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Yama's Lieutenant

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The inhabitants of the thousand hells of Yama have broken free from their prison and vowed to wreak havoc on the heavens, the earth and hell. With the fiendish Hatakas and Narakamayas teamed up with Naganara, a terrifying necromancer hungry for power, the universe is headed for war and destruction unless one human has something to do with it.
Agni Prakash, a debonair young man whose world has been turned upside down by the death of his twin sister, Varu, has been enlisted to stop these forces and be Yama s very own lieutenant. As the mythical world clashes with his own, Agni discovers a manuscript left behind by his sister. Hauntingly, it draws parallels to the treacherous path upon which he has been thrust. Equipped with an acerbic wit and winning charm, Agni undertakes a battle, where the odds seem tipped wildly against him, and finds unlikely companions along the way.
Will he be able to uncover the secret behind his sister's writings? And more importantly, will he be able to avert the destruction that seems imminent?

361 pages, Paperback

First published June 8, 2016

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About the author

Anuja Chandramouli

15 books397 followers
Anuja Chandramouli is a bestselling Indian author and New Age Indian Classicist. Her highly acclaimed debut novel, Arjuna: Saga of a Pandava Warrior-Prince, was named by Amazon India as one of the top 5 books in the Indian Writing category for the year 2013. Kamadeva: The God of Desire and Shakti: The Divine Feminine are her other bestsellers. Currently all three books are being translated into Hindi, Marathi, Gujarathi and Bengali, a real achievement for one so young. Her epic fantasies called Yama’s Lieutenant and its sequel has received an overwhelming response.
Her books on Kartikeya, Padmavati and Prithviraj Chauhan have been very successful. Her latest book is Ganga: The Constant Goddess.
An accomplished orator, she regularly conducts workshops on Creative Writing, Story Telling and Mythology in schools, colleges and various other platforms. Her motivational speeches have also been well received. According to Chandramouli, her work with youngsters in the rural belt helping them improve their Spoken English and Writing skills has been wonderfully satisfying and enriching.
This happily married, mother of two little girls, lives in Sivakasi, Tamil Nadu. She is a student of classical dance and Yoga.
Email: anujamouli@gmail.com
FB page: https://www.facebook.com/authoranujac...

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Displaying 1 - 30 of 42 reviews
Profile Image for Supratim.
233 reviews451 followers
June 5, 2017
I would like to thank the author for providing me with a copy in exchange for an honest review.

My reaction after reading the book: WOW!! It did exceed my expectations. I am giving the novel a rating of 4.5

Before I proceed to reviewing the book please allow me to introduce Yama to you. In ancient Indian mythology, Yama or Yamraj is the God of Death – the Guardian of the Naraka (the numerous hells) – the Ruler of the Netherworld. He is popularly depicted as a burly man with a huge mustache, wears a horned crown and carries a huge mace. His mount is a water buffalo. This is what I knew but the book revealed a lot about his birth, family, righteous qualities and the injustice meted out to him. One more thing I learnt from the internet that Yama is not only present in Hinduism but in Buddhism and Sikhism as well. I was surprised to learn that Yama has an equivalent in Zoroastrianism – Yima (got me thinking about the similarities between ancient mythologies).

Now we come to the novel.

Anuja Chandramouli, the author, has deftly combined elements of ancient Indian mythology, fantasy, adventure and horror to write a highly enjoyable novel.

I have to say that the author knows how to write. Her use of imagery is indeed commendable. I thoroughly enjoyed her descriptions of the hells, the necromancer's cave, palaces, ruins, ancient nunnery, the battles, the devastation, the pathetic condition of the survivors of the hellish creatures etc.

A necromancer, Naganara, with terrifying power wants to destroy the modern civilization. He is powerful enough to summon ancient evil powers and enable dangerous creatures to escape from Yama’s hells. Needless to say – he is a very fearsome character. With his army of hellish creatures, Naganara wants to wipe out humanity and rule the world. Due to an ancient curse, Yama’s powers have weakened and can’t prevent all the prisoners from escaping. Thus he needs a lieutenant to capture the fugitives and send them back to Naraka.

