Wednesday, January 30, 2013

World of Words Wednesday - Shiva Trilogy - Amish - book review, and memes


Book Review: 
by Amish
Book 2 of the Shiva Trilogy
GoodReads Book Description: Today, He is a God.
4000 years ago, He was just a man.
The hunt is on. The sinister Naga warrior has killed his friend Brahaspati and now stalks his wife Sati. Shiva, the Tibetan immigrant who is the prophesied destroyer of evil, will not rest till he finds his demonic adversary. His vengeance and the path to evil will lead him to the door of the Nagas, the serpent people. Of that he is certain.
The evidence of the malevolent rise of evil is everywhere. A kingdom is dying as it is held to ransom for a miracle drug. A crown prince is murdered. The Vasudevs Shivas philosopher guides betray his unquestioning faith as they take the aid of the dark side. Even the perfect empire, Meluha is riddled with a terrible secret in Maika, the city of births. Unknown to Shiva, a master puppeteer is playing a grand game.
In a journey that will take him across the length and breadth of ancient India, Shiva searches for the truth in a land of deadly mysteries only to find that nothing is what it seems.
Fierce battles will be fought. Surprising alliances will be forged. Unbelievable secrets will be revealed in this second book of the Shiva Trilogy, the sequel to the #1 national bestseller, The Immortals of Meluha

My thoughts: I enjoyed 'The Immortals of the Meluha' reviewed here. And was ready to try book two of the series. It did not disappoint me considering what I loved about the book - the concept!

I just completed reading this book! Finally! This does not mean the book was a slow read or uninteresting. It just means I was reading many other books along with this one and wanted to be fair to all of them. But I had reached a point in the story a few days back where I had to just continue reading and could not stop till I reached the last page.

Amish’s story telling has a sense of flow – the story moves on ahead and tempts you to turn a few pages ahead to know what happens (since you kind of feel you know what might happen and most times in this book, I have been correct) and at the same time tempts you to not miss a single word. As far as sequels go, this book does justice to a good first book. Again, the concept continued to enchant me and the parallels between Hindu mythological stories and this book were a treat to draw. For readers not familiar with stories of Shiva, the reading might be a tad dragging. The story is written in a conversation style which is easy to follow (and suddenly, you find big words thrown in where you least expect them but this is a not too big a flaw when the story keeps you occupied).

What happens next at each part of the story line was not too much of a mystery in spite of all the twists and turns the story takes but how he develops the twists and turns makes the book a good read. New familiar characters are introduced here and I loved how they came into the story. Shiva and Parvateshwar are among my favorite characters (with Nandi, Bhagirath, and Veerbhadra next in line).

Rating: B (A+ for the concept again)

For ABC Wednesday's (letter C), women authors: 
Subhadra Kumari Chauhan: I read some of her poems as a child – part of the school curriculum – and the words have stayed with me since. Two especially are close to my heart – Jhansi Rani (where she writes about the life and valor of Queen Lakshmi Bai of Jhansi who was one of the main figures of the Indian Freedom Struggle of 1857) and Yeh Kadamb Ka Ped(a poem where a little boy is addressing his mother and the tone of the poem is just sweet innocence in contrast to the fiery passion of Jhansi Rani).
Sadly, I have not read her poems in the recent past and writing this post has definitely inspired me to read yet again! So thank you, ABC Wednesday. 

Original Hindi text of Jhansi Rani:

सिंहासन हिल उठे राजवंशों ने भृकुटी तानी थी,
बूढ़े भारत में आई फिर से नयी जवानी थी,
गुमी हुई आज़ादी की कीमत सबने पहचानी थी,
दूर फिरंगी को करने की सबने मन में ठानी थी।
चमक उठी सन सत्तावन में, वह तलवार पुरानी थी,
बुंदेले हरबोलों के मुँह हमने सुनी कहानी थी,
खूब लड़ी मर्दानी वह तो झाँसी वाली रानी थी।।

Roman transliteration using ITRANS:

simhasan hil uthe, rajavanshon ne bhrikuti tani thi,
boodhhe bharat mein aayi, phir se nayi jawaani thi,
gumi hui azadI ki keemat sab ne pahachani thi,
door firangi ko karne ki sab ne man mein thani thi.
chamak uthi san sattawan mein, woh talwaar puraani thi,
bundele harbolon ke munh ham ne sunI kahani thi,
khoob ladi mardani woh to jhansI wali rani thi.

English translation:

The thrones shook and royalties scowled
Old India was re-invigorated with new youth
People realised the value of lost freedom
Everybody was determined to throw the foreigners out
The old sword glistened again in 1857
This story we heard from the mouths of Bundel bards
Like a man she fought, she was the Queen of Jhansi

The poem and translation are from Wikipedia available under the Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike License.

Agatha ChristieI read a few of her books years ago and loved them. She is a much loved and much read author in India. I of course watched the Poirot television series and still do sometimes. Her books always manage to capture my interest all the way till I turn the last page. I do plan to read a couple of her books this year as part of my many reading challenges and am sure I will enjoy them fully.  The movies that I watched (like ‘Gumnaam’ based on ‘And Then There were None’ in Hindi and ‘Murder on the Orient Express’ in English) based on her books have been among some of the best movies I have seen.
“The impossible could not have happened, therefore the impossible must be possible in spite of appearances.”
― Agatha Christie, Murder on the Orient Express

And one more author whom I have yet to read (had just started reading the book and left partway through because something else came up but saw the movie and loved it – The Hunger Games) and whom I would like to add here is Suzanne Collins

NaBloPoMo prompt of the day:
Benjamin Franklin said, "Energy and persistence conquer all things." Do you agree or disagree?
I think it is true. The never give up motto is something I do believe in. Try, try, and try again, and you will definitely get somewhere else (at least not where you were before so you have moved, and I believe, moved ahead). And whatever we do, we need to do it with passion and energy.

For 3WW(Pulsate Tendril Draft)
A draft of love rushed past
Sweet tendrils of emotions crept up on her
Slowly getting stronger
Causing her heart to pulsate

For Wondrous Words Wednesday, have only one word today (did not make notes too often this week):
colonnade (noun)
1.Architecture . a series of regularly spaced columns supporting an entablature and usually one side of a roof. Compare arcade.
2.a series of trees planted in a long row, as on each side of a driveway or road.

10 comments:

  1. Enjoyed the 3ww entry. And I agree with Franklin. Although I like to think of it as a series of little dreams to be realised along a path towards the big one.

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  2. The "Draft of Love" poem was a delight. I can imagine the tendrils of emotions affecting every part of her body.

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  3. Very interesting review and post. Carver, ABC Wed. Team

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  4. I think I'd have to put something over the cover to read that book - I couldn't stand looking at that snake!

    I think of military lined up when I hear colonnade - I guess you could use it that way. Thanks for playing along!

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  5. Agatha Christie is well know to me and I do enjoy the crime/mystery genre of books.

    Leslie
    abcw team

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  6. I particularly enjoyed your 3WW poem... so sweet, so much meaning in a handful of words. Refreshing and calm. Peace, Amy
    http://sharplittlepencil.com/2013/01/31/chanteuse-in-sneakers/

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  7. Interesting post. I was CURIOUS how good itrans is, never having come across it before?

    ROG, ABC Wednesday team

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