Book Review| The Peshwa- War of the Deceivers by Ram Sivasankaran

Blurb:

Seven years have passed since Peshwa Bajirao Bhat annihilated the
Nizam’s armies at Fort Mandu. The two forces have been engaged in
attacks and skirmishes ever since. Acting on the advice of his
right-hand man, the mysterious Anaamik Dabhade, the Peshwa now sets
about laying a trap to truly ensnare the Mughals, and break their
might.
The Empire, of course, has methods of its own. And Nizam Ul Mulk is
itching for an opportunity to exact revenge of the formidable Bajirao.
With assassins, saboteurs and criminals infiltrating the Maratha
lands, the Mughal Empire scores as many victories in the night as the
Peshwa does during the day.
Meanwhile, in the far reaches of the country, set ablaze by the
never-ending conflict between these major powers, a Sikh warlord, a
Rajput king and a Bundela princess find themselves increasingly
tangled up in the endgame that will determine the very course of
history. It is a battle of wits and skill, and the greatest deceiver
of them all will prevail.

Review:

This book is about Peshwa Bajirao and his various encounters. The war
scenes and state upholding are discussed in vivid details. This book
is second in The Peshwa Series but not exactly a sequel – as I have
not read the first part ie. ‘The Peshwa – The lion and the stallion’
but surprisingly it hasn’t affected the read.
The narration adds life to the characters and provides a much-required
pace to the story. Though it’s a bulky book the storyline builds up
interest gradually and makes it an interesting read.
Lastly, I would like to mention that the cover is really nice and the
presentation is very nice.

With fluid narration and Amazing presentation this will prove to be an entertaining read to all the history lovers and people who like to read action scenes. I really like to read about warriors and
nobilities, hence this was indeed a reading delight!

Ratings:

4/5

The Forest of Enchantments by Divakaruni Chitra Banerjee

Book #1 of 2019

In a glance:

The Ramayana, one of the world’s greatest epics, is also a tragic love
story. In this brilliant retelling, Chitra Banerjee Divakaruni places
Sita at the centre of the novel: this is Sita’s version. The Forest of
Enchantments is also a very human story of some of the other women in
the epic, often misunderstood and relegated to the margins: Kaikeyi,
Surpanakha, Mandodari. A powerful comment on duty, betrayal,
infidelity and honour, it is also about women’s struggle to retain
autonomy in a world that privileges men, as Chitra transforms an
ancient story into a gripping, contemporary battle of wills. While the
Ramayana resonates even today, she makes it more relevant than ever,
in the underlying questions in the novel: How should women be treated
by their loved ones? What are their rights in a relationship? When
does a woman need to stand up and say, ‘Enough!’

‘What occurred when I was alone in the darkness, under the sorrowtree, you don’t know. You don’t know my despair. You don’t even knowmy exhilaration, how it felt – first in the forest and then in Ayodhya– when I was the most beloved woman in creation.

I had already decided to pick women-centric books for this year and
The Forest of Enchantments happened to be my first read of 2019.

How deep impacts this book has left on me I cannot describe. As my name is one of the names by which Sita was dearly addressed, hence I have
always been eager to read more about her.

I have gone through some of
the originals of Ramayana’s translations and of some other retellings but this one remains the best I have come across.
If you want to stand up against wrongdoing, if you want to bring about change, do it in a way that doesn’t bruise a man’s pride. You’ll have a better chance of success.

The book as we all know is a retelling of the great epic by Sita –
Sitayan. It’s been heavily embedded by some powerful quotes and a
narrative so powerful that it can give you shivers as it talks of
heroism and nobilities.

I will conclude it here with one of the quotes from the book which speaks about love and resentment:
The more love we distribute, the more it grows, coming back to us from unexpected sources and it’s corollary: when we demand love, believing it to be our right, it shrivels, leaving only resentment behind.

This is one of the books which will stay with me for a long time!

Book Review| Tarikshir by Khayaal Patel

Blurb:

A small princely state in Rajasthan is the last bastion of resistance against the might of the British Empire. While unrest surrounding the sudden death of the king of Devangarh grows, young prince Rudra Pratap Chauhan prepares to ascend the throne.

But the kingdom is in turmoil. The Devangarh army is outnumbered and the British forces are closing in. To make matters worse, Rudra discovers the king’s death may not have been accidental after all. The strange appearance and disappearance of a mysterious hooded stranger and a series of ritualistic murders in which the bodies have been drained of blood, spread panic across the realm.

As Rudra struggles to manage his new responsibilities and investigate his father’s death, dark secrets will be uncovered that will disrupt life as he knows it.

Publisher:

Westland

Review:

This book can be said to be a work of well researched facts of history and mythology and reveals the pen power of the author to create more of such intriguing works.
The prologue itself is captivating enough to demand immediate attention and thereafter I devoured this book in a single night. The book opens with a brief account of life of valikesh (a monkey warrior from Lord Hanuman’s army) and his confrontation with an invisible enemy in the remains of Ravana’s palace after the war.

