03 January, 2015

#BookReview :: The Guardians of the Halahala (Vikramaditya, #1) by Shatrujeet Nath

The deadly Halahala, the all-devouring poison churned from the depths of the White Lake by the devas and asuras, was swallowed by Shiva to save the universe from extinction.
But was the Halahala truly destroyed?
A small portion still remains – a weapon powerful enough to guarantee victory to whoever possesses it. And both asuras and devas, locked in battle for supremacy, will stop at nothing to claim it.
As the forces of Devaloka and Patala, led by Indra and Shukracharya, plot to possess the Halahala, Shiva turns to mankind to guard it from their murderous clutches. It is now up to Samrat Vikramaditya and his Council of Nine to quell the supernatural hordes – and prevent the universe from tumbling into chaos!
A sweeping tale of honour and courage in the face of infinite danger, greed and deceit, The Guardians of the Halahala is a fantastical journey into a time of myth and legend. 

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I have to admit at the very beginning that I accepted a review copy of this book from the author without even reading the blurb. The reason behind it is the Author’s debut novel “The Karachi Deception”. I had absolutely loved it for his writing style. Then again, once I accepted and realized that this is a fantasy / mythological book instead of a gritty thriller, I felt apprehensive… what if the author isn’t as good in writing in a different genre from what I have already read and appreciated. I need not have feared. Shatrujeet Nath follows up his stunning thriller with an equally enthralling fantasy book.

During the ‘Samudramanthan’ which produced a lot of treasure and ‘Amrit’ in the end, also produced a poison, Halahala, so potent that even the fumes of it dropped the bodies of devas and Asuras alike. Lord Shiva had swallowed it in order to save the universe from extinction. But what many people do not know is that a small amount remains and the owner of it could have a huge advantage in any battle. Both Devas and Asuras are in search for it. But Lord Shiva, who knows the potential of it, entrusts Vikramaditya and his Navaratnas to guard it with their life.

I found the plot quite engrossing and different from anything that I have read from an Indian author so far. We all know of the ‘Samudramanthan’ and Halahala, and we also know of Vikramaditya and his various tales. When put together, they indeed form something unique. Complimentary to the plot is its characterization. The author has taken the age old characters and presented them in a new avatar. The Gods, especially Lord Shiva, seem so human in the story that one can almost identify with them. But I have to say that Vikramaditya stands out among all of them. With a wide choice of Devas and Asuras available, I choose team human because Vikramaditya as the wielder of the Hellfires is really a formidable personality. The author’s style of writing is opulent and easy to get into at the same time. He has not only maintained quality in writing, but has also improved upon it.

I would recommend it to all mythology and fantasy lovers as it guarantees entertainment with its plot, action and twists.

Review Copy from the Author

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