Churning of the ocean, popularly known as Samudra-manthan or Amrita-manthan, is one of the well-known events in Indian mythology. This churning of the ocean was done by Devas and Asuras together. While the main aim of doing this churning was to obtain Amrita (or the nectar of immortality), this procedure of churning released a number of other things also. One of these things was a deadly toxic substance known as Halahala. This poison was so powerful that Lord Shiva had to come for rescue. Lord Shiva drank the poison but did not swallow it completely. On the other hand, He kept it in His throat. Due to the effect of this poison, His throat became blue and He got the name of Neelkantha (the blue throated-one). The spellbinding story in The Guardians of the Halahala (Vikramaditya #1) by Shatrujeet Nath develops against the backdrop of this Neelkantha tale. This book is the first one in a series of three books.
In the book under review, we come to know that not all the Halahala reached Lord Shiva and a small portion of it was stolen by one of the Asuras. Lord Shiva, however, came to know about this and took its possession back. After keeping it with Him for a long time, Lord Shiva gave the responsibility of guarding this object to a mortal King known as Chandragupta Vikramaditya. But guarding this potent poison is not an easy task as both Devas and Asuras are after this powerful substance. Both Devas and Asuras know the advantages of acquiring this powerful weapon. Both of them know that its possession is a sure guarantee to show their supremacy over the others. And hence starts a story filled with thrill, excitement and adventures.
Combining elements of Indian mythology and history, and weaving these together in the form of an enthralling tale is not an easy task. The author of the book under review, however, accomplished this difficult task with ease. He knows how to tell a great story. The scenes are brilliantly crafted. In fact, you will be blown away by the manner in which the story has been woven. The plot is captivating, fascinating and totally nail biting in parts. I was on the edge of my seat at various points in the story. There are twists and turns throughout, and the story veered off a number of times from the path that I thought it was traveling on. While the book is a thick one, the story is fast paced and flows very nicely. You will be hooked to the pages once you start reading the book.
The story has a large number of characters and too many characters may become hard to digest for readers. However, to the credit of the author, each and every character in this book has been immaculately fleshed out. Instead of just rattling out the names of the characters as they appear in the story, the author has given each character a notable trait, action or line of dialogue to help him/her stick in the reader’s memory. The book is also devoid of typos and grammatical errors and credit should be given to the editors for doing such a fine job.
Amazing. Totally astounding. The story is so powerful and so delightfully told that it rises above genre. I recommend it to all. This is a must read for readers who love to read books based on Indian mythology. I would even recommend this book to those readers who have read but hated books based on Indian mythology. Try this one – you will not hate this book. On the other hand, you will fall in love with this book.
All five stars to this book…:)
Note: I received a free copy of this book from the author in exchange of an honest review