The story further processed up and gained pace as the chapters opened up in Rajputs of Devangarh. The quest of crowned prince Rudra, to find the reason behind the mysterious death of his father added up to the unfolded mysteries that he was yet to discover.

You should pick this one up if you have a vibe for fantasy and mythology.

Thank you writersmelon for the review copy. All the opinions are my own and unbiased.

Ratings:
🌟🌟🌟🌟/5

Book Review| When the Chief fell in Love| Tuhin A. Sinha

Blurb:

Vihaan Shastri, India’s young and dynamic Defence Minister, comes under attack when 20 soldiers are killed during a terrorist strike at an army camp in Kashmir.

With the whole country seething with rage and thirsting for revenge, and the government depending on him to resolve the crisis, Vihaan finds himself battling a strange distraction: Zaira Bhat, the only woman he has truly loved, is back in his life, after 12 long years. In a chequered relationship which began with a love affair in 1990, and which had the two love and lose each other twice at different stages of life, Vihaan and Zaira now find themselves in an extraordinary situation.

While Vihaan is the defence minister of the country, Zaira is the daughter of Kashmir’s leading, and most wanted, pro-Pakistan separatist leader, Bilal Mohammad Bhat. Is Vihaan capable of pulling off a double coup? Can he win back the love of his life and also save an on-the edge Kashmir? Come, be a part of Vihaan and Zaira’s crazy journey as they make their way through learning what it is to love someone eternally . . .

Disclaimer:

I received a copy from writersmelon in exchange of an honest review.

Review:

Ever felt torn in between what you want to do and what you should do? That feeling of tearing apart in two halves is described by the author in a way that it drills your heart and let you bleed until you read it till end. The Blurb has enough to say about the story though Vihaan being a character to whom my heart goes out.

Tuhin Sinha is known for making youth aware about politics and related issues with his interactive narration and catchy storylines. I got a chance to have my hands on one of his non fictions – daddy. It was a parent’s guide from a father’s perspective. I made sure that I will definitely read more of his works and trust me I don’t regret doing so!

When Chief fell in Love is a beautiful amagamlation of what heart wants and what it can allow. From bleeding Kashmir to bleeding feelings of Zaira and Vihaan, from the hindu college to the political insights everything has it’s own soul in this story.

Ratings:

4/5

Buy your copy from here.

Book Review| Prem Purana| Usha Narayanan

Blurb:

Stories of love and extraordinary devotion
No one is untouched by love, not even devas (gods) and asuras (demons), kings and nymphs. And when they face life’s unexpected tribulations, their love also undergoes trials. Read how Ganesha took myriad forms to please Riddhi, Siddhi and Buddhi, how Ravana shared an unbreakable bond with his true love, Mandodari and how Nal and Damayanti’s relationship was tested till nothing remained.
Tormented by passion, wracked by betrayal, torn by the agony of separation, love in its many splendored forms is the origin of these incredibly endearing stories of Prem Purana.

Review:

The cover and the blurb of this book makes it clear enough that it’s a mytho-fiction. As a student I was never lured by mythology as a subject and after academic things, the size of books with mytho stories scared me; so I never picked up any such book except The Bhagvad Gita.
Coming back to the book, I saw this title in amazon’s new releases. This book caught my attention with a name like this and a cover which is interesting enough for a mytho-fiction, I immediately downloaded the sample chapters on kindle and read ’em all in one go. I am glad that I got a review copy from The Book Club.

The book comprises of three different stories which are weaved in a common yarn, love.

It starts with the story of Elephant God and Brahma’s daughters. The way author has described the three daughters of Lord Brahma is commendable and the way she guide you through the story makes it something next to real.
The next one in the book comes up with another unusual pair, as kids we have heard different versions of Ramayana ( I’ve even heard sampaati’s version somewhere.) but here in this book a neglected pair is featured as main leads- Ravana and Mandodari. Ravana, as we know was the kidnapper of Sita but he was also the husband of Mandodari. The dilemmas which she faced while Valmiki was framing an epic are depicted by author in her tale.
The concluding story is of King Nala and Damyanti, draped in magical spells and shrouded with curtains of curses and fantasy this story comprises dramatical twists and gives a worthy conclusion to the book, Coming to the narration part, you won’t be able to put this book down without completing the respective chapter or story.

At last I will say that I want my future kids to read this book in order to know a pious version of love and sacrifice and how even gods are not untouched by the spell of love!