Our protagonist, Yama’s lieutenant, Agni Prakash was an ordinary man who had been traumatized by his twin sister, Varuna aka Varu’s death. He had turned into a drifter – a man robbed of all hope. At such a point in his life he would be enlisted by a celestial being referred to as the “silver goddess.”

The narrative alternates between Agni’s adventures in the modern world and Varu’s book – she was writing a book about Yama.

Armed with divine weapons from Yama’s arsenal and with the help from the God of Death’s pair of huge hounds Agni sets out to fulfill his duties. He would be watched over by other ancient beings as well. Later he would be joined by Minothi, a young woman forced into a nunnery – she is blessed or cursed with destructive magical powers way beyond her control.

The characters in the book, human or not, are pretty well fleshed out.

Agni fights demons and ancient evil but he is no Rambo. He is a human being who is still trying to cope with his sister’s death. Agni is handsome but “reed like thin” and in no way resembles an intimidating opponent. He suffers from frustration, fear, anxiety attack to the point of giving in but he still soldiers on. He is also a cynic. You know magic is an intoxication: Agni “hated the job but loved the power that was his to yield.”

Minothi is another interesting character. She is a kritya – a favoured daughter of the Mother Earth, gifted with her divine powers. But, her power is beyond her control and mostly caused such utter devastation that Minothi hates herself. She misses her late mentor and her best friend from the nunnery –also wishes if she could lead a normal life with a husband and two kids. During her journey with Agni she would learn to harness her power … I am not saying anything else… I don’t like spoilers in my review.

Anyways the story has enough ingredients to keep you turning the pages: ancient prophecies, conspiracies,marshes filled with deadly supernatural creatures, various types of hellish creatures, attacks on defenseless humans, ancient Gods & Goddesses and a brilliant twist .
Problems facing the modern worlds such as social prejudice, bigotry, human greed and criminal neglect of our environment have been seamlessly incorporated into the narrative.

The parts of the story about Varu’s book was interesting – it was fun to read about the life of Yama, the meanness, dirty politics and other shenanigans of the celestial beings. But, Agni’s adventure was the real deal.

I loved reading the book – I enjoyed the suspense, horror, action and twists of the story. I only felt that the ending was too abrupt. I have already said that the book is finely written – I should also mention that it might enrich your vocabulary too. At times, the author uses some big fancy words - can be a tad annoying.

You know I am not a fan of the fantasy genre. I did enjoy the Harry Potter series but was not a die-hard fan. But, this book, by merging mythology, fantasy, horror and action has rekindled my interest in this genre.

Highly recommended to all lovers of fantasy & mythology. If you enjoy supernatural adventures then you might want to give it a try. I am looking forward to the second installment of the series and other books by the author.
Profile Image for Praveen.
179 reviews292 followers
November 25, 2019
A few months ago, while walking alone in a newly inaugurated Mall in a city, unconsciously, under the impulse of an irresistible urge that usually occupies me very consciously, whenever I reach near a book shop, I once more entered into the shop in a temptation to know how would it feel to touch and see those new arrivals and how would it feel reading a random page without any intention from those classics, which were obstinately placed on their respective shelves. Under the Indian author category, my eyes fell on a title Shakti: The Feminine Divine. After reading the blurb and a few paragraphs, knowing nothing about the author at that time, a thought came to my mind... ...These crazy Indian writers! Every other guy is en-cashing on Indian Mythology nowadays. It seems it’s selling like sex here! …
I put the book back in its place and after flipping through a few more books for the next half an hour I came out with a Shakespearean tragedy in my hand.

A few months later, when on one fine day I received this book and I strolled silently along with the story that began with portraying an emotional bond between two siblings Agni and Varuna, at one place I read, Varuna who wanted to be an author, saying this to her brother Agni about her book...

