The recent blend of Indian authors writing in English has seen a new hero- the 36 year old Amish Tripathi, a guy in financial services turned full time writer now. Amish’s debut novel “The Immortals of Meluha” went on to become an overnight national bestseller and has propelled the author into instant stardom. The Immortals of Meluha was a part of a three book series called the Shiva Trilogy, based on the life of the Hindu deity Shiva. Recently the second book in that series was released, “The Secret of the Nagas”. Like his first book, this book too has become an instant hit with pre-release sales, nearing that of almost the amount of first printing. There can be no doubt that Amish Tripathi is here to stay and that too in style.
The Trilogy is based on the presumption that every God was at first human and it was by their varied acts of kindness and bravery that they were transformed into Gods above mere mortals. Amish is transfixed with Shiva, and his books lie on the premise that Shiva was a human of extraordinary talent and genius. The books therefore trace his journey through the then Indus Valley civilization in serach of evil and in turn destroying it. The first installment of the series showed how Shiva helped one great nation thwart another nation by his sheer dominance and skill. The second book, now carries on with Shiva’s journey through the lenghth and breadth of India in search of the dreaded group of people called “Nagas” who lived in the south of India having been banished from the northern parts for their outwardly cruel appearence. Shiva’s journey is not going to be easy and in the path that he takes he will be forced to ally with known enemies and bandits. Can he do what others before him has failed? Well, of course he can or else why will he be a God. But would he find the true evil or like his earlier attempt, this time too he was to be fooled. This question lies in the core of the second installment.
The book traces a journey that takes the reader in a swinging tale full of adventure. The battles or the romance described in the book is almost beliavable and the technology described for such an early part of the human history seems at times to be far fetched. But still, Amish delivers yet another knocking punch of a book and recreates the mystery and the magic that he did so eloquently with his first book. “The Secret of the Nagas” at times seems a bit mild compared to the earlier installment, maybe because Amish was censured by some for the brash language that he uses at times. Still, the book comes out as a fresh new perspective on what earlier used to be just blind faith. Even if we don’t belive in the Shiva legend, we will definitely enjoy Amish’s work. Indeed a first class novel penned by a new author. Amish takes pains to eliminate the various misgivings in his earlier book and succeds in most of them. Howver at times, the narrtion seems to a bit too loose and borders on boredom. But their are twists and turns all over the plot and Amish never lets the reader rests untill he has been to the very end. The book ends with yet another twist in the tale and we have now to wait for the third installment of the series “The Oath of the Vayuputras” to know what finally happens.
This book is an amazing union of flair of writing and an extraorinarily creative mind. What it creates in beyond words and has become my instant favourite- both the author and his books. I have deliberately not mentioned too much details about the story line in the hope that the FE readers will be enticed to read the book. I promise you it will be treat for you, just give it a shot. Recommended reading for everyone who is bored with the puppy romantic novels that has invaded the Indian market in recent days. Amish is any day a far better choice than the so called revolutionary writer of Indian writing in English- Mr. Chetan Bhagat. A perfect blend of amazing literary skill and a shrewd sense of humour gives us a definite page turner. It is almost a tradition to mention the reviewer’s favourite lines from a book. I will now take the liberty to mention two of my favourites from both the books in the trilogy. In “The Immortals of Meluha” I am very fond of the line “Whether a man is a legend or not is determined by history, not by fortune tellers.”, and in “The Secret of the Nagas” Shiva mentions, “The opposite of love is not hate, its apathy.” Those two lines have sealed Amish in my mind for maybe eternity. What are you waiting for go grab the book as soon as possible!
Title: The Secret of the Nagas
Price: Rs. 295
Reviewer: Manjil P. Saikia
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