Ratings:

4/5

Book Review| Woman with many faces| Arpan Banerjee

About the author:

Arpan Banerjee was born in the year 1964, in Kolkata, formerly known as Calcutta. He holds a Bachelor’s degree from Calcutta University, and is presently working in a private manufacturing unit in Jamshedpur. He is an ardent reader and lover of literature and art. A newcomer in this path he tries to evoke the complexity and simplicity in the life of a ‘Woman’, as a mother, wife, secretary, student, friend, and girlfriend. Through the three short stories in this book, he has made an attempt to portray the various faces of a woman. There are sentimental, passionate, tender, un-ethical, and loving moments in every woman’s life which this fiction evolves into. WOMAN with MANY FACES Read, you shall discover!

In a glance:

The book appears to me like a female oriented novel in the first look, but as one flips through the pages- 3 beautiful short stories unfold. The stories picture different shades of women.

My verdict:

Strong firm and fragile- A woman being a melange of all the qualities mentioned above. The author has taken a step to project women in all the scenarios and they turn out best in all of them.

This book being a combination of three stories present different faces of women and hence the title stands apt for the book. The book cover and the narration style of author, pictures a melodious tuning of his thoughts. This being a debut book has a potential to attract readers (specifically females and males who want to understand females better).

I will conclude it on a note that this is a fictional representation of author’s observations which seeps into the reader.

Ratings:

4/5 (Pick it now!)

Author Interview| In Conversation with Muntasir Hasnat

Today on the board we have a storyteller from another land! Welcome Muntasir Hasnat, who hails from Dhaka and is here to talk about the book –Cowardly Valiance. 

I would like to introduce you to our readers, please tell something about yourself.

 

I live in Dhaka, the capital city of Bangladesh which is a country in South Asia. I did my Bachelor of Social Science in Economics and then Masters in Business Administration, both from Bangladeshi Universities. I am involved in the business world for the last seven years now. I love reading fictional books and I revere authors.

Tell me something about the book. Why you took up this genre? What can a reader expect from this book?

The book shows that even the best feel extreme pain. It is about the struggle and suffering of a non-professional boxer who is praised for his boxing skills. People only see his tenacity in the ring but no one knows about the crippling fear he feels during the matches. He is considered a legend in the ring but he is actually a person who struggles to make ends meet. The genre is boxing and drama and I selected this genre because I am into boxing and I wanted to share the thrill of boxing matches with others. My experience in life has shown me that a person who is considered strong/successful may actually be suffering immensely but no one can see it and the main character is based on this belief. A reader can expect boxing, drama and I hope against hope that he/she can find a bit of motivation from the book.

Who are your favourite authors? How often do you read?

My favourite authors are Robert Ludlum, J. K. Rowling and John Grisham. I try to read every day but sometimes I fail to do so.

What challenges have you faced while penning down this book? How you overcome them?

The two major challenges I faced while penning down this book are time constraint and the determination to go through with it. I managed to overcome the time constraint problem by spending some time on the book every day, I did not have any specific time for the book but I tried to spend some time on the book whenever I could and I tried to do it every day. I simply kept on writing even when I was discouraged and demotivated and that was how I went through with it.

What was the best feedback you got for your work and from whom?

The best feedback was from a friend of mine who said: ” It gave me hope”.

How was your experience with BlueRose publishers?

My experience with BlueRose Publishers was great, they are very author-centric and I liked working with them.

How you keep yourself motivated to write more?

I keep myself motivated to write more by writing every day, the number of words I have written in a week motivates me to write more.

Generally, how much time you dedicated for writing while framing this book?

Writing and editing it took about five months which is a lot of time for a novella. There were frequent breaks so it took so long.

How has BlueRose helped you in growing as an author?

BlueRose helped me mature as an author. They are one reason why I am still motivated to write more.

What advice would you like to give to the budding authors?

My advice to budding authors would be: “If you want to write something then just pen it down and keep writing until you finish. The finished work itself will motivate you to go for publishing. You can always edit and improve the work but you need finish first.’

Book Review|Embers|Gautami

Publisher: Blue Rose Publishers (12 June 2017)

Language: English

Blurb:

‘Embers’ is the author’s debut novel. It is the journey of a 20-ish girl Yami who is deeply scarred by the unsuccessful marriage of her parents. Her life is in for a series of unexpected events, yet she finally ends up where she always wanted to. But, deep down, somewhere, the embers of her past refuse to leave her, although it reduces itself into an unuttered ache in her heart. This is a tale of love, loss, regrets and most of all, a tale of fate.

embers

 

In a Glance:

Embers, as the name, suggests the book has to be about some past experiences and coping up with them and that is what it turns out to be. From the outer appearance of the book, one can expect a story of a girl who is dealing with the ghosts of her past — I would like to congratulate the author and the designing person for this as the amalgamation of the book cover — book theme and title turns out to be very interesting.

Narration:

As a debut author, Gautami has done a marvellous job in narrating the story as she has justified the characters and has kept an intact storyline. The narration is lucid and flowy which allows the reader to indulge in the story completely. I like the way of listing the word meanings of the words from other languages at the last of the page for convenient reading.