" But a little something about the book first…It's about the Yama and Yami, the celestial twins. They have a few things in common with us (Duh! That’s why I picked them in case you were wondering and not because mythology is selling like sex nowadays) and I am sure you will learn to love them as much as I do! "

Wasn���t this an amusing coincidence? A fantasy writer explaining an unknown future reader, in a simple and straightforward way through the characters of her book, which he never planned to read, for the thought that emerged within that future reader’s unknown mind on an unknown place! Who knows? A mythical fantasy author can have any sort of power nowadays!!
However, progressing through the plot slowly, I soon realized that Anuja is not just one more author selling those myths. She has something different in her craft that is distinctly her own. She has already made a place for herself with her first book Arjuna: Saga of a Pandava Warrior-Prince.

I came to know her with this book based on the mythical Yama (The god of death). This book was a mighty writing dosage for me, a beautifully imagined story with a gripping narration and composition. I got very much impressed with the writing skills of the author, her potent and vivid imagination, spirited sentences and controlled flow in the story. In fact, I loved every single page from the writing point of view. Many a time I stopped and reread some of those paragraphs, thinking how effortlessly she has depicted her mental imagery with such an effusion.

Apart from the fantasy and thrill, An adherence was depicted in Agni’s association with his sister Varu that was in coherence with the relation between mythical characters Yama and Yami and this pulled in some deeply woven emotions in this fantasy plot. Somewhere in a midway, more characters were introduced by the author, which elevated my interest in the story. The introduction of Minothi and Ganga’s daughter complimented journey of Yama’s Lieutenant in fighting the evil forces. Some social issues have also been taken up by the author through her characters.

One major thing that I disliked as a reader was that binding constant pace of the plot. The story did not diverge in most parts of the book. What I mean by diverging is that every chapter seemed a sort of complete in itself and as a reader I could not feel motivated many times to move to the next one, despite the fact that I thoroughly enjoyed each chapter. And what added to the strangeness of my reading experience was that this feeling of mine got reversed at last and I felt exactly opposite towards the end of the plot. I felt as if the author has left something to say and this book was not yet complete!

Overall I have enjoyed her wonderful writing more than anything else in the book and I am a fan of this prolific writer now, who has already written a bunch of mythical fantasies in a very short period. She definitely deserves the accolades and laurels she is getting.

My final mandate is that if you have not yet read Anuja, just go and pick her book up. She won’t disappoint you!
Profile Image for Archit.
824 reviews3,217 followers
December 9, 2016
In the end, we only go where our hearts lead us.

Now that's what I call a book.

Being a fan of Indian Mythology, I was bound to love Yama's Lieutenant.

I didn't know the stories about Yama and Yami, so I googled the established mythologies about them, started the book and BOOM!!!

Agni Prakash, the protagonist, is a simple man, wanting to overcome the tragic death of his twin sister Varu, who then is informed that he has been the chosen one - Yama's Lieutenant and will be asked to do all the sacrifices in order to save the world from destruction.

But saving the world from the monsters has never been easy for anyone, has it? specially for heroes who are destined to have a destruction in life of their own.

Between the tragic life of Sanjana, Surya, Yama, Yami and Chhaya, you find yourself strangled in it too.

The story and concept, in it's own way, was distinctive. The consistency and efficiency in writing style in it, is surely to turn heads.
A lot of thinking have been put into the book, in each emotions and sentences, and it is visible in each word I read in Yama's Lieutenant.

Varu's Book in Yama's Lieutenant is more than awesome. I was so much engrossed in her stories, that I re-read all the chapters that were from Varu's book.

Writing style is pedantic and calls for a serious read. The peak quality of language presented by Anuja, is not to be found anywhere else.

What surprised me was even till the end the author has maintained her perfection with the language and had full control over it.

I judge a book from its cover and for me, it worked completely.
'Yama's Lieutenant' has everything that I could have asked for in a book.

I'd say this book is a treasure for the mythology literature.
Author 0 books248 followers
April 8, 2017

With Yama's Lieutenant, Anuja has proved that she is the most talented author in Indian Mythology coliseum.

