WRITING SKILL: 3.5/5
ENTERTAINMENT QUOTIENT: 4/5
There are sudden animal attacks on a mountainous village called Sailem. These predators have created an atmosphere of terror, stealing the villager’s prized milking cows and preventing them from harvesting their crops, that lay rotting in the field.
This has led to starvation as more and more people fall sick due to a lesser amount of food consumption every day.
The village elders decide to find the reason behind these attacks but when an earthquake causes major destruction and the elders abandon the scouting expedition to curb the damages at hand, three teenagers take upon themselves to find a solution for the sake of their village that is isolated from the rest of the World.
But are they prepared for the dangers that lurk on their path? Will they find the reasons behind the attacks? Will they even survive the long journey on foot?
The Jewel of Vishnu has a simple cover with a tiger’s face imprinted at the centre and a bounding tiger illustrated beautifully within the pages along with other sketches. Overall, the book is presented well.
Also, the blurb is crafted in a way to create an interest towards the storyline. It talks about India’s Atlantis that immediately grabbed my attention.
Arul, the protagonist of the story, has the jewel of Vishnu, created by God in the stars. But, he is a clueless teenager at the beginning of the story, being subjected to bullying and alienated by some of the villagers.
He is unaware of the power in the amulet he wears, or that it protects him.
So many questions bother him, questions about his mother, his family and on his own existence and identity.
But, he is persistent and brave and possesses the wealth of friendship of a wolf called Jaya and two other teenagers, the vivacious and loyal Navira and the sincere Keeran.
Together this bunch of friends decide to go out of this self-sustaining village and find a solution to their problems. But on their path lies dwarfs, giants and cult members and lions, tigers and leopards.
And, when even the villagers turn their backs against them, it is upon their wits and skills to save their lives.
The whole journey is gripping where each character shines being subjected to the rigorous brush of Nature. It is about self-exploration, of understanding their responsibilities, maintaining their priorities and unveiling their dormant capabilities.
The teens are on the archway to adulthood, leaving their childhood behind. And, they must adjust to the changes as they go on their path.
However, this read could have been even more pleasant than it was already if some of the subplots could have been explored more. Like that related to the bandits or the ruthless group of priests.
And although their Guru and some other elders seemed secretive and hinted about concealing a massive and sorrowful secret, by the end, the mystery didn’t seem so dramatic or breath-taking.
Was the entire truth really spoken? And what did Navira see at last? Maybe they are going to undertake another journey to meet old man Seri? But will they survive the war first?
Maybe these and all the other loopholes will be tied up in the next book in this series.
What I loved the most?
Adoration and appreciation of Nature, understanding its colossal power and knowledge and its required preservation.
That Gods lie in Nature and we can harness ourselves to that power and it will guide us on our way is also symbolized through the amulet Arul wears.
The subtle reference to the power of subconsciousness and awareness towards the immediate surroundings that can help in making life-saving decisions.
I also liked the way the author portrayed how contained wrath and humiliation can either lead to the devastation of self or of the adversaries and that the decision lies with us.
Also, the author refers to the Indian scriptures to explore the tales behind a vast lost continent and an advanced civilization believed to have existed in the Indian Ocean while also binding in bits of Indian history and mythology, narrating a fascinating young adult fantasy tale from India.
Would I recommend The Jewel of Vishnu?
Yes, I would recommend the book to anyone interested in an adventurous and fantastical journey set in an Indian locale.
Can’t wait to read it? Buy your copy of The Jewel of Vishnu using the link below.