Characterization:

Well, in this section I must say the research of the author on the human behaviour is visible as she has described her characters in a very vivid yet fictional manner and this is a very rare thing to be seen in young authors.

My Verdict:

This is a simple to the core fiction which revolves around the life of a young girl who is on a walk to encounter love, loss and trust in her own way. We can say it’s a brief account of Yami’s life who is out witness the flaws and beauty of life. Having a scarred past can be very difficult as it will always surround and follow you like a cape — such is the case with Yami, witnessing her parents suffering in relationships she grew up as a person with scarred past and the ghosts of past created a lot of chaos in her life.

As a final word, I can say this book will prove to be a good tea time read on a breezy evening.

Ratings:

4/5.

 

Book Review|Dying To Live|Monisha K Gumber

Blurb:

Megha, a young super-achiever with a perfect life has all that is needed to be happy. After all why wouldn’t she? A swimming champion, school topper, popular, good-looking girl with amazing friends and loving parents. What more could a girl ask for? A lot, actually.

Because even when she has it all; she sulks and does the unthinkable. A grave mistake that could take her to her own grave. But survivor that she is, she breaks through the wall of ‘perfections’ and accepts that she is what she is: sad, vulnerable and confused. Oh, don’t get her wrong, as she puts up a tough fight to reach where she is meant to be. And on the way learns some lessons that will take her through this amazing journey called life. A happy kind of life.

dy.jpg

In a glance:

The book is a sequel to Sick of being Healthy and is equally amazing. Monisha writes about a girl who is everyone’s charm, who has been acing the fields of sports as well as of studies but suddenly a hollow feeling starts boiling in her as she started taking her blessings for granted. There was a lot to be faced by Megha as the peer pressure and her personal life was facing a downfall. 

Characterization:

The characters are well described and look like craved out for the sole purpose of being a part of megha story. I like the way author has connected the prequel with the sequel. The characters of Sandy, Dolly, Megha’s Parents are described in a charming manner. The illustrations add life to story. 

Narration:

The story is reader friendly with easy language and beautiful illustrtations. The story provides a relatable insight in a teenager’s life about what goes on in their mind while dealing with a lot of peer pressure and how they struggle to keep the pieces of peace and happiness together. 

My Verdict:

The targeted audience of this book is teenagers as it deals with the problems they undergo while growing up as a responsible and sane individual. The upbringing plays an important role in one’s life as it determines what kind of an indvidual one would be. This book is a must read for teenagers as well as for their parents. 



Book Review | Sick of Being Healthy | Monisha K Gumber

Blurb:

“Tara, a young teenager is blessed with a little bit too much of health for her own good. Desperate to get the guy of her dreams, she ends up playing a very dangerous game- a game that could cost her friendship, her peace of mind and even her life! Actually, that’s an exaggeration but yes, she does make some serious blunders in her quest for a perfect body to impress her one true love. Can she do it an d is it all really worth it?
Welcome to her world and discover her inspiring journey towards real health and happiness, meet her stunning high achiever best friends and her parents who never seem to be satisfied. Let down by her own sister and under constant pressure to do well in studies, she learns how to fight her confidence and self-esteem issues and emerge a winner in the end.”

 

healthy

 

In A Glance:

In the first look, this book appears like a self-help book which would somehow preach how to lead a healthy lifestyle. But as one flips through the pages the story turns out to be a lot different and intriguing. This book has tossed up a very serious topic — body shaming, like a very hearty banter embedding it with a lot of pictures and caricatures which make the book all the more interesting.

Narration:

As mentioned above the book is well illustrated with a message that is not so common to be written in a country like ours. It can be said that the Authoress has been very brave while choosing this topic to write on as body shaming has already been a hype. Coming back to the story; the story revolves around Tara — a teenager who is a bit more on a healthier side and has a crush on a very good-looking boy but is very possessive about her outer appearance — later she came to know that her best friend is getting comfortable with her crush. Tara found solace in someone whom she got connected with on the internet and a few more things were yet to see the dawn… As the story heads towards the climax, it becomes impossible to put down the book. As a debut work, the efforts are appreciable. The pictures make the story fluid.

Characterization:

Characters come alive as most of the story is in the form of conversations and hence it gives voice to the characters. On the other hand, Tara and her emotions are well painted as they add life to the story.

Book Cover and Title:

The book cover and title are apt and suitable for the story inside and at the same time are attractive enough to catch the attention of the readers.

My Verdict:

The book beautifully portrays the brushed aside topic of body shaming as it throws light on the topic and also helps one to overcome from unfavourable circumstances. This book should be read by all the parents so that they don’t pile up their expectations on their kids and it should also be read by teenagers so that they don’t let themselves down with the heaps of expectations.

Ratings:

4/5.