A handful of dark forces and evil creatures have been freed because Yama's power to prevent them in hell is reducing.
Only one man can help him restore his abilities.
This man is ready to serve his time and even life to assist him in the best possible way.

Seems easy, no?

No. Not really.

Agni Prakash is also in trauma due to loosing his beloved sister.
Fighting and going on this quest for him, would be much more like Arjun's dilemma before the battle of Mahabharat.

Will he able to help Yama and save the world from destruction?

Yama and Yami's childhood is scaring and yet a lot of lessons can be learnt.
Not knowing their story prior to reading this book, helped me appreciate it even more.

I've a hungry stomach for Mythologies and books like this keeps my maw satiated.

What impressed me about Anuja Chandramouli was -

1. She picked up a character from Indian Mythology whom nobody would dare to touch.
2. She presented a well researched and profound story mixed with modern life, making one feel that all of it is happening to them.
3. Her command over language does not waver. Not a single bit.
4. Her prowess with in mythology field is transparent.
5. She kept her writing graph steady. She does not have to 'maintain' it.
6. Her writing demanded attention and that made it even more interesting.
7. She did it with style.

As I reached to the last pages of Yama's Lieutenant, I can't explain why but only this poems lingered on my mind :

Mera Kaha Mera.
Mera Kiya Mera.
Katghare me sirf main.
Har sawal ka jawab mere paas.

Main rahu apane sapano, apane karmo, apne shabdo,
Apni bhavnao ke liye har tarah se jimmedar.
main rahu apani soch, apani ummeedo,
apane bharose ke liye har pal uttardayi.


Har jeet meri, har shikast ka karan main.
Jese yah dua meri, wese yah duniye meri,
is par yakeen mera,
iska aadhar, bas main hu!

I will try to do a loose and direct translation of it (Beware I'm only a beginner in poetic field) :

What I say is mine.
What I do is mine.
In the stockade, I will stand.
Every question's answer is with me.

I must stay responsible for my dreams,
my deeds, my words and my emotions.
I must stay accountable for my thoughts,
my hopes and my trust, each moment.


Each victory is mine,
Reasons for each failure is with me.
Like this prayer of mine, this world is mine.
Only I am its base.

Tremendously Beautiful !
Profile Image for Vishnu Chevli.
650 reviews564 followers
February 24, 2017
There is nothing better than reviewing your wishlist book. "Yama's Lieutenant" made its place in my wishlist, the day I saw book on Amazon. I didn't even checked blurb of the book, all I checked was cover and author's name. Author made sure that reader won't get disappointed. I would like to salute Anuja Chandramouli to combine mythology and action thriller into one genre wonderfully.

Book has two parallels both related to Yama, one was directly related while another was indirectly.

Part 1 - The main story of Yama's lieutenant, where Agni Prakash with help of Kritya / Kanya trying fighting with sinister forces. In spite of aeons of punishments in hell, these forces were evil at core. Even Yama and his forces were not able to change them. They can only be contained cannot destroyed. These forces are left on human world carelessly for rampaging. Fortress of hell, walls of various Yama's torturous jails.

Part 2 - This part is portrayed as a manuscript written by Agni's sister Varuna before she died. Varuna has done detailed research on Yama's life. She has written story about Yama and his twin sister Yami. Story covers how siblings love had deepen with time and how Yama ended up as the king of the Patal loka (hell).

I have read alternate mythologies like Shiva Triology by Amish Tripathi or Ajaya by Anand Neelakanthan, but this is my first Indian mythology infused action thriller. Indian literature needed more authors like Anuja. Things I liked about book:
- Anuja's Word-smithy - Description of Character, Place or Incident to the point. No extra information which bring boredom.
- Focus on story line
- Properly knitted myth and fantasy quotient as perfect serving

One thing I would like to mention, after reading 300 pages (which is like 85% of total pages), I was expecting next volume in series. But author has somehow finished it too early. It was like "I didn't see it coming". Still a good read for age above 16.

Detailed Review Link - http://chevusread.blogspot.in/2017/02...
Profile Image for Anish Kohli.
188 reviews263 followers
March 1, 2019
27/2/19: Full review up

Note: Free copy in exchange for an honest review.

