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Amish's Shiva is now ready for Bollywood
Mar 08, 2013 06:47 PM 10588 Views

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Introduction


The Shiva Trilogy series by author Amish Tripathi began in 2010 with the first book The Immortals of Meluha. Since then the second part of the book The Secret of the Nagas was released and the series has become a bestseller. In fact, the series is one of the top grossing Indian fiction works and readers were eagerly waiting for this the third and final part of the series.


Within a few days of its release, The Oath of the Vayuputras has become a besteller and the author Amish has won a 5 crore contract for his next series from the publishers Westland making him the new celebrity author after Chetan Bhagat.


The Shiva trilogy is the story of one of the most revered of the Indian Gods - Lord Shiva. Amish has taken the legend of Shiva and woven a tale around it adding characters of his own and including events from Indian mythology and tailoring it to his preferences. The main premise of the series is that Shiva was not a God, but a human. The second premise of the series is that Lord Rudra was the first Mahadev and the series is all about how a tribal chieftain from Tibet Shiva becomes the next Mahadev and is known as Neelkanth.


Series so far


Amish has liberally fictionalised the legend of Shiva and converted his story into a racy fiction novel. In the first book, Immortals of Meluha, we are first introduced to Shiva who is from Tibet. Once when his whole tribe catches a disease, he is alone unaffected and his throat turns blue making people call him the Neelkanth and they start revering him. Daksha, the King of Meluha invites Shiva to his kingdom. Shiva there meets Daksha's daughter Sati and as expected they fall in love and marry. But there are many secrets in this tale. There are the Nagas, who are portrayed as the villains and one of them is stalking Sati. Brihaspathi is the royal sage who is in charge of manufacturing the Somras, which extends the life of the Meluhans giving them near immortality. This book ends with the death of Brihaspathi and the Naga villain attacking Sati.


In the second part, Secret of the Nagas, Shiva learns who the Naga chieftain is and it takes him by surprise. He then travels to the Naga kingdom of Panchvati meeting enemies and friends on the way. There are many twists in this part which is what has made this series so attractive to readers. Of course, I have not revealed much of the plot, so that those who haven't read the series can read my review peacefully without the fear of learning the plot.


Amish used a distinctive technique, whereby he ended both the novels suddenly creating an element of suspense and making the readers eagerly want to know what would happen. And it is been almost three years from the date of release of the first novel to the third part. This of course is irritating because you don't want to wait for months together to know what happens next. But this waiting game has helped Amish liberally in selling his books.


The final part of the series


This book Oath of the Vayuputras takes off from where the previous one ended. The secret that was revealed at the end of the previous book is explained in detail and your suspense is put to an end. During the course of the events, Shiva realises that there are dangerous enemies among the people he trusted. Shiva also comes to the conclusion that the nectar of immortality Somras has to be destroyed and he has to form alliances with the other kingdoms in order to do this. And to help him, he has the support of the Vasudevs. This is another premise in the series where the concept is that there was no ONE Shiva or Vishnu, but there were many of them.


Shiva embarks on a campaign to destroy the Somras. And the rest of the novel is all about the strategies he employs, the counter strategies the enemies use and the exciting battle. Amish has excelled in this department and has made the war on evil the highlight of this book. We are also introduced to the Vayuputras, a new group of players whom Shiva has to seek out. Who are these Vayuputras and how can they help Shiva to win the war? You can find out by reading this book.


There are lots of discussions about science including cells, cancer, nuclear fission and fusion which makes this novel interesting.


Karan Johar has already bought the rights of this series to make a movie. It was rumored that Hrithik would be Shiva and Priyanka Sati, though of course now there are likely to be changes. Amish has gone in for a big bang book release and even created an audio CD with songs on Shiva sung by Sonu Nigam. The marketing of this book has been done really smartly and there is no doubt that this novel will help the publishers rake home money.


Now coming to the pluses and minuses of the book:


Pros


1) The author's writing style is neat, racy and well paced and he ensures that you don't feel like putting down the book till you complete it.


2) The story of Shiva is something all Indians know and it has been well depicted with lots of fictional changes which is an element of novelty. As you know the story of Shiva already, don't think that the events are predictable, because Amish adds twists and turns liberally.


3) There are many characters introduced in the book, who are either not from Indian mythology or who are modified characters, i.e : they are not as portrayed in the original stories. This is another plus point for the novel as things don't become predictable.


4) There are very few books which have mythology as their subject. And those that do usually tell the story as it is but in the form of a novel. Amish has taken lots of liberties with the original story and created his own story which is a unique and different attempt, which is a highlight of this novel.


5) Story continuity is good and the story moves along smoothly. Some authors tend to have 3-4 sub plots running in parallel and keep jumping from one location to another. Fortunately Amish doesn't do it.


Cons


1) Fictionalising the story of Shiva maybe a strength, but treating Shiva as a human is not something that would appeal to everyone. Also, the concept of Mahadev and Shiva being different people is not easily acceptable.


2) There are lots of characters in the novel who are different from the original stories. If you have read and liked the original stories, then these new changes may not be that appealing.


3) Fictionalising mythology is a nice concept, but Amish overdoes it a bit leading to a mythological mess. For instance, he mixes the legend of Tripura with the story of Daksha and it becomes a bit messy.


4) There are some goof ups. This story happens before the arrival of Krishna but yet there are references to Bhagwad Geetha.


5) The ending is simply not good. The character of Shiva doesn't come out well. Probably this has been done keeping the film in mind. The climax could have been much better, this is a major letdown.


6) There is actually not much role of Vayuputras play, so using them in the title isn't effective. And the "oath" of the vayuputras, you will realise in hardly worth putting in the title.


My Recommendation


If you have read the previous novels of this series, then you have to read this one to know how it all ends. But if you have liked the previous two parts, then this one will disappoint you a bit. But I would recommend this novel just so that you know how it ends.


My rating : 5.5/10


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