Tuesday, October 20, 2015

Book Review : Ajaya #2 - Rise of Kali

Book Title : Rise of Kali (Ajaya II)
Author : Anand Neelakantan 
Genre : Mythological Fiction
ISBN : 9789381576045
Publisher : Leadstart Publishing Pvt. Ltd. 
Publication : 2015
Pages : 530
Binding : Paperback

Plot :
THE DARK AGE OF KALI IS RISING and every man and woman must choose between duty and conscience, honor and shame, life and death… 
  • The Pandavas, banished to the forest following the disastrous games of dice, return to Hastinapura.
  • Draupadi has vowed not to bind her hair till she washes it in the blood of the Kauravas.
  • Karna must choose between loyalty and gratitude, friend and Guru.
  • Aswathama undertakes a perilous mission to the mountains of Gandhara, in search of the Evil One.
  • Kunti must decide between her firstborn and her other sons.
  • Guru Drona has to stand with either his favorite disciple or his beloved son.
  • Balarama, having failed to convince his brother about the adharma of violence, walks the streets of Bharatavarsha, spreading the message of peace. 
  • Ekalavya is called to make the ultimate sacrifice to uphold a woman’s honor.
  • Jara, the beggar, sings of Krishna’s love while his blind dog, Dharma, follows.
  • Shakuni can almost see the realization of his dream to destroy India. As the Pandavas stake their claim to the Hastinapura throne, the Kaurava Crown Prince, Suyodhana, rises to challenge Krishna. 
As great minds debate dharma and adharma, power hungry men prepare for an apocalyptic war. The women, highborn and humble, helplessly watch the unfolding disaster with deep foreboding. And greedy merchants and unscrupulous priests lie in wait like vultures. Both sides know that beyond the agony and carnage the winner will take all. But even as gods conspire and men’s destinies unfold, a far greater truth awaits.

My Rating : ☆☆☆☆☆

Review :
Having read Roll of the Dice (Ajaya I), I was waiting for part II with much anticipation and author really took his time to release the second part.

I have given the book a rating of 5 stars considering it as an individual book. But if I was to rate the book with respect to the first book, I would have given it 4 stars - for I liked the first part better. 
Why I say this is because, when I read the first part, the whole concept of the story being of the defeated side was new and thus proved most interesting. But then 2nd part at times felt dragged with saying the same things over and over again as were said in the 1st book. Though I feel, if the second book had come out sooner or better still if I had read both the books in one go, maybe this difference wouldn't have been apparent.

Coming to book 2 in particular, what was most interesting was the voice given to people like Ashwathama and Shakuni. Loved how Mr. Neelakantan has portrayed Karna. Also what was interesting to read was the speech given by Bhishma pitamah explaining his reasons for backing Kauravas and how Dronacharya ji decided which side he would fight on.
The whole concept of dharma and adharma was also well explained. And I especially loved how both sides justified that they were on the side of dharma. The tactics used by Pandavas to win the war have been known forever so there was nothing new in there but what was new was the discussions that went on in the Kaurava camp each night.
The book was fast paced and provided a fitting end to the story. A page turner and an epic read - if read with an open mind. Enjoyed reading the book a lot and I hope you do to.

Happy Reading!

P.S. book review of the first book has also been posted in the blog.

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