Wednesday, October 5, 2011

Book Review: The Secret of the Nagas by Amish Tripathi

So, once you put down "The Immortals of Meluha" it is very hard for you to NOT start on the second book of the trilogy right away, as the second book starts from where the first ends- with Shiva rushing to save his beloved wife Sati.

Shiva now seeks revenge against the Naga warrior who kills his friend- the scientist Brahaspati. We stopped at Swadweep in Book 1. Here we take over from Swadweep, travel to Kashi & Branga before reaching Panchvati and stop in the Dandak forest of the Naga territory. So, in search of the Naga tribe, Shiva travels to the east of India while Sati is in Kashi with her newly born baby boy (Ganesha :)). Little does Shiva know that the sinister Naga warrior is somewhere around Kashi.

Who are the Nagas? Why are they stalking Sati and her family? Where do they stay?

The Nagas are believed to be evil people. They are creatures with deformed faces and belief has it, that this is owing to their sins of the past. They dress themselves with a hooded garment, and cover their faces too. 

But have these people been always like this? And are the Chandravanshis evil too, as the Suryavanshis claim they are? 

Shiva or the Neelkanth is known to be a "destroyer of evil". He is a human God that became a Mahadeva by virtue of his actions. Mahadevas don't lay down new ways of life like the Vishnus but instead, serve to heal the present one. Only with the removal of evil can a way be paved for the good to come, and Mahadevas do just that. But what exactly is evil? As we read the book, we see that there are no such things  as good and evil, but our own perceptions. Both are needed in some amounts to strike a balance.

Throughout the book, Shiva is on a mission to find the true identity of the Nagas, and does so with the help of the Vayuputras who guide him whenever he's in trouble. He has a revelation when he eventually does get to Panchvati, home to the Naga tribe and also discovers the true identity of the Naga. Somewhat predictable but will still keep you hooked.

The language of the book, though much better than the first one, still has a lot of phrases pushed in on purpose and hence do not blend very well with the rest of the book. There are a few things that amuse you- like the way the pandits radio-transmit their thoughts through temples, or the slangs they use in their conversation which cannot be imagined when the story has a backdrop set in that era. The author has beautifully woven facts into the story though, making you ponder over a lot of things in history. I love it when an author does that. I remember spending an entire day on Google looking up things like "The Priory of Sion" and "Mary Magdalene" after finishing with Dan Brown's "Da Vinci Code". 

Anyway, this book will keep you engrossed and is guaranteed to leave you waiting for the last book of the trilogy! :)

Thanks Blogadda! (And extremely sorry about the delay :( )

This review is a part of the Book Reviews Program at Participate now to get free books!


Chadz said...

so you did read the second book too! as you mentioned, its an improvement from the first, at least on the language. But the strength of the story carries it through, despite its flaws.. Though I personally liked the first book better though, found this a lot more predictable!

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Ghalib said...

I read all the 3 books and well the first one is best, followed by second and and distantly followed by the 3rd edition.

This gets boring and lengthy in the middle till the end. The only good aspect about this book was introduction of kali and ganesha and why they are the way they are.