*Sighs* Yeah this is gonna be one of those reviews! You know the ones, right? No? The ones where the disappointment and dissatisfaction rules? Yeah, that one! Damn it!

First up, an apology to the author for taking so long in providing a review. It was not the intent to delay it.

So let me start with the obvious. For anyone who doesn’t know what Yama (Yamraj) is, here is a quick intro. Yama is the Indian equivalent of Hades. He is the ruler of the underworld/netherworld. Yama can also be thought of like the supreme reaper. He runs hell and his job description is to…wait for it….torture souls of the sinners to reform them! *looks at Yamna* I know you want that job permanently, right? Yama is literally in your name, Yamna :P
So basically that’s Yama, a celestial being, a horned crown wearing guy who rides a buffalo (no pun intended) and reaps souls. The God of Death and the guardian of hell.

Now that we have that cleared up, let’s take a quick look at the crux of the book. The book is about Yama dying and his underworld coming unraveled and thus allowing the vile and malicious beings to be free and roam the land of the living and kill as per their will.
There are other forces at work who want to break free of Yama’s reign and take over his position. A coup d'etat is brewing at the time where Yama is vulnerable. Who shall save him? His lieutenant, Agni Prakash, of course! Did you guys forget the name of the book already? But how? Let me break it down!

The Plot & Setting
Let’s give credit where it’s due. The plot, although it’s another fiction/fantasy that draws from mythology, is a well thought out one. I have not yet come across a book about Yama or his world. He’s not one of the popular figures in the mythos and so to pick that as the central theme is pretty nice. Shows that the author is confident. And I can appreciate that.
Although I am really not sure how much of the story was pulled directly from the mythos and how much was the fabrication of the author’s mind, but I think the story was a well weaved one.

The setting of the world though, now that’s a whole different ball game and here the author lacks. The world building is severely lacking, be it the parts where Agni was on Earth or the parts where he was in other realms. I felt as if the world building was not the main focus of the author but rather telling of the story was. Personally I felt that a bit more effort in this context would have really lifted this book up (if other issues weren’t there that I will talk about later).

The Writing
Let me keep it simple here and say that sure as hell, Anuja knows how to write and write well. She can spin a yarn and quite neatly so! The story over all is somewhat complex to maintain and she does it really well. This is not the simple straight forward single narrative that she’s written. So in the book, while the events are unfurling around Agni, he is also reading a manuscript from his departed twin sister where she is telling the story of Yama and his twin sis Yami. I really liked how she told the 2 parallels in the book and they ran their length very nicely.
I think that Anuja struck the balance BEAUTIFULLY in maintaining the two plots and then the way she coalesced them was lovely too! I did not see the twist coming even though I was trying to make out how she might surprise me when she brings the two plots together. But honestly, the twist didn’t make much sense to me so maybe that’s why I couldn’t see it coming.

The Characters
Now, this is my fav part in any review. I love to talk about characters and their doings and their drives because in the end they are what we connect to, right? But damn it, this book disappoints in this category.
So the book has the following lead characters:

Agni: The protagonist of our book, Yama’s right hand man. Now the first question I or anyone should ask is how does a mortal become a lieutenant to the God of Death? Does the book answer it? Nope! I mean it tries. Sure. But it’s not a satisfactory answer and the whole character arc of Agni makes no sense to me. What drives him also makes no sense to me. Why would a mortal be willing to fight the filth of hell rather than be ignorant like the rest of the world, is not well explained.

Varuna: Agni’s departed twin sister. Although she’s not in the book but I think she’ll have a role to play if the author decides to write a sequel or something bcz that door is left pretty wide open. And I mention Varuna specifically despite being a non character bcz I need to discuss something about her and Agni towards the end of the review.

Minothi: The female sidekick to our protagonist. She’s….weird? I mean her character arc makes more sense than Agni and overall as a character she is okay but not someone I really dig, if you know what I mean.

