WRITING STYLE: 5/5
ENTERTAINMENT QUOTIENT: 5/5
If I talk about mythological and historical fictions, the year 2017 was an exceptional one for me. I had the pleasure of reading some of the best works like Sita Warrior of Mithila, Scion of Ikshvaku, The Resurrection of Evil, Palace of Assassins and Saraswati’s Intelligence last year. As if that wasn’t enough, I also came across another tantalizing historical cum mythological fiction, Harappa – Curse of the Blood River, and as you must have already guessed I was thrilled by this read.
What is the book about?
Just like the book, The Resurrection of Evil by Neelabh Pratap Singh, Harappa – Curse of the Blood River is a modern-day thriller which is a fusion of mythological and historical fiction elements. The narration of the book is in a typical Ashwin Sanghi style jumping across timelines and continents in order to tease the reader. But before getting into the review, let me brief you a little about the story first.
What is the story like?
Vidyut is a successful Delhi based entrepreneur who is urgently summoned to Banaras; the city which he had fled years ago. In the heart of the city of Banaras, is the impregnable citadel of the Dev-Raakshasa Matth where Vidyut’s grandfather, the enigmatic and much revered, Matthadheesh awaits his return.
He is tasked with initiating Vidyut into the fate and destiny that awaits him. The terrifying secret that the Dev- Raakshasa Mathh has harboured for 1200 years has to be disclosed. The curse that binds an ancient bloodline to the fate of the entire mankind has to be revealed. Meanwhile, in Paris, the world’s most ruthless killer is summoned. He is tasked with the destruction of the last Devta alive.
In ancient India, in 1700 BCE Harappa, there was once a revered priest who swore revenge. And as a result, the mighty and ancient civilization was brought down by a diabolical force that was at best, a combination of treachery, debauchery, cadaver worship and blood magic. The evil that was birthed gulped an entire civilization leaving no traces of its former glory and prosperity; an entire civilization wiped out of the face of the Earth.
The thrill and suspense
How do the events in Banaras, Paris and ancient Harappa connect? Who is the last Devta? What is the ancient blood curse? What is Vidyut’s role and destiny in all this chaos? To know this and much more about Vidyut and his bloodline, read Harappa – Curse of the Blood River today!
The magic of a tight-knit plot
The plot of the book is terrific. It is complex at the outset, but as things move ahead, the picture gets clearer. The way the plot is imagined and delivered is absolutely commendable. There are so many subplots introduced to keep the mystery alive that sometimes it seems a bit overwhelming but, in the end, it is worth all the time and effort.
The characters of the book are an interesting bunch too. Be it the charismatic, suave and charming Vidyut or his knowledgeable and revered Matthadheesh Grandfather, be it the beautiful and courageous Naina or the evil Romi Pereira, be it the all-knowing and highly accomplished human-god Vivaswan or the diabolical Priyamvada – all the characters are well developed and will leave a lasting impression on the minds of the reader.
Impressive writing style
If I have to compare Vineet’s writing to other more popular authors in this genre – I would say that he is a combination of Dan Brown and Ashwin Sanghi. I am just surprised by the fact that it took him so long to realize his passion and get into fiction writing (we surely were being denied of a very talented author all these years). The frequent change in place and timeline works wonders towards keeping the interest of the reader alive. The build-up, the storyline, the tease – all of it makes the book an absolute page-turner and an un-put-down-able read.
Was the climax good enough?
The climax is where the book leaves the reader in the lurch because that is when the reader realizes that Harappa – Curse of the Blood River is the part one of a (probably) three-part mythological thriller. That is my only disappointment with this book, that it just doesn’t say so anywhere else. But that being said, the positives exceed the negatives by a huge margin.
I end this review by rating the book 4.5 out 5 stars on entertainment quotient and recommending Harappa – Curse of the Blood River to one and all. It is a must not miss read for every historical fiction lover.
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