Book Review : The Guardians of the Halahala

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Image Courtesy: Goodreads

Image Courtesy: Goodreads

The deadly Halahala, the all-devouring poison churned from the depths of the White Lake by the devas and asuras, was swallowed by Shiva to save the universe from extinction.
But was the Halahala truly destroyed?
A small portion still remains – a weapon powerful enough to guarantee victory to whoever possesses it. And both asuras and devas, locked in battle for supremacy, will stop at nothing to claim it.
As the forces of Devaloka and Patala, led by Indra and Shukracharya, plot to possess the Halahala, Shiva turns to mankind to guard it from their murderous clutches. It is now up to Samrat Vikramaditya and his Council of Nine to quell the supernatural hordes – and prevent the universe from tumbling into chaos!
A sweeping tale of honour and courage in the face of infinite danger, greed and deceit, The Guardians of the Halahala is a fantastical journey into a time of myth and legend.


Confessions first: I don’t like fantasy, hence I don’t read fantasy. Not really ashamed, but I haven’t even read Harry Potter, though I liked the movies and would read the series (soon). Mythology fares a notch better, as I haven’t read much there, just a stray okayish novels by Indian writers. Now when these two genres are blended and mythology is not drab or boring – comes The Vikramaditya Trilogy.

The first chunk of memory that Vikramaditya evokes is that of the television series ‘Vikram aur Betaal.’ Though sloppily made, it was our first exposure to this mytho-historical king in childhood. Decades later, Vikramaditya comes back in written, with a lot of resolve, spunk and war. The book begins promisingly with Vikramaditya happily ruling Avanti and a small ripple is created by a pack of Huna soldiers who seem to be on the verge of return. The readers are gradually acquainted with the king and his kins, his navaratna or nine councillors, the queens and their apathy towards each other.

For the uninitiated, Halahala is the poison that was churned from the oceans, expecting Amrit instead. It was deemed to be so potent that it could destroy the three universes and who better than the destroyer himself to consume the poison and save everyone. Continue reading