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18 January, 2019

#BookReview :: The Silent Witness by Anuradha

A thrilling saga of loyalty, deceit, love and war. Seventeenth century Malabar. Law and order lay in shambles as the Portuguese terrorize the locals. Native kings troop in separate camps for and against the foreign invaders. The rift is so deep that Samoothiri of Calicut, the sworn enemy of the Kochi kingdom, has finally decided to join forces with Kochi to fight the outsiders. In a dramatic turn of events, the heir to the Kochi throne, Kerala Varma and his brother, Veera Kerala Varma, go into exile in guise of sanyasis to escape the Portuguese. During their journey, Veera Kerala Verma falls in love with Unnimaya, the gorgeous niece of the army chief of Chempakassery Raja, a major Portuguese ally. Another storm is brewing in the horizon. The Dutch, seizing the opportunity to topple the Portuguese rule, plan to partner with Kerala Varma and Samoothiri. Will they succeed. Who will rule Kochi next. Will Veera Kerala Varma’s and Unnimaya’s love triumph above duty. 



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Silent Witness by Anuradha is a historical fiction set in the Seventeenth Century India. It is set in the beautiful Kerala, to be more precise, where the Sammudris of Kozhikode, the Rajas of Kochi and the Portuguese were all trying to gain the majority foothold. With the politics of the kingdom and the Portuguese conspiracies proves to be too much as the Crown Prince Kerala Varma and his brother is forced to go into hiding. In his quest for survival and also finding potential allies, Kerala Varma meets and falls in love with Unnimaya. Finally, with the help of the Dutch, Kerala Varma plans to win back his throne and title but will his love for Unnimaya be his strength or a hindrance?

The author has a knack for weaving a beautiful story. The book has quite a few characters as part of each of the camps represented in the story. I will admit it though that it took me some time to get into the flow of the story where I could understand and identify each character by its name. Then again, I have always been weak with names. So, this may not be an issue for others. It would have been very easy to complicate the story and confuse the readers. Instead the threads of the story are well interwoven to make it more interesting to the readers than anything else. The narrative felt smooth and it maintained the pace well enough. The main characters have been developed well. I could feel myself liking and disliking particular characters as I am sure the author meant it to be. The politics, the drama, the romance… each element of the plot has added to it and created a web that keeps the readers indulged.

The book has some illustrations that I found interesting. I am not sure if they add anything to the story itself, but felt like were there more for the aesthetics. As I have not read the original version of the book, it wouldn’t be fair of me to comment on the translation. All, I can say that while reading, at no point did I feel odd or as if something was missing which is usually a positive for the translator.



Review Copy received from Jaico Publishing House


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