WRITING STYLE: 3/5
ENTERTAINMENT QUOTIENT: 3.5/5
Since Chetan Bhagat published his first teen novel “5 Point Someone” in 2004, a plethora of authors has flooded the Indian Literary scene. Many giants have emerged like Ashwin Sanghi, Amish Tripathi and Ravi Subramanian. Similarly, there were many others who came & disappeared equally quickly like “Samit Basu of Turbulence” or “Anuja Chandramouli of Arjuna.” Aroon Raman gives me a hope that he is gonna stay here, but he has to work on his writing style and climaxes a bit.
When I first heard about The Shadow Throne from my friend, my instant reaction was, “Oh God!!! No!!! Not another Indian book in the lines of The Shiva Trilogy or Krishna’s Key”. But the synopsis at the back of the book is what changed my mind and made me order the book from FLIPKART. It talked about a murder in the Qutub-Minar and the events that follow.
The plot of The Shadow Throne is actually about a ‘nuclear attack’ on India planned by Indians on Indian soil and has nothing to with the Qutub-Minar. There are many interesting themes in the book like ‘The RAW’, ‘The ISI’ and ‘Ziphos Soter, an ancient Kushan cult based in the Hindukush. The central characters in the book too are interesting; Chandra, a Reporter; Inspector Syed of Delhi Police; Meenakshi, a History Professor; and Pant, a RAW Agent. The protagonists have to juggle between the RAW and the ISI to subvert a nuclear attack on India.
Now coming to the negatives, there are many loopholes in the plot, many unnecessary details, unnecessary characters and unnecessary sub-plots. The Shadow Throne would have been better if the author had stuck to the central theme of the book. The author fails miserably in trying to add the flavour of Historical fiction to this book. The description of the caves and the mazes in the Hindukush was vague at best. The connect between the various sub-plots was absent. The book ends very abruptly and you will not realise that it has ended.
Overall it is a one-time read. There are many interesting questions for which you will have to read the book:
“Who is targeting India?”
“Is India the only country being targeted?”
“Who was murdered at the Qutub-Minar?” and
“Who are the Ziphos Soter?”