21 February, 2015

#BookReview :: Cult of Chaos (Anantya Tantrist Mystery) by Shweta Taneja

The tantriks are now overground. They have their own council, police and justice systems. The White clan, Kaula, has emerged as the most powerful: their men are recognized tantriks, women intimate collaborators.
Then there is Anantya Tantrist, who has rejected the Kaula path. She is powerful and lives life by her own strict moral code. Who needs official seals anyway? When the world goes to hell in a handcart, badges and honours aren't going to save the day.
Incidentally, hell and chaos is just where the world is headed. In Delhi, little girls are being sacrificed in a tantrik ritual. A desperate daeva is trying to blackmail Anantya. Someone is trying to call up the God of Chaos. A three-headed giant cobra turns up in old Delhi. The White and Red tantriks are facing off, and there is one or more Black tantric brewing some dangerous shakti. As Anantya struggles to stop the madness, the supernatural underworld - peopled with creatures humanoid, barely human and inhuman - comes alive in all its bloody, gory glory. 

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Read my review of Shweta Taneja's Debut Novel - The Ghost Hunters of Kurseong

I had attended the Book launch for Cult of Chaos at Atta Galatta, Bangalore. By then I had already attended a couple of book launch and I thought I knew what to expect. Instead, Shweta Taneja took me by surprise with her “Occult-Detective Quiz” at the launch party instead of the usual speeches and Q&A session. It was quite fun even though I failed miserably at the quiz and also did not win any of the book hampers! The launch kind of set the stage for the book, which I delved into with great expectations.

Welcome to a somewhat dystopian world where Tantriks live alongside normal people and have their own little world within this world. They have their own set of rules enforced by the council and their own law enforcement system. There are the White, Red and Black tantriks, whose magic and rituals differ from each other. Then there is our protagonist, Anantya Tantrist… who lives her life away from the clan but with her own set of rules and moral codes. But not everything is fine. There is something brewing among the tantriks and Anantya is under threat. With supernatural creatures running amok and war brewing, Anantya struggles to control the situation.

Oh my! This book is a result of an amazingly creative and imaginative mind at work. The blurb of the book and my dismal summarization of it do no justice to the world of Anantya Tantrist. You have to read it to experience it.

First of all, the world building is fantastic. A reader can recognize Delhi for what it is in the story and at the same time the place is something different on the whole. I loved the setting and the buildup as the author slowly unfolded this world of tantrist living among normal people. Then there is the character of our protagonist Anantya. She is unconventional and just something else. I absolutely loved her for her charms and brazenness and cheered for her throughout. I hope there will be more in the series, because I haven’t had enough of her yet and I want more. The author then goes on to infuse her simple yet comfortable language with a magnetic story-telling capacity that makes this book a totally gripping. 

I read this book in one sitting and friggin’ loved it. Go ahead and get yourself a copy…. NOW!

1 Paperback Copy of the Book is up for grabs at my 3 year Blogiversary Celebration Giveaway!

1 comment:

  1. The name of the book itself is intriguing & then this awesome review! Will surely read it..