The Deal in Akmud | Ekta Sinha | Book Review

The Deal in Akmud by Ekta Sinha
PLOT: 2.5/5 
CLIMAX: 2.5/5

Loosely based on a dream seen by her son a few years ago, this work of fiction is doubly fictitious and based in a dream-like land with elements that are fantastical and other worldly. It is a story that revolves around the idea of evil and explicates the manner in which evil thrives by being a sort of parasite.

Evil is shown to feed on the goodness of people, exploiting their inner light, and working at trying hard to deviate them from the path of good. The major theme forms a chiaroscuro where good is pitted against evil which is symbolised by light and darkness respectively.

The book cover lacks careful consideration and has room to be worked on. It is congested and has elements overlapping one another which makes it difficult to understand what exactly it signifies. The colour scheme of blue and black also overrides the individual elements, makes the cover congested, and reduces clarity.

The fictional world of the novel is largely mysterious and fantastical. The plot begins with a scene between a king and a trader whose name is Afton and who has just returned from a voyage where he came across a place called Akmud. He relates to the king all the events and incidents that happened on the way to this place called Akmud till the point where he reached the village, met its inhabitants, and drank some wine.

The Deal in Akmud Ekta Sinha Book

After the consumption of the wine, he ended up waking from a deep trance in a forest-like place only to realise that all his money has been stolen. In order to experiment, he feeds some wine to a lamb who becomes courageous and strong to fight a bear. This wine is then related to a magical potion that has some mysterious qualities. The wine is consumed in the King’s court by Marah and Tarah who end up becoming very strong and fighting one another. This makes the king perplexed and inquisitive about this village, its people, and its wine. He orders troops to visit Akmud and discover the secret behind its mysteries.

This is the major turning point of the plot that enters into a quest motif. From here, the narrative catches pace ad enters into realms of mystery with fantastical elements.

In The Deal in Akmud writing style is satisfactory though the incidents and scenes could be relayed in a more systematic manner. Due to this, the writing style slackens as the overriding concern of the author is in conveying information rather than describing the characters, the scenes, or creating the atmosphere. This makes the narrative crowded with new incidents and events on every other page.

The Deal in Akmud Ekta Sinha Book Review

While the short sub-headings, before each new incident begins, are helpful in guiding the reader, they do not take away from the fact that it is a lot to take in for the reader. This also reduces the consistency of the plot, which is highly informative but does not go into detailed descriptions of scenes, what they comprise, and how they are related to the larger story.

This reduces the impact that the incidents could have on the overall plot description and flow of the story. This does not take away from the fact that there is a lot for the reader to take in and that too all at the same time.

It takes away from the clarity and circularity of the story. It creates loose ends, some of which seem highly digressive though most have been tied up at some point, or the other. It is this to and fro movement that makes it difficult to follow the story and creates a tough read.

The climax, which happens when the pact or deal is undertaken, gets intense and exciting, provided readers are able to patiently go through the myriad characters and information before that. The story, however, has a moralistic end and is didactic to a great extent.

The iconographic information in the form of the sword that is placed at the corners of each page shows that some effort has been put into the design aspects. The Deal of Akmud makes for a good one-time read for fantasy fiction fans and young adults. Overall, for me, it was moderately entertaining.

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