The book series I am talking about comprises of three books – Immortals of Meluha, The Secret of Nagas, and The Oath of the Vayuputras – written by an Indian author, Mr. Amish Tripathi.
Mr. Tripathi indeed struck a jackpot when his debut novel, Immortals of Meluha, turned out to be a bestseller, with his entire trilogy later becoming the fastest selling book series in the history of Indian publishing. Learning about the success of the books, I instantly wanted to get my hands on them, and was given the opportunity when I found that my cousin brother had borrowed the first two books from a friend. Once I had finished with them, I could not wait to read the third and bought it from a bookshop at the airport! Needless to say, I wasn’t disappointed on reading them.
I was hooked to the series from the very first book itself, and I knew this was a book worth reading as not all books have such a captivating effect on me. The plot was very intriguing and the characters well-developed. The genre itself was something unique – a mix of Indian mythology, fiction, and fantasy, with a touch of romance. The books possessed all elements required to ensnare a reader. The pace of the story was well balanced, not too fast to prove confusing and not too slow to appear boring. The writing style was casual and simplistic, yet the descriptions particularly elaborate and surreal.
The entire time I was reading the books, I felt like I was a part of them. I could connect with the protagonist Shiva easily, and every time I put the book down, I was left wondering what he would be facing next. Another aspect of the books that I enjoyed was how Mr. Tripathi had taken so many well-known characters from Indian mythology and given them their own spin and identity. Not only that, all of them were particularly well-rounded and constant in their personalities, each having a distinct relationship with Shiva. Some of my favourites were Ganesh, Parvateshwar, Brahaspati and Sati. Each of them had something essential to give to the plot and without them the story would have been more or less colourless.
The books, however, are not entirely flawless. The intricate details can get a little tiresome at times, especially those of ‘long journeys’ that Shiva and his troops make. The plot can come across as slightly slow-paced at times, especially that of the third book, The Oath of the Vayuputras. Some characters are not given enough importance when I felt like that they should have, such as Anandmayi and Ayurvati. The climax in the last book, though surprising, is not much focused on, and I felt like Mr. Tripathi could have done better in drawing it out and increasing its intensity.
Nonetheless, it was interesting to see how Shiva evolved as a character himself on his journey from the first to the third book. As he comes to terms with his ‘destiny’ to eliminate evil, he faces various threats, forges many alliances, realises who his loyal friends are, and who his true enemies, all the while fighting nightmares of his past. He has many sides to his personality and it is exhilarating to unravel his many layers chapter by chapter, book by book, until the very end. It is astounding to read how he attains the status of a living God from a barbarian of another land for the entire India.
The books have many deep set morals in them, like those of friendship and loyalty, of bravery and kindness, and above all, of ‘good’ and ‘evil’ and what makes them. They definitely make for a good read, and I would recommend them to anyone looking to read something unique.