Book Review : The Conspiracy At Meru

Blurb View:

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?

Review: 

For those who are familiar with my reviews, you already know that Mythology is not my forte. And it is a fact that I had liked the #1 in Vikramaditya series – Guardians of the Halahala. These two facts combine into a solution that I’ve implemented while reading this series – treat it is a thriller. I didn’t get boggled by the fact that I’m dealing with King Vikramaditya and the devas, asuras and super powers. Instead, I tried to ingest the story as a racy over the edge action-packed thriller. And it is safe to infer that the book met all the expectations.

The plot begins exactly where we’d left it in the previous book. The city is in shambles and the king tries to pick up the pieces with the help of his councillors. Each of them has their own story, Kalidasa has strange visions that want to convey some secret to him, Shanku realises her secret super power, and the Acharya has his own issues to resolve. With consistent attacks from the Devas and Asuras, Ujjaini is battered and bruised, struggling to even exist before considering survival. Will they be able to decipher what Shukracharya ‘The Healer’ has in store for them? Will Queen Vishakha regain her health and memories? Will the kingdom of Avanti resurrect gathering all its pieces together?

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Best Reads of 2015

The year has been tumultuous for various reasons. And yet, sailing through turdy waves, I managed to read 50 books through the year. Few have been good, most have been lukewarm, and some have been great. A little glimpse of the best 5 (in no order) to usher in the new year. Hope you have a great bookish one!

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Paper Towns by John Green – The tale of Margo and Quentin was quite gripping, getting predictable towards the end, but nonetheless it was chilling in some parts. Wouldn’t rate it higher than The Fault In Our Stars, though both are very different in nature. Paper Towns lacked a little something, I couldn’t figure out what it was exactly, but somehow Margo’s story disappointed me a little. It met my expectations but didn’t exceed them. Still, one of the best I’ve read this year. Hope to read all John Greens and David Levithans in 2016.

ogThe Oleander Girl by Chitra Banerjee Divakaruni – By far the best read this year. I love both her stories and the way she narrates them. There’s pain and love, all mixed up, and that’s what happens when both ends meet. The story about an orphaned girl and her search for destiny in a faraway land touches many chords. Korobi is a delicate yet strong girl, named after the Oleander flower, which is poisonous too. She isn’t, but her destiny is, in the story. Do read if you like complex human relationships.

 

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The Guardians of the Halahala by Shatrujeet Nath – The fact I don’t read mythology or fantasy got nullified this year with the #1 Vikramaditya Trilogy. A very engaging read, taut storyline executed wonderfully. Kudos to the author for bringing back Vikramaditya in style. Just to know what happened next to the characters, many of us are waiting eagerly for the sequel.

amy tanThe Bonesetter’s Daughter by Amy Tan – Let’s say I like reading cross-cultural stories. Amy Tan is a hugely successful writer and she made her debut in my bookshelf this year. It was such an enriching experience to read about America and rural China in parallel plots, exploring various relationships. The story is laced with rural beliefs, superstitions, folklore, all but relevant in a later life too. Relationships between a Chinese immigrant mother and her her America raised daughter was heartwarming to say the least. I loved the book and next in line is The Kitchen God’s Wife by Amy Tan.

noronariNoronari Katha by Shirshendu Mukhopadhyay – I perhaps read more Bangla than any other books at any point of time. Can’t shy away from the vast and rich literature my language boasts of. One of my favourite writers is Shirshendu Mukhopadhyay. Even though he’s an octogenarian, the stories he writes are relevant forever. Again a complex web of human relationships, mostly between a pair of man and woman, the most primitive relationship. It’s an endearing read that will leave you introspecting on your relationships.

Do tell me how many books you read this year and the ones you loved. Happy 2016.