Yama: Well you already know who he is. Although again he is not a direct character but a character in the manuscript that Varuna left behind for Agni but even so, Yama’s character is well shaped up. With the little page span dedicated to him, he comes up nicely.

Yami: Yama’s twin sister. Yep, twins are a theme in this book. Yami, too, is a character in the manuscript that Agni has and she is a DUMB character! I mean while I get the drive of Yami who wants to be free and live her life as an equal to men around her, the decisions she makes are more on the wild side. She is big on NOT thinking for consequences.

The Issues
Well…there are quite a few issues in this book so let me get right to it!

Yep. Sexist as fuck! This book is sexist to both women and men. And in a good decent amount that I found REAALLY hard to ignore!!
Now, I am willing to give Anuja the benefit of doubt that she wasn’t aiming to be a sexist but rather trying to make her side characters seem more vile and malicious through their dialogues but it really doesn’t come off that way. And if it was a genuine mistake, the author might wanna take this into consideration. And if not…well then it’s not like she’s the first sexist author I have come across.
“[..]you became enamoured of a mightly heaving bosom and devoted your existence to fulfilling the fool hardy whims of their owner.”
“That rich bitch distracted our boy from his studies, wearing her slutty churidars.”
There are many more instances too but I think you get the gist and I don’t think I need to quote all of them.

Given that there was just ONE sentence in the whole book and again I am willing to give the benefit of doubt, but I don’t really feel it was a mistake, nor the sexism. God knows India is a huge country and the people of different parts find different reasons to not like people from other parts but to put that in a book in a very negative (not to mention sexist) way is highly off putting.
“Girls nowadays are spoilt by parents who let them copy the immoral northerners who ape the westerners.”
This combined with the sexist part, made me deduct one star.

So so so pissed off with this! I mean for the whole length of the book, its building up for some sort of an all out showdown between Agni alongside his allies against the dark forces but the end was just so fucking disappointing! It just fucking fizzled out on me! Nothing HAPPENED! Imma punch the wall!

>>Twin Chemistry
Let me state at the outset that I have a sister and so I am well versed in the bond of a bro and sis and so I can imagine that a set of Twins might have an even stronger bond. I get that.
But in many places the way Anuja writes about the feelings of the siblings, it comes across as wrong. Like…do I need to say it? It sounds and reads like they are more than bro and sis. Like twincest? (term coined by Yamna!)
It reads really wrong and I feel that the bond could have been less romanticized. And Anuja proves my point by accusing her own characters of incest, falsely so, but it looks believable to the outsiders bcz of just how close she’s placed her characters. It reads wrong for sure.

>>The Real Mystery
Like I mentioned in the beginning, Yama is dying and so his whole realm is falling apart as his strength wanes. Although….WHY he is dying is so not explained! I mean what happened to him? Is he like gonna die of a sickness or a wound or what? The whole premise is questionable since no one bothered to tell me what is actually wrong with Yama.

All these problems put together made me deduct another star (that’s 2 stars lost).

Final Verdict
Now if you don’t have a problem with all the issues I stated above, I bet it will make a great read bcz like I said, the writing itself is pretty well polished and the plot is decent too. In that case, sure, go ahead and grab a copy bcz its good. But I won’t actively ask someone to get a copy bcz well obviously it does have issues.

26/12/18: RTC and not sure on the rating so putting it at 3 stars right now but might change when I finally get to reviewing it!
Profile Image for Bradley.
Author 5 books4,108 followers
August 20, 2016
From certain internal stories and Hindu myths brought to life, I really wanted to like this work a lot more than I did.

It is ambitious and a great deal happens in both plot and character progression, but for the most part, it's generally only two-directions. Most of the concerns are with the underworld where all the undesirables are sent, Agni, and Yama and Yami's problems with a prophesied marraige, and an epic scale prolonged conflict with the necromancer.

The action scenes are highly amusing, and like I said, I wanted to love the deep immersion in the realm of the Hindu gods, the Three Worlds, and everything.


