The Secret of the Mantle by Harini Chakrapani is a fantasy with a number of supernatural decorations. Filled with magical powers and creatures, the book takes you into a world of strong characters, gripping plot, shocking twists and turns, and great writing. The story starts with a core of reality and from there readers are allowed to take a trip of this supernatural world. This is a world of conflicts between good and evil.
The story in this book revolves around a character called Dr. Chary, a well-known writer. There are a number of other important characters too but it is his character that stands apart from others. In fact, it will not be wrong to say that Dr. Chary is the character the readers go on a journey with and in the end want his character to have his happy ending. Strange things are happening with Dr. Chary and he is trying to discover the meaning of the same. All of a sudden, he finds himself caught in an unimaginable situation. A series of strange events take him into a world not known to him so far. This world is loaded with creatures like vampires, werewolves and so forth. And, most importantly, he has to play a vital role in this world. This role will not only change his destiny, but the future of the human world also.
Sticking with same overused characters like vampires and werewolves may become risky if the author does not come up with something new. To the credit of the author, Harini Chakrapani has steered clear of clichés except using characters like vampires and werewolves in penning down this book. The writing in this book is so strong that you can feel the events described in the book whirling within you. A number of flashbacks have been given in the story. These flashbacks have been incorporated in the plot smoothly and do not confuse the readers. These do not get in the way of the flow of the story and, as it happens, help in the progression of the main story-line by providing back-stories at appropriate times. This book also successfully tries to explore some really deep and profound stuff. The climax of this book has been done skillfully and I definitely liked it. The ending of this book ends with a promise of a sequel and I will be positively looking forward to it.
There is no doubt that the book under review leaves a strong impression on you. However, you also feel that certain things in the book could have been better. For example, fight sequences could have been more action-packed or more detailed. While most of the book maintains a steady pace and move the story forward effortlessly, there are some scenes which make the story slow down.
For a debut novel, this is a decent novel. The quality of writing is high, the sketching of characters is good, and the plot is engrossing enough to keep readers’ attention. All in all, an entertaining read. Go for it if you love reading fantasies.