Saturday, 15 October 2016

The Guardians of the Halahala by Shatrujeet Nath: a review

When for the first time I heard about the book, I was caught at the first mention of "The Vikramaditya Veergatha series" because never before had I ever read a book that had such a character. Book 1 of the series, called The Guardians of the Halahala by Shatrujeet Nath was the one I picked up first. I knew that no matter what, I had to read the book and so I went on to see how the cover looks like and then, the blurb of the book. I would be true here, being a book buff, I am a bit choosy when it comes to mythological books but this blurb added to my interest in reading the book. So before I tell you my take on the book, take a look at the blurb.

According to the back cover- 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 possess it. And both asuras and devas, locked in battle for surpremac, will stop at nothing to claim it. As the forces of Devaloka and Patala, led by Indra and Shukracharya, plot to posses 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.

When I first had the book in my hand I was mesmerized by the cover of the book. Now the book has 2 covers. The latest one is yellow but the one I had is purple with undertones of pink in it and that made it all the more interesting. What is needed for a book lover rather than a great cover of a book? Might sound very odd but yes, I do judge a book by its over at times and it is very few times that I am proven wrong. Now, the book. I started with the author's note and the author had my attention in the first paragraph. The way that it has been written was simple yet so catching that any non book lover would also like to know what the author actually wants to tell his readers.

Coming to the book, I wouldn't speak of the characters much. Because for that I would really love to read the complete series (book 2 is already waiting for me) and then comment so for now, I would stick to the narration and the story. To begin with, the concept is very interesting. The churning of the waters and then the Halahala. Everyone of us who has been into mythology know at least about the churning of the river and if a lot of more myths are added then it would make for a great story.

I would love to mention here that even though it is a book which has its own target audience, there will be no problem if any reader of any age group reads this book. It has every element that makes a book read worthy and now I know that why there are so many people around me who admire the way Shatrujeet Nath writes.

Slowly and steadily I am becoming a mythology person and all thanks to writers like Shatrujeet Nath that I am loving this genre more and more. The way the narration has been done is intricate. I loved the way the web of emotions and characteristics have been developed in every character of the book.

Even though the main characters seem to be Samrat Vikramaditya and his Council of Nine, there are many more who are sure to capture your attention as readers and trust me, many did for me. There are nail biting sequences of war inside the book and that makes it all the more worthwhile. The story is so well told that it can well be used as a script for a bollywood blockbuster movie and trust me, I would be the first one to book a ticket if there is a movie on it. I would like to give it to the author for writing such a precisely written mythological book which will be loved by all.

Coming to the cons of the book, there are not many. To speak of it I guess the beginning takes a bit of its sweet time to adjust to the readers but that's the same with most books of the genre. Then, there are too many things happening at a very fast pace and so the reader would have to be always on their toes and at the edge of their seats. I would've loved more of the book but wait. Isn't it the reason why I waited for such a long time to read the book? So that I could read book 2 immediately. All having said and done, this book is a 4.5 out of 5 for me. I'm so looking forward to the next book of the series.

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