Book review | Upon A Burning Throne part 2 by Ashok K. Banker

Author: Ashok K. Banker 

Genre: Fantasy fiction 

No. of pages: 399

Published by: Simon & Schuster India 

Published on: 20th August 2019 

Format: Paperback 

My rating: ★★★★☆

He is poisoning the very heart of hastinaga. And. He. Must. Be. Stopped. The powerful demonlord jarsun has declared war on the vast burnt empire. Wars, deceit and sorcery wreak havoc, practically shattering the realm.

And. He. Must. Be. Stopped.

But how? the odds are unsurmountable. And then, on one dark night, everything changes. For the worse. Terror is unleashed, dark magic and death ravage hastinaga and the very meaning of love and longing changes in unimaginable ways. The three ambitious and courageous queens, Karni, Mayla and Geldry, devise tortuous ways of holding on to power as the men they are married to, the princes Adri and Shvate, struggle to keep the burning throne which they inherited from their illustrious forefathers. But how and at what cost?

The book is a brilliant sequel to Upon A Burning Throne part 1. I couldn't have asked for a better sequel than this. And this book turned out even more interesting and intriguing than its prequel.

The story starts off with a chilling and horrifying scene where the streets of Hastinaga have been taken over by an unknown evil spirit at the dead of the night. The commoners are turning into zombies and weird things are happening inside the palace. People are being hypnotized and street dogs are attacking rabid humans. As the kingdom of Hastinaga becomes a manifestation of pure evil, Shvate and Adri deals with their own misfortunes. 

Reading this part made it evident that the author is making the book more like the Mahabharata. The character names and their sketches and even the lineage mentioned in the story made it more Mahabharata-like but a rather darker version of it. The birth of the 100 sons of Geldry; the curse on Shvate, Karni and Mayla and the birth of their five sons; and the oncoming wrath upon Hastinaga, makes this book more sinister. 

I am so looking forward to the third part of the series. Especially because this one finished with a terrific cliffhanger. I read this book in a rush because it was that nail-biting good. The fight scenes, the tragedies and even the sensuous scenes made my reading experience fun. I couldn't stop. Each chapter ends with a jaw-dropping moment and I don't know how to write this in a better way, but, the book disgusted (some of the things that were meant to be disgusting) me and amazed me altogether. There are allegorical depictions of hypocrisy and all things bad in the real world throughout the book. 

The only thing that I complained about while reading the book was that some of the scenes are so intense that they went on for many chapters. It would have been good if the author added a few fillers here and there showing the characters' gradual individuation. 

Author Ashok K. Banker never fails to amaze me with his writing style. His words captures the emotions behind the characters and the gravity of the situations so well that it gives me a mental movie sort of an experience while I'm reading the book. He sure knows how to deliver his mythology based fictions - strong, impactful and filled with zealous characters and dialogues. 

If you're looking for an Indian mythology based fantasy fiction series then look no more. Upon A Burning Throne is it! Definitely recommend it to people. 

Ashok K. Banker is the author of more than sixty books, including the internationally acclaimed Ramayana series. His works have all been best‑sellers in India and have sold around the world. He lives in Los Angeles and Mumbai.

I received a copy of the book from the publishers in exchange of an honest and unbiased review. 


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