

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Author: Khayaal Patel

Genre: Thriller, Fiction

Published by: Westland Books

Number of pages: 332 pages

My Rating: 4/5

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

The story begins on an interesting note describing the chamber of Ravan, after he was killed by Lord Rama. A greedy gibbon, Valikesh, is in the search of spoils from Ravan’s chamber and finds a gem with mysterious powers that sends Valikesh to his doom.

The story moves forward in time to the year 1826 to British ruled India and the kingdom of Devangarh that is stubbornly holding out against the British. The kingdom is ruled by Raja Ravindra who is determined not to surrender to the British.

Rudra, the crown prince, is just sixteen years old and suddenly finds himself the king of Devangarh when his father is killed in a skirmish against the British. Strange deaths and even stranger characters keep popping up in the story as Rudra struggles to come to terms with his new position and his father’s death.

Are the Red Tigers on the side of the Rajputs or not? Who is the strange hooded figure that Rudra keeps seeing? Can Rudra trust Shen-Zou and Duryadutta? Who are the Sons of Hanuman? What powers does his father’s gem have?

These are just some of the questions that Rudra grapples with as events speed up and flesh eating zombies become a great danger. Can Rudra stop the zombies as well as the Tarikshir from being unleashed? Does the answer lie in his grandfather’s diary or elsewhere?

‘Tarikshir’ is a fast-paced thriller filled with constant action. The ending is a real bolt from the blue and leaves behind the probability of a sequel. I recommend ‘Tarikshir’ to readers as a real page-turner of a novel!

BOOK REVIEW: AVATAR OF PROTECTOR ANDTHE SECRET OF SUDARSHANA

Book: Avatar of Protector and the Secret of Sudarshana

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Author: Chetan B. Thakkar

Genre: Fantasy, Fiction

Published by: Notion Press

Number of pages: 154 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 begins with Kalki, a college student, celebrating his 18th birthday. Several mysterious events take place on that day and Kalki learns from his parents, the next day that he is not really their child. He is also told of a pouch containing a secret that has been placed in his bank locker.

Kalki’s parents are killed in a fire and there are some monsters after him as well. Kalki is aided by the beautiful Indrayani, Indra’s daughter and is taken away by her to Planet Paradise. Planet Paradise has been very well depicted by the author.

There Kalki learns more about his responsibilities and powers as an avatar. He learns that his parents are still alive and embarks on a mission to save them accompanied by Indrayani, his friend and a couple of others.

Of course the question remains as to whether they are able to save his parents. The reader needs to read the book to find out. The author has ended the story on such a note, that it appears that he has already planned a sequel!

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

 

BOOK REVIEW: KARTIKEYA-THE DESTROYER’S SON

Book: Kartikeya-The Destroyer’s SontempImageForSave

Author: Anuja Chandramouli

Genre: Mythological Fiction

Published by: Rupa Publications

Number of pages: 230 pages

My Rating: 4/5

MY REVIEW: The publishers Rupa Publications provided me with a copy of the book in exchange for an honest review.

I was happy to read and review this book as I enjoy reading mythology, especially Hindu mythology. Also, it made a refreshing change from the recent novels that I have read.

The story is about Kartikeya, the son of Lord Shiva and Parvati. I had never given much thought about Kartikeya, till date, as Hindu mythology has such a vast plethora of stories.

The story describes the circumstances of his conception and birth and how it was prophesised that he would bring about the end of Soorapadma, thereby bringing victory to the Devas.

The story depicts Kartikeya’s childhood and how he goes to win the war against Soorapadma. This war, has been provoked by none other than Lord Indra! Kartikeya goes off to war on his mount, the peacock Chitrabahn. He meets and falls in love with Indra’s daughter Devasena only to lose her.

We also read about Ganesha’s conception and birth and his equation with his parents and bonding with his brother Kartikeya.

What is noteworthy about the story is that the author has depicted these gods and goddesses as beings with normal human traits. Lord Shiva and Parvati have been wonderfully portrayed as a much in love but a bickering couple and Indra as a wily player of games. I particularly loved the explanation of how the river Ganga remains twined in Lord Shiva’s hair!

Do read the book if you enjoy reading mythology. I recommend it to readers as enjoyable, interesting and informative.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR: Anuja Chandramouli is a bestselling Indian author and New Age Indian classicist. She is also a student of classical dance and a practitioner of yoga.

THE RESURRECTION OF EVIL: MYTHS IN MODERN TIMES

Book: The Resurrection of Evil                                 tempImageForSave

Author: Neelabh Pratap Singh

Genre: Mythological Fiction

Published by: StoryMirror

Number of pages: 209 pages

My Rating: 4/5

 

MY REVIEW: I was graciously provided with a copy of this book by the author Neelabh Pratap Singh.

The story starts with a mysterious figure in a hooded leather jacket with luminous metallic bands around his wrists, who witnesses an angry husband killing his wife by mistake.

We are then introduced to the main character of the story, ACP Aryan. He is assigned to the Delhi Police on a case involving the robbery of an ancient pot that was excavated on an archaeological expedition.

It turns out that the ancient pot is no ordinary pot but rather it is an object that is much in demand and having ancient origins. The pot or cauldron is connected to an ancient Irish legend called Cath Maige Tuireadh as well as to a Mayan script and codex found along with four metallic rings in a Central American expedition.

The story races from Delhi and Dehradun to Haridwar and Thiruvananthapuram. There are a number of parties after the cauldron, all of whom have their own agenda.

This book stands out as it brings back ancient Indian mythology and connects it to modern theories. I was able to recollect tales that I read in childhood, about the Samudra Manthan-The Churning of the Ocean and about the Asuras, Devas and the Daanavas.

The climax of the story is brought about in a thrilling way with wormholes and black holes and the identity of the mysterious hooded figure being revealed.

The Resurrection of Evil is a lively, fun and fast paced read. It can be ordered on Amazon.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR: Neelabh Pratap Singh is a mechanical engineer by profession and a writer by passion. He can be followed on Instagram on his handle @authorneelabh.