Author: Rajiv G. Menon
Genre: Mythology, Fiction
Number of Pages: 442 pages
Rise, o mighty Rakshasas! The time has come for us to give these warriors of Light a reason to fear the Dark.’
The world is in turmoil. Naraka and his formidable Asura war machine march unhindered across it bringing once great nations to their knees. They have now set their eyes on the ultimate prize — Bharata, the land of the seven rivers. Indra and his Devas struggle to contain this threat, even as they battle their own differences and the temptations of Swarga.
In Bharata, Jayanta, the son of Indra, is the new ruler. Even as he prepares for the Asura invasion, a potent threat is rising in the vast forests of Dandaka. Vidyutkesa — the only survivor of a genocide perpetrated by Jayanta — has journeyed into its heart and made contact with the Order of the Sarpa. An ancient and powerful secret society headed by Queen Manasa. With the blessings of Raksha, the Earth Spirit, the Sarpas transform Vidyutkesa and his companions into supernatural beings called Rakshasas. Their mission: to protect their land, forests, and way of life.
In this second installment of his Vedic Trilogy, Rajiv G. Menon weaves a rich and vibrant tapestry of the epic struggle between earth-worshipping feminine cultures that live in harmony with nature, and the patriarchal forces that seek to tame her.
I am a big Mythology fan and will read almost anything I can find about it.. you can imagine my excitement when I started reading this book! It combines ancient history and mythology.. I am sold at that itself! 😛
Even though it was the second book of a series, it can be read as a stand-alone. However, since there are so many characters, it can be quite a handful. New characters, places, strategies are revealed in every chapter in batches in the initial chapters and that can get quite overwhelming.. especially if you are not acquainted with the names from beforehand.
So much happens and so fast that it takes some time to process. I would definitely advise to pace it out and read it carefully. I really enjoyed the details and feel that missing them will reduce the impact of the later scenes. The war strategies and complexity of human nature is amazing. In a way this book is about the creation and destruction of humanity.. the will of humans to rise like a phoenix from it’s ashes.
Apart from the action, there are a lot of quotes and action of characters that will make you think.. which I believe makes the story more impactful. Albeit fictional, it gives a convincing story behind why the rules of the society changed and how they shaped humankind to be what they are. One of the best lines was: “It’s the law that must adapt to the needs of society.”
Overall this was a great read and managed to hold my curiosity inspite of being 442 pages long. Recommended to fans of Amish.. and anybody who loves to read ancinet history and mythology from various perspectives.
~~I received a copy of the book in exchange of an honest review. All views expressed here are completely my own~~