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Thursday, October 3, 2019

Ambuj (Guardians of the Blue Lotus #3) by Anita Shirodkar

Blurb (from the jacket):

After the Great War of Sompur, Aryavir and Sitanshu are forced to go their separate ways – one back to Kamalkund and the other to Aryavartha. As the two struggle to embrace their new roles, the great Maharajadhiraj Ambujakshan’s past sins are revealed, casting ominous shadows on the events of the present.

Against all odds, Sitanshu must accomplish a seemingly impossible task set by the Maheshwari Masters. From an ancient secret cave deep inside Mount Mandeshwar to the mysterious Raven Monastery across the border of Ch’in, Sitanshu races against time to save an entire race of people from extinction. If the mother of all weapons – the Mahavidhvamsha Astra, is released, the Old World will be plunged back into Andhasaya – the darkest of ages.

Written with the classic Indian ethos, Ambuj, the third 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:

To read our reviews of the earlier books in the series, click the links below...

Firstly I want to thank people from Silver Spun for being very patient, even thought I was falling behind schedule to review this book and also for giving me the chance to review all the three books in the series.

Though the second book ended on a peaceful note, with no cliff hangers, after the Great War, when Aryavir and Sitanshu take their own paths trying to restore peace in their own sorts of ways.

This book would be hard on you if you haven't read the previous books, because the characters in this story are made of lot of complexity and details. It is very enthralling to see how the characters have developed into whatever they've developed in this book. The author made sure the reader faces no hurdles in understand the characters in the book by creating a unperturbed flow.

Though everything seems peaceful at the start of this book, Aryavir and Sitanshu slowly come to know of the sins committed by Ambujakshan, in the past and its effects on their kingdom in the present. There is a mighty weapon, which when activated will push the world to near-extinction. It is in Aryavir's and Sitanshu's hand to save their people from it.

It is beautiful how the author seems to still maintain that fast pace of the story. The starting chapter took me a while but once past them, I was hooked all the way to the end.

It was a roller-coaster ride, this series. I would recommend it to all the fantasy lovers out there. There are lot of Indian mythological references which makes it a more interesting read. Beautiful characters, pacy-plotline, clearly descriptive writing. This book is highly recommended.

However, I feel they could've put more effort on the cover...


Title: Ambuj

Series: Guardians of the Blue Lotus #3

Author: Anita Shirodkar

ISBN (edition I've read): 978938720403


Read between: 29-09-2019 to 03-10-2019

Publishers: The Write Place & AuthorsUpfront

Pages: 335

MRP: ₹ 350

Friday, July 19, 2019

A Man from Mandu by Manoj V Jain

Blurb (from the cover):

Is he the New Age Guru that we have all been waiting for?  

Is he a fraudster? 

How does he know the story of your life? 

In his latest book, Manoj Jain delves into the world of Godmen and devotees, of faith and money. A Man from Mandu is a book of deception, transformation and growth. Read about Dhawal and his metamorphosis into Avishkar Baba, the Sadhu of Stories, and about Tarini who is promoting him so successfully. But what does the scheming Tarini have to gain?

My take on the book:
This book isn't like any I've read so far. Though I don't think the synopsis does the justice but a snippet of the book will get you hooked for sure.

The story talks about Dhawal, a.k.a. Avishkar Baba. He is an ordinary man turned Godman. Every chapter starts with a quote by Avishkar Baba as a Quote of the Day on WhatsApp and Instagram posts. The story takes course, most of the chapters have these parables sermoned by Avishkar Baba to  his growing followers. These parables are sweet and thought-provoking. The story is as breezy as it urges to stop and ponder over our own lives. These quotes from the start of the chapter will only have deeper meaning at the end of the chapter.

This story is as funny as scary it is. The entire concept of a Baba with an online presence and, touching and healing his followers in ways undefinable is pretty much funny being a reader. But when you think about it, the so-called Gurus from the present age, the Godmen with their impoverished attire and all-knowing attitudes and the effect they are holding on their followers is immense and scary. It lets you question yourself about the religion, belief and stupidity.

The story is deeper than it seems.

On the other side flows the story of Tarini, who is Avishkar Baba's manager. Her management career was about to hit rock-bottom just about when she meets Dhawal and Avishkar Baba is born,

Overall, it is a perfect book you can read over a weekend. It is light-hearted and provocative.


Title: A Man from Mandu

Author: Manoj V Jain

ISBN (edition I've read): 9781645871620


Read between: 09-07-2019 to 11-07-2019

Publishers: Notion Press

Pages: 165

MRP: ₹ 349

Monday, June 10, 2019

Upheaval by Vijai Singh Mankotia

My take on the book:

This is the first book I've read from these publishers, Har-Anand Publications but it left quite an impression.

For the start, I have to complain about the physical feel of the book. Given that the price of the book is almost Rs. 700/-, I would suggest the author or the publishers to put in a little more effort into the physical feel of the book. There are chances the book might go overlooked due to its feel.

I had very few expectation from the book when I started it, but it turned out way interesting. Book covers are very deceiving.

The story starts at a faraway place somewhere in Afghanistan. The time is past. Among the bloodshed and dry mountains, the story beautifully takes place. Though, the significance of the scene in clear at this point of time, it makes sense later.

Then the story snaps back to India and it feels so real. The unrest shown in the protagonist, Himanshu Mishra, the son of Prime Minister of India (as in the story), is so beautifully shown, it all seemed very real.

Due to some unforeseen circumstances the protagonist had to take office in the largest democracy in the world and fate happens, that he falls in love with a girl from Pakistan. The melancholy and dilemma involved in the love story is presented so beautifully by the reader won't miss a feeling experienced by the characters in the story. The author successfully stirred every emotion in me.

The best part of the book was the narration. It doesn't just stick to the plot of the fiction, but the author had made sure he has got his views and opinions about the near-past politics, terrorism and various other trivial problems faced by present day world and India, in particular.

As I read these views put forward by the author in the form of a monologue or a dialogue between the character of the story, it was deeply surprising to know how much the author has researched. It was only after reading the author's bio did I understand that Vijai Singh is a retired army official and active political enthusiast. Though most of the matters mentioned in the story seemed legit and believable for most of the extent. But as it is mentioned in the disclaimer in the start, I would suggest everyone who read this book, to do thorough recent into the topic before using any of the facts mentioned in this book for any purpose.

Overall, this book had left with quite a few emotions stirred. But then, everything is well that ends well...


Title: Upheaval

Author: Vijai Singh Mankotia

ISBN (edition I've read): 9789388409209


Read between: 03-06-2019 to 10-06-2019

Publishers: Har-Anand Publications

Pages: 229

MRP: ₹ 695

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