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Monday, September 24, 2018

Sitanshu (Guardians of the Blue Lotus, #2) by Anita Shirodkar

Blurb (from the book):

As the divine Blue Lotus Indivara sprouts an ominous red petal, its guardians must do everything in their power to protect it and their kingdom. Aryavir and Sitanshu march to the border of Kalipura for a bloody showdown with the Chandraketu King Divyendu. It seems as if the Kamal Akshi Army with its peerless long-haired Kesakuta warriors cannot lose a war, but the wily enemies of Kamalkund have diabolical plans that are not written in any rule book. Thanks to the evil machinations of the Mayakari Queen Tamasi and wily King Kratu, Aryavir and Sitanshu are facing the battle of their lives.

With hidden ancient secrets that are known only to the revered Maheshwari Masters, the mythological Old World is about to be plunged into intrigue and danger its denizens could never have imagined. Powerful kings face mortality, relationships are tested to their breaking point and the Great War of Sompur will bring completely unexpected repercussions.

Written with the classic Indian ethos, Sitanshu, the second part of the Guardians of the Blue Lotus Trilogy, pays homage to India's magnificent mythological heritage and takes the reader on a journey into the heart of human passions.

My take on the book:
I feel really fortunate to have read the first book, Aryavir, when the second was already out. Lot of stuff happened at the end of the first book. Lot of good things happened. And then, there are few stories in the saga that ended on a very high note, which will leave the reader puzzled and eager for following part. I'm sure, I couldn't have taken the wait.

The very first chapter of the second book deals with the edge-of-the-seat scene that the first book ends on. Though, it was little predictable, this part of the story, the following events makes the story more interesting.

The second part of the saga mostly deals with the internal turmoil of the rival kingdoms involved and the war that ends the rival, one way or the other.

It is really surprising how the author has maintained that unwavering pace since the start of the first book. Not once, since the start, have I felt that the story slacked. The description of each scene is so vivid and realistic, the reader will be engrossed for sure.

Haven chose the third-person narration, author have wonderfully orchestrated the parts of the story like a smooth, soulful symphony. Since its a saga not constricted to one story, there are many parallel plots going on and the talent of the author at not once misplacing the facts of the story instils pure interest.

There are so many folklores and myths about the kingdoms mentioned in this book, the author has built a world of her own.

By the end of the book, everything about the story will lead to the ultimate danger faced by them and you will be left wanting more. I eagerly wait for the third installment of the series,

Overall, the second book keeps up the expectation and carries the reader with the same zeal to the rest of the story. If you haven't read the first book yet, you must go do it.

To read the detailed review of the first book in the series, Aryavirclick here...


Title: Sitanshu

Author: Anita Shirodkar

Series: Guardians of the Blue Lotus, #2

ISBN (edition I've read): 9789387280113


Read between: 29-08-2018 to 02-09-2018

Publishers: The Write Place and AuthorsUpFront

Pages: 317

MRP: ₹ 349

Tuesday, September 4, 2018

Aryavir (Guardians of the Blue Lotus, 1) by Anita Shirodkar

Blurb (from the jacket):

Aryavir is not an ordinary prince. Heir to the throne of Kamalkund, Aryavir is a Kamal Akshi - blue-eyed and blessed by the Indivara, a divine Blue Lotus that protects his kingdom. And yet Aryavir harbours a terrible secret about his fate. His family, led by his father, King Chiraksh, is bound by its own web of intrigue and ancient promises.

The complexity of the family's past and present allegiances and the secrets each family member hides are set against the fact that Kamalkund has to fight off covetuous kings from across the borders who will do anything to control the powers of the Lotus.

Meanwhile, as Aryavir, his faithful tiger Kar and friend Sitanshu fight their own battles, the kingdom is faced by clear and present danger. And the past unravels its mysteries unexpectedly.

This classic tale pays homage to India's magnificent mythological heritage and, at its heart, is a story about the eternal human journey.

My take on the book:
I have always been a little skeptical about Indian Fantasy books. There could be a few good ones, but what I've come across were mostly a bad experience. Most of which, I've given up half way. Yeah, so bad!

After reading Aryavir's description, I could guess it is one of those good ones. Though the plot promised to be complex and intriguing, the simplicity of the blurb promised a breeze of a read.

The story started off on a pacy note as there was so many characters, parallel plot-lines, existing. The author had skillfully built and narrated the story in such a way that each character made an impression that lasted long after the book. One reason, I mostly evaded series are because of so many characters. Sometimes, it really gets hard to catch up with them. But in this book, author made sure that nothing of that sorts happens. There were times I had forgotten names of the characters in the book, but their story lines and characteristics were too intriguing to confuse.

Another aspect I loved about the book is that in the start of the book there is a rough map (which, of course, resembles India) stating the whereabouts of the kingdoms of the story. There is also a map of lineage of the key characters in the story, which will come very handy in the later part of the book.

The author has this unique way of story-telling which will have a grip over the reader. The plot line is so pacy, it is hard to divert one's attention.

Overall, Aryavir is on the best Indian books I've read in the recent times. Gripping, fast-paced and with edge-of-the-seat twists, I would recommend this book to everyone.

The review of the second book in the Guardians of the Blue Lotus series 'Sitanshu' is soon to come. Stay tuned...


Title: Aryavir

Author: Anita Shirodkar

Series: Guardians of the Blue Lotus, #1

ISBN (edition I've read): 9781640078109


Read between: 26-08-2018 to 28-08-2018

Publishers: The Write Place and AuthorsUpFront

Pages: 331

MRP: ₹ 295

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