Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Book Review: The Secrets of the Nagas - Amish

The Secrets of the Nagas by Amish proceeds off from the trail left in The Immortals of Meluha, of the much acclaimed Shiva Trilogy. The book begins almost at the exact point where its prequel stopped and from there on the book picks up pace firm and quick. At the conclusion in Meluha, Sati was abducted by the surreptitious Naga warrior and the central crux of this subsequent book is Shiva's mission to catch the chasing evil and rescue her, while lifting the shadowy shroud of the Naga.

The second book continues the stories of Shiva, the migrant who is now hailed as Mahadev. He is married to his Sati, the princess of Meluha and reached the holy city of Benares. Considering how our mythology has to say Shivji of the Ganges and to bring her to the ground, it is quite a nice way to weave in the history of the city. Now the focus shifts to Shiva to fight evil, but who is evil? Certainly not the Chandravanshis of Swadeep, not Suryavanshis of Meluha is, so is the Naga?

Shiva has to avenge the slaying of his beloved associate Brihaspati, which has left a vast despondency within himself, who considered him as his brother. Also, the Suryavanshi's of Meluha has crushed the Chandravanshis in a battle and strives to create order and fairness in Swadweep, with Shiva as the vanguard. The eccentricity and paradoxes in the conduct of the Nagas amaze Shiva nearly over the complete book.

Shiva chooses to visit the Ram temple at Ayodhya while struggling to understand if the Chandravanshis are indeed as evil as the Suryavanshis make them out to be. Near the Ram temple, he sees an assassin waiting behind a tree following Sati, who quickly escapes a horse on getting spotted, faster than what looks usual for his extent and tosses a bag of gold from Branga at the person from whom he steals the horse while trying to escape from Shiva and Sati.

Shiva's quest to discern the unrequited obscurities lead him to the Naga queen and the Lord of the People in the surreptitiously shielded deep jungles of Panchvati, the land of Nagas after stopovers in Swadweep, Kashi and Branga through the river route with a combined following of Sati, Nandi, Veerabhadra- his childhood associate, Suryavanshi General Parvateshwar, Ayurvati the Suryavanshi doctor and Bhagirath and Anandmayi- the Chandravanshi monarchs son and daughter along with some other soldiers and confidants to finally face the Secret of the Nagas, the banished Suryavanshis or Chandravanshis born with physical abnormalities or deformities.

Shiva gets to be familiar, comprehend and study the essential dichotomy of existence, the inseparability, connotation and need of both good and evil, the concurrence of male and female part in the creation that are conveyed out in force and reveal them as to why they are benign to be the deities, pointlessness of prejudiced concepts, deception of first appearances, deficiencies in righteousness and room for virtue in imperfection, egalitarianism, integrity, veracity, fidelity, conviction, conflict of interest, ethics and much more.

The tale changes colors dramatically from the moment Amish charismatically expose the identities of the Naga queen and the Lord of the People. The protagonists of the first book have come near to being rogues while the so called evils have become champions and have become the reliable associates. While the happenings in the first book saw the story opening in Mansarovar, proceeding to Meluha and concluding in Swadweep, The Secret of The Nagas steams forward for a few episodes from Swadweep through Kashi and Branga before settling in the serene Dandaka forest in the Naga territory.

Numerous fresh characters and fascinating moments of Shiva and Daksha’s excitements on birth of Kartik, the bewilderment on meeting Ganesha, the sons of Shiva and Sati, love among Anandmayi and Parvateshwar, the royal families of kingdoms in Swadweep, and a few beautifully described Naga characters are also brought to life and do their part. Anandamayi will arrest your attention if you loved the character of Sati in the earlier book.

The book keeps on moving forward and a lot of queries that the reader has in mind will be revealed along with surprises and some sub plots are brought to their coherent inference within this volume and finishes with a fine twist. The rest of them are expected to be concluded in the finishing sequel keeping the readers hanging for the part three of Shiva Trilogy- The Oath of the Vayuputras.

In contrast to the uncertain bucolic tribal Shiva of the first book, in the following book, Shiva is much more self-confident, having taken the role of being a protector comfortably. The journey of each mythical personality related to Shiva has been inspiring and gratifying who are well developed and have been presented in a totally coherent style.

The reader would already be used to the language by now. It’s quite a task when you put your mind to transport deities as mortals from a mythology and should be well thought of, as some characters are far more fanciful to be human. The almighty appears to have turned out to be a little more amenable and accessible with his crafty writing touching the soul.

The story is a fast paced mythical thriller with a dash of wit, action, passion, intrigues, conspiracies, and subplots. The writer has a firm control on the flow of the book with the cover pages of both the books being exciting along with the intensely impelling narrative which astonishes the reader.

This incredible sequel is certainly a must read. Even if you're not a great aficionado of mythology and don't even know who Shiva is, you can still relish the story and if you do have in-depth knowledge of the folklore surrounding Shiva, you will marvel at the way the countless legends come together in this saga.

Amish is a good storyteller with an eye for detail which bonds with the reader and an exceptionally engaging elegance in writing with perfect lucidity on his feelings. The writer has done an admirable job by exquisitely reconstructing legends and tales about Shiva and his Ganas giving them life in this book with an intriguing tale while making it very interesting in-spite of parallel story lines.

The author has plaited the philosophy of the immoral and virtuousness gracefully with a concoction of adventure and excitement. The adventure gives pace to the story whereas the philosophy conveys the prospect to espouse and rivet the events in the story. The combat sequences have been well described with where you can virtually envision each sequence.

The book is a fantasy novel of the first edict and has a diverse essence altogether. Overall Amish stands out in the vivid description of the journey and utter talent of storytelling.


The Secret of the Nagas Amish

Title: The Secret Of The Nagas |Publisher: Westland |Author: Amish Tripathi |Edition: Paperback |ISBN: 978-93-80658-79-7 |No. of Pages: 414
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