Even though I know a bit about the gods and the culture, I stumbled across the whole issue of the Uncanny Valley. The kinds of interpersonal conflicts are understandable on one level, but the level of vitriol on one side and the level of devotion on the other just rubbed me wrong. Sometimes, I just caught myself squirming in discomfort. Things were happening that I understood fine on so many levels, and then they mismatched or misfired, and then I was kicked out of the tale at the most inopportune times. Which was a shame. The novel is rather ambitious and impressive, otherwise, and it reads like a very unique and deep epic fantasy with lots of blood and guts and really evil characters and thwarted romance and even just the desire to prevent romance (because it is preordained or otherwise arranged, and badly so).

I think my problem is mainly cultural. If I had been steeped in the world that this story had grown out of, or had at least read tons and tons of similar mythological works, I might have been able to get more out of it. As it was, I only recognized about a dozen of the big names, including Yama and Agni, of course, but other than knowing the basics about them, I was kind of lost as to whether this was a complicated discourse on all the legends that the author grew up with or whether this was a purely original work that only happened to borrow from some of the names and the general situations, such as Yama being the king of the underworld and Agni begin the god of fire.

Was Agni supposed to be a retelling of the original with some differences, or was he supposed to be a separate entity that just happened to share the name and all that fire? Well, I had to table that question and just try to enjoy the story, which I did for the most part.

Unfortunately, I feel like the book kinda defeated me. It's hard to admit, but there it is. Maybe if I eventually come back to it after learning a ton more or find a pocket concordance to trace both themes and names and significance, it wouldn't matter that my sense of the Uncanny Valley was in play. :)

Thanks to the author for providing me this ARC for review! Good luck!
Profile Image for Rohit Enghakat.
236 reviews63 followers
October 19, 2017
Note - Free copy from the author in exchange of a review. Thank you Anuja Chandramouli for the copy. I was intrigued by the title so I agreed to review this.

The book is a fantastically written (pun intended). It deals with a young lad Agni Prakash, a human being, who is anointed as Yama's lieutenant to fight the evil forces out to conquer the three worlds i.e. heaven, hell and earth with the help of a kritya, a divine woman with magical powers. Agni Prakash is heartbroken over his twin sister Varu's death and brooding over his sense of loss. One fine day, he is recruited by a goddess Taravarsha to save the three worlds from Naganara, a necromancer.

The plot flits between the mythical and the real world, weaving an interesting story of Agni Prakash and his travails in battling with the arakshas who have escaped the nether world and wreaking havoc on the earthlings. There is also another thread with a backstory of Yama in the form of a book written by Varu before her death. So little is known about Yama, the lord of death and the netherworld. This is like an eye-opener.

This was my first book in the fantasy genre by an Indian author. I am not a keen fan of books on fantasy, however I was not disappointed. Published by Random House India, you can expect a top-notch quality product, no less. After a long time, I have reviewed a book which is tightly edited and the language is absolutely superb. The author has a mastery over the language with a wide repertoire in vocabulary. The prose flows beautifully. However, I found the first hundred pages
a bit of a drag with so many multiple characters flitting in and out that I almost lost track of the plot. However, Varu's book on Yama and his emergence as the lord of the netherworld kept me hooked.

Overall, I liked it and for those interested in fantasy / mythology, go grab it !
Profile Image for Yesha- Books Teacup and Reviews.
685 reviews133 followers
June 16, 2017
(Note: I received book from the author, in exchange for an honest review. Thank to author. I’m glad I got a chance to read this book.)
*Stars: 4.5/5*

Yama's Lieutenant is mind-blowing Indian mythology fiction.
First of all, those who doesn’t know Indian mythology, little clarification for them- Yama is ruler of underworlds, Hades in Greek mythology. Seeing that cover above? That’s how he look in Indian mythology.

Characters- Protagonist, Agni. Yes, book revolves around this character but there are other many important characters in this book and author has given all of them equal importance. None was given too much or too less attention. Agni was handsome, soft, grumpy, and sarcastic character. Weird combination! I liked him. I so love it when story is about twins. Agni and Varuna, Yama and Yami. They were amazing throughout the book. Antagonist needless to say, he was horrendous and terrifying creature. You can shortlist this necromancer as best villain this year.

