It has been a really long time since I have read a good book by an Indian author. Last time, it was a few months back – The Bougainvillea House by Kalpana Swaminathan. But, when I read the premise of this book, I was definitely intrigued but a little sceptical as it sounds almost on the lines of The Shiva Trilogy by Amish which fell flat for me.
Now, before I proceed, let me clarify a bit of confusion I had. This book was released in 2013 and there is already a sequel out. Anyways, I am glad that Readers Cosmos sent it to me otherwise I would have missed reading an amazing story. I just ordered the second part as well which was released in January this year and hopefully would receive it by today or tomorrow.
The Secrets of the Dark: The Debt of Blood is Never Repaid Book Review by Arka Chakrabarti
So, this is a fantasy novel if you are feeling confused reading the name of Gaya. I sure was! So, no we are not talking of the holy city of Body Gaya but this Gaya is a fantasy continent which is divided into two parts – Land of the Rising Sun and Land of the Setting Sun. If you have read Amish, you would remember Suryavanshi and Chandravanshi clans!
The story begins with a king fleeing his son into the safety because there are some dark forces after him to snatch away the newly-born baby. And, then, the story shifts to twenty years later when Agni and Vrish lose their entire world in a bomb blast or better mentioned as huge fire in their language. Agni finds out that it was a planned attack and thus begins the saga of revenge and both the friends travel to Nisarga in the hope of solving the puzzle.
I would really not go into defining the story or its plot as it is complicated and I am sure we are not aware of many elements in the book. The book is actually the first part of a trilogy and not much has been revealed. If you are clever enough, you can spot the good guys and the bad guys but making sense of the mystery is a little difficult.
The author is successful in creating a fantasy world with a lot of attention to the scene details. The language is simple but feels a bit immature sometimes or may be it depicts the immaturity of the protagonist, I am not sure! I personally feel that a good copywriter, editor and cover designer would have made quite a difference to the popularity of the book.
As to the writing, I failed to connect with the story on a deeper level till almost half of the book was over. The author has a knack of keeping you glued to the pages even if your hero is not able to keep your attention. Somehow, I felt the character of author comes across pretty strongly in the writing as opposed to the story flow. You feel as if the story is taking place in a parallel universe and you can watch it but you do not feel any empathy with any of the characters! It is like the author is holding your attention, not the mythical land of Gaya or the victim of fate, Agni.
But, whatever holds your attention, you definitely want to know what happens next! There is a parallel story going on in between which has been just left off. I think the two plots would intersect in the next book as the entire scene shifts to this parallel venue. The climax becomes a little hasty, a bit more explanation would have been welcome.
Overall, I am really happy that I read this book. The imagination of the author is commendable! It is one of the MUST reads from an Indian author even if you do not like one!! Do give it a try.