Book review | Tarikshir: The Awakening by Khayaal Patel
Author: Khayaal Patel
Genre: Fantasy fiction, Mythological thriller
No. of pages: 358
Published by: Westland Publications
Published on: 20th August 2018
My rating: ★★★★☆
A small princely state in Rajasthan is the last bastion of resistance against the might of the British Empire. While unrest surrounding the sudden death of the king of Devangarh grows, young prince Rudra Pratap Chauhan prepares to ascend the throne.
But the kingdom is in turmoil. The Devangarh army is outnumbered and the British forces are closing in. To make matters worse, Rudra discovers the king’s death may not have been accidental after all. The strange appearance and disappearance of a mysterious hooded stranger and a series of ritualistic murders in which the bodies have been drained of blood, spread panic across the realm.
As Rudra struggles to manage his new responsibilities and investigate his father’s death, dark secrets will be uncovered that will disrupt life as he knows it.
Never expected this book to turn out to be such an interesting and incredible fantasy fiction. First of all, let me start with the plot. The book being based on something so fictional, while reading it, I constantly felt that this might be real. The author has beautifully crafted a world of demons and hidden powers surrounding the story of Ramayana, that it actually became difficult for me to realise that the book's story has nothing to do with Valmiki's epic, Ramayana. I really can't tell much about the plot because it will ruin the story for you but all I can say is that merging Ramayana with the era of the British rule is a really brilliant concept, something that I came across for the very first time. This is a perfect blend between mythology and fantasy fiction.
Second comes the thrill. The book is a page turner. Well, not the whole book, but the second half of the book sure is. There are secrets and revelations. A few of them can be deduced easily though. But still, the story has the capability to hold on to you and you won't be able to stop reading it until reach the end.
The third aspect of the book that I liked are the characters. There are lots of characters in the book, it being a history based fantasy fiction, and each of them has their own individuality. The protagonist of the book is Rudra. The crown Prince of the Rajput state Devangarh, who also becomes the Raja of the state after his father's death. What I loved about this protagonist is that the character development of Rudra is strikingly apt. A mere boy who hasn't even been to war, slowly and gradually develops a passion for bringing justice to his kingdom and how he develops this passion through all the tragedies he's been through is something that I loved particularly in the book. Our protagonist also falls for a fierce young lady named Nafisa, but I found that particular part lame. It felt that the part where Rudra starts to have feelings for Nafisa has been rushed. Like, there was no need for this part of the story but still it's there because protagonists 'need' to have a love interest.
Now coming to the writing style of the book. It was perfect. It was plain perfect and I have no words to describe how mature it is. Readers do understand differences in between books which have been written by authors who have been writing for years and years and books which have been written by authors who just stepped into an author's shoes. Khayaal Patel's book belongs to the first category even though he's not. I don't want to compare the author with other authors but honestly speaking, if I read this book without knowing the author's name I would have easily thought that the author would be Amish or Ashwin Sanghi. The writing style and the vocabulary used in the book is beneficial to us readers. It is simply amazing how professionally the author blended strong words and yet managed to make the book a simple read.
Khayaal Patel wrote his first cross genre mythological fantasy fiction novel "The Eye of Shiva" when he realized that each of the genres were already done individually. He likes to think he's good at writing but he's actually much better at story-telling. After earning an MBA, he tried to justify it by working at a liquor store, as a project manager in a fortune 500 company and a male model for designers with low standards and budgets.
When he's not working on newer stories in Rudra's exciting universe, you can find him reading comic books, watching movies, trying to figure out the secrets of the universe and indulging in his incredibly unhealthy addiction to anything chocolate.
I got the book as a part of the review program in Outset. https://rakhijayashankar.blogspot.in