23 of 26 people found this review helpful
29 September, 2012
This book was very disappointing.
While its nice to see that the fantasy genre is finally being tackled by Indian authors, this is a very disappointing read, especially because of the excessive hype. The author is unable to write good, simple prose, let alone a masterpiece. The language turns you off at every corner, and it's difficult to get lost in the story.
For a story that was called the LotR of India by some critics, it appears that those comparing reviewers have not read Tolkien at all. Tolkien spent 40+ years on Middle-earth, developed 7 Elvish Languages, and created a genre. Since this book borrows most of its mythology from Hindu mythology, it could be expected that perhaps a book written in such a short time could still be a fulfilling read, but it fails miserably.
The concept was interesting, finding a human origin of mythologies. But the humans in this story are far from normal humans. The society created seems a perfect society. The author tries to backport modern science and medicine to historical eras creating an extremely unbelievable environment. The humans in the story are pure with one-dimensional and noble intentions, which makes it look terrifyingly inhuman and creepy. If the author wanted to say that gods came out of humans, he just sort of says that gods came from a society of gods, the only similarity with real-life humans beings is flesh and blood and not emotional turbulence.
The author seems very confused about his real-life beliefs and his spiritual confusion about gods prevents him from making believable fiction as well. He seems to believe that atheism was just a western concept(and hence he dismisses it as unworthy of consideration), when it has been acknowledged even within Hinduism for several thousand years. (ref:[see Atheism in Hinduism Wikipedia page]). Then he implies that atheism allowed westerners to laugh at Hindus, and that the laughter was justified, and that the only redeeming route for Hindus to take for replying to westerners is to find real-life humans who 'became' gods (and he almost literally seems to believe in the concept of 'becoming' God, not just about achieving greatness). The author tries to grasp complex philosophies developed over years, and fails in understanding any of it. I am terrified about the possibility that at least a small part of his created fiction, the author actually finds plausible in real life and believes as real.
To all readers wanting to read this book, I encourage them to read fantasy classics first. These include LotR, Silmarillion by JRR Tolkien, A Song of Ice and Fire by George R.R Martin, The Wheel of Time series by Robert Jordan, the Malazan series by Steven Erikson, works by Brandon Sanderson, and so many other good authors. All these authors have devoted their lives to fantasy and have created extremely complex, detailed worlds with fantastic story arcs, and fantastic prose, with very complex mythologies, which developed new languages, and genres. They are usually classified as epic fantasy, and not mythological fantasy, and I would like to see future books based on Indian mythology that hold their own against classics.
The book is definitely more enjoyable if you have not been introduced to these classics before, but once you start reading these classics, you feel sorry for Indian fantasy if this is our idea of great fantasy work.
This amazon edition also seems available only in India. Reluctance to be reviewed by foreign critics?