This is multiple POV book. I loved cover of the book. I like it when from the cover only I get the idea what I’m expecting in the book without even reading the blurb.

“...That’s why I picked them, in case you were wondering, and not because mythology is selling like sex nowadays...”
Lol! I liked this line. Though written by Varuna in the book, it felt like it’s actually coming from author.

Most important thing in the books was characters and their life with touch of mythology which was nicely written. First 50 or something pages was all about familiarity with characters and situations. The descriptions of punishments in the hell, mayhem on earth, occult activity, and black magic of necromancer.. It was messy and gory. Heart-wrenching tragedy in life of characters was amazingly narrated. Writing of these details was so effective that sent chills up my spine. Yet among this messy descriptions, many debatable facts and morals were amazingly displayed in this book.

Read full review here

This book is all in Indian mythology. So, those who love to read Indian mythology fiction, would love to read it.
Overall, I loved this epic saga.
Profile Image for Fuzaila.
251 reviews360 followers
January 26, 2018
DNF at 25%

MYTHOLOGY WAS NEVER MY THING. That still stands true.

This book stands against every moral I hold close and portrays a topic or subject I am not sure I’m comfortable reading. The reason why I decided to drop it after months of trying to get through is precisely that. Otherwise, I think the writing style was really good, even if a bit pretentious.
Rating purely based on my feelings, not on merit.

Many thanks to the author Anuja Chandramouli for providing a review copy of this book. I’m really sorry I disappointed you though.
Profile Image for Jerry Jose.
362 reviews61 followers
July 26, 2017
This might be a highly inappropriate analogy, but to me Yama's Lieutenant atleast in parts, felt like Devil May Cry with Hindu pantheon. Though there is no Virgil for our Dante, he was equipped with two four-eyed hounds from hell, Chandrama and Suryama, for Ebony and Ivory.

The main story follows the adventures of Agni Prakash who has to 'Odd Thomas' his way off Arakshas, and keep the balance of both worlds. The initial real world take easily faded out after protagonist's recruit, and even sub narratives started becoming dark. I don't really go well with blood and gore, and this book's intricately woven hell and hatred did unsettle me. The real mythology is juxtaposed with the main story line through a manuscript by protagonist's sister. I enjoyed the peeling onion treatment, where author kept both the characters as well as the readers under the incentive of a gradually unraveling secret.

For a book by the name Yama's Lieutenant, I found both Yama and his Lieutenant strangely under developed. It might as well be my usual aversion for the 'preordained chosen one' narrative. I really did care for, and enjoyed the little chapters involving Agni and Varu, but the celestial twins, Yama and Yami, were more of an annoyance. Another issue I had was the excessive baggage side characters wore, along with their not so easy to remember mythological names. The far greater allegorical purpose the names serve, could be lost for an outside reader.

Transcending mythology to new age, in my opinion, involves plenty of material to work with, but conveying the stories in their might requires a talented story teller, and this author kinda nails it.

I would like to thank the author for the review copy.
Profile Image for Uma    | Books.Bags.Burgers.
259 reviews153 followers
May 25, 2017
(I received a free copy of this book from the author in exchange for an honest review.)


Agni Prakash is grieving the death of his twin sister Varu and there's nothing anyone can do about it. He feels empty without his sister who was like a part of him. The emptiness leads him to waste away his life, until he is given a task. 'The Chosen One' is a trope I enjoyed in Harry Potter but it has been so oft repeated that it's hard to get excited about it and I was a bit wary when Agni is 'the chosen one'. And while I was not-so-thrilled about this aspect and the way the mission finds him, I quite enjoyed Agni's narration. he is a realistic character in the sense that he isn't perfect. He makes mistakes and assumes the wrong things and it's those things that make him a likeable character readers can relate to.

Even though we don't see as much of Varu as we do of Agni, I liked her more than her twin. Her dialogue stands out in Agni's memories of her and even when she's