It has been over a month and a half since I read this book. The review has been long due. The problem in writing reviews after such a long gap is that I tend to forget the tiny details of the story. So, I have decided to make the task easy by quoting the synopsis at the back of the book followed by my views on the book.
Shiva Trilogy I - The Immortals of Mehula
1900 BC. In what modern Indians mistakenly call the Indus Valley Civilization.
The inhabitants of that period called it the land of Mehula - a near perfect empire created many centuries earlier by Lord Rama, one of the greatest monarch that ever lived.
This once proud empire and its Suryavanshi rulers face severe perils as its primary river, the revered Saraswati, is slowly drying to extinction. They all face devastating terrorist attacks from the east, the land of the Chandravanshis. To make matters worse, the Chandravanshis appear to have allied with the Nagas, an ostracized and sinister race of deformed humans with astonishing martial skills.
The only hope for the Suryavanshis is an ancient legend: When the evil reaches epic proportions, when all seems lost, when it appears that your enemies have triumphed, a hero will emerge.
Is the rough-hewn Tibetan immigrant Shiva, really that hero? And does he want to be that hero at all? Drawn suddenly to his destiny, by duty as well as love, will Shiva lead the Suryavanshi vengeance and destroy evil?
This is the first book in a trilogy of Shiva, the simple man whose karma re-cast him as our Mahadev, the God of Gods.
On my India visit in 2011, I had seen this book on almost every book store, be it in Airport or Railway Station or at Crosswords. But, at that time, I was not really drawn to the title or the cover page of the book. So, I didn't buy it. Later, I saw the review of the book on blogs I follow and everyone was all praises for the book. That's when I was intrigued and decided to read it. I bought the two books of the series during my India visit this year. Before I start to shower my praises for the book, let me tell you, I am not very familiar with the actual Shiva and Sati story. So, the fictional take was all new and fresh for me.
I thoroughly enjoyed the book. The plot is gripping and kept me intrigued and engaged. The story has several layers, after every few pages something new is happening and the beauty of the whole thing is that it is intricately connected and it builds up towards the bigger picture. The author has done a commendable job in weaving mythological facts with fiction and has created a fantastic story. Kudos to his imagination! But, there are few things that I believe does not entirely suits the era the story is set in. For example, our country was not called India at that time. Many a times Shiva is portrayed as the cool dude which doesn't fit into my image of a mythological character.
The book is just not a fictional take on Lord Shiva, but has an underlying philosophical message - One's deeds decides one's destiny. It is an easy and fast read. The writing is simple and easy to understand. It has a good balance of mythology, fiction, suspense, adventure, romance, virtues and principles. The ending is quite a cliff hanger and compels you to read the next book of the series- The Secret of Nagas.
I will recommend it to anyone least bit interested Indian mythology.
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