To know me is to know that I am a massive fan of the BAAHUBALI franchise. And even that would be an understatement. I approach anything related to BaaTo know me is to know that I am a massive fan of the BAAHUBALI franchise. And even that would be an understatement. I approach anything related to Baahubali with a mixture of joy and trepidation. Joy because I can delve deeper into one of my favourite fictional worlds and trepidation because there is a gnawing fear that a hatchet job might be underway on something that I adore with unabashed glee.
Therefore, The Rise of Sivagami was opened with much caution. Would it live up to the hype or would it be a pithy attempt at milking an undeniably well-fed cash cow?
And then, I started and read and read and read some more. And sweet mother of Prabhas,
my book-loving, Baahubali-adoring soul was purring like a well fed beast.
We are transported back in time when the powerful Queen Mother Sivagami was just a teenager with vengeance burning in her heart. The young Sivagami is fierce, beautiful, supremely intelligent, equipped with warrior skills and honed by a burning desire to destroy the kingdom of Mahishmati that labelled her father a traitor and had him executed. She has in her possession, an indecipherable manuscript that might just prove her father’s honesty.
But Sivagami will soon learn that the path of revenge is riddled with many pitfalls. Mahishmati abounds with political treachery, simmering conspiracies, unimagined cruelty and soul searing secrets. The much-revered land is not a place for the likes of honest young slaves like Kattappa who have sworn to do their dharma at any cost.
A dense web of characters unfolds the deceit that permeates every nook and alley of Mahishmati and the storytelling is tight and fraught with intrigue. Your interest never wanes. You worry for the headstrong Sivagami and your heart crumbles like a soggy cookie over the plight of the stoic Kattappa. You loathe the sadistic Prince Bijjala and smile sadly for the shy Prince Mahadeva. A chill runs down your spine over the mechanisations of the eunuch Keki and fear lodges in your throat as the noblemen of Mahishmati vie for power through dastardly deeds. You worry for the love story between the rebellious Shivappa and the beautiful Kamakshi and fervently want their idealistic dreams to come true. You get a giant knot in your throat over the plight of the poor and exploited in a land that claims to be just and generous to its subjects.
The Rise of Sivagami is a tale told with a masterful control over the narrative. The pace never slackens and the story is never offered up at the altar of world-building details. The author has done complete justice to the faith placed in him by the director of Baahubali, S.S. Rajamouli. For the record, Rajamouli’s foreword is enough to make you want to devour this chubby read with impatience.
I loved the book and all that it conveyed. This was a worthy addition to the Baahubali stable and I look forward to the further ascension of Sivagami and the frustrated battles of Kattappa with all the excitement of a well-baited reader.
Well, that was a long, loooooong, tediously stretched out conclusion to what started off as an enticing series. "The Final Kill" was the only chapterWell, that was a long, loooooong, tediously stretched out conclusion to what started off as an enticing series. "The Final Kill" was the only chapter that hit me right in the feels. If the rest of the book would have been as ferocious and nerve-wracking as this chapter, The Oath of the Vayuputras would have been a complete zinger.
I am feeling shortchanged and rather underwhelmed. ...more
This is what a well-written, perfectly paced children's adventure book should be like. The tale was funny, thought-provoking and it handled the concepThis is what a well-written, perfectly paced children's adventure book should be like. The tale was funny, thought-provoking and it handled the concept of time travel with the right blend of fantasy and pragmatism.
I thoroughly enjoyed this book and would recommend it wholeheartedly....more
This book shall stand testimony to the fact that I shall no longer be swayed by bad reviews. If a book from my favourite genre "calls out" to me, I wiThis book shall stand testimony to the fact that I shall no longer be swayed by bad reviews. If a book from my favourite genre "calls out" to me, I will lay my hands on it immediately and enjoy it to the hilt.
To reiterate, I LOVED THIS BOOK. It was everything that I would want a tweaked, post-apocalyptic, re-imagined mythological classic to be. Finely nuanced characters, stunning artwork and a devastatingly fresh take on a much adored classic makes this book a true gem.
My small town provided the perfect setting to read yet another batch of Ruskin Bond's short stories. Heartwarming, funny, melancholic, haunting, nostaMy small town provided the perfect setting to read yet another batch of Ruskin Bond's short stories. Heartwarming, funny, melancholic, haunting, nostalgic, mysterious, dire, quaint.....Bond covers all these emotions in his eloquent, inimitable style. ...more