The Secret of the Nagas

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The Secret of the Nagas promptly takes off from the point where the story was stopped in The Immortals of Melluha. Sati, Shiva’s beloved wife, is attacked by one of the sinister Nagas. The novel begins with a fierce battle between Shiva and the Naga. As anyone would have guessed it, the Naga escapes, but not without giving Shiva enough reason to doubt the actual purpose of the Nagas.

Shiva is no longer the unsure nomad, but a confident man who completely realizes his responsibility. He’s now sure that the Chandravanshis are not evil, but people with different priorities. He has to avenge his friend Brahaspati’s murder, destroy evil and restore peace.

Shiva is happily married, Sati gives birth to a boy, Karthik; the uncomfortable romance between Anandmayi and Parvateshwar goes on blatantly, Ganesh is introduced and so is the facsimile character of Bappi Lahiri (yes, the ‘gold’en music director).

Along with all these interesting characters, Shiva’s journey into the world of Nagas and their kingdom begins. Now, the Nagas are all humans with physical abnormalities and have been abandoned by their own families. Their own place, Panchvati, is a guarded secret. Shiva soon realizes that the Nagas are not so serpentine and looks can be deceptive after all. However, there is a secret to be found.

Just like The Immortals of Melluha, this too has a few flaws. For example, after having listened to innumerable stories on Ganesha, Amish’s version doesn’t make much sense. Maybe to portray that character in a different manner was Amish’s intention, but one cannot connect with it.

Although the battle scenes are intricately explained, I couldn’t understand why Shiva had to “pirouette” all the time. Characters are “flabbergasted” whenever someone “whispers” something. It seems like the author simply loves to use these words again and again. If this is not it, the narrative gets too subjective sometimes. Instead of making the reader form his own opinion on the characters, setting, etc., the author himself thrusts his opinions on them, thereby making it too conspicuous. (“The buildings were superbly built”.) And what’s with the obsession with exclamation marks, I wonder. Sometimes there are two exclamation marks for the same phrase.

Nevertheless, the story gets interesting with each chapter. That’s the only savior. A subtle twist here and there, the pace with which the story moves forward and fine battle sequences make the novel strike a chord with the reader. But the (forced) twist that comes with the queen of Nagas is rather silly. It seemed like Amish desperately wanted to give a twist. But if these things can be overlooked, it’s definitely a good read.

All in all, it’s just a mediocre book. It doesn’t live up to the hype it has created. The idea is great, the imagination is marvelous, but everything is poorly executed. With all the action in a wonderland, there is so much scope to make it a compelling read. Unfortunately it’s presented in an ordinary way. It moves with rattling pace, though, and maybe that saves the day. At least it can be finished soon.

The novel again stops at a very interesting point, thereby infusing enough curiosity towards the final installment, The Oath of Vayuputras. I sincerely hope the author comes up with a rather amusing way to tell the story.

The Secret of the Nagas: The second book of the Shiva Trilogy

My Rating: 2/5

Publisher: Westland

Pages: 384


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Comments (3)

You have been reading a lot. Wonder why I did not hear of the series...So many books to read..I have to catch up!

Gotta get my hands on this one!!!

Destiny's child,
Yeah, kinda. But this, I didn't enjoy much.
Lemme know what you've been reading. :)

Long time, Jaunty! Hope you are doing fine. :)

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