20 August, 2016

#BookReview :: The Conspiracy at Meru (Vikramaditya Veergatha #2) by Shatrujeet Nath


Vikramaditya and his Council of Nine have fought valiantly to repel the rampaging hordes from Devaloka and Patala – but Avanti has been brought to its knees. Ujjayini lies battered its citizens are scared and morale is badly shaken. Meanwhile, the barbaric Hunas and Sakas are gathering on the horizon and cracks are emerging between the allied kingdoms of Sindhuvarta.

The only silver lining is that the deadly Halahala is safe. For now.

Bent on vengeance, Indra is already scheming to destroy Vikramaditya, while Shukracharya has a plan that can spell the doom for the Guardians of the Halahala. How long can the human army hold out against the ferocity and cunning of the devas and asuras? And will Vikramaditya’s love for his queen come in the way of his promise to Shiva? 

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The Conspiracy of Meru has been one of the most anticipated sequels in 2016 for me. After waiting for well over a year for it and stalking the author and publishers over Facebook and Twitter {Bless them for not filing an FIR for stalking} I finally had the book in my hands. And like it is with all anticipated sequels, my heart dropped a bit when I finally started reading it – what if it doesn’t live up to my expectations?

In The Guardians of The Halahala we saw Lord Shiva hand over the dagger with the Halahala to Vikramaditya and his council of Nine for safekeeping. With Devas and Asuras conspiring against a ‘mere’ human, the wielder of the Hellfires had hell of a job on his hands. The Conspiracy at Meru continues from where the first book left off. Things are pretty much same – Devas and Asuras are still trying their best to outwit the other clan and at the same time defeat the human king. The kingdoms of Magadha and Heheya present another set of complication for our heroes. Amongst it all is hope – hope that Vikramaditya and his councilors will prevail; hope that love will prevail. Will they be successful or will the double attacks finally prove to be too much?

The plot continues to thicken. While the central story of the dagger with the Halhala continues to take the center stage in this book, a lot of side plots and parallel stories have cropped up. There is this whole separate plot that handles Shoorasena, Kapila and the kingdom of Magadha. Is it just a parallel storyline or will it turn out to be the turning point of the plot? Will Shoorasena’s dreams hinder Vikramaditya?  Also, a few of the characters get a good chance to shine in this story. Kshapanaka continues to make an impression on the readers while Shanku (I feel) is finally finding her wings. These two girls have stolen my heart from the beginning. But without giving any spoilers – you have to watch out for Vikramaditya (ofcourse), Kalidasa and Udayasanga. These three men redefine duty, loyalty and heartbreaks!

I have to admit, the author delivers on all of my expectations with regards to character and plot development. There is ample strategizing and action. The narration in this book continued to enthrall me. The author keeps setting higher bars with his books and each of his books are immensely entertaining. So the question is – Does it deliver on the promises that the first book made? Yes it does. Do I recommend this book? Hell Yes! So what are you waiting for? Go pick up Vikramaditya Veergatha for a dose of magic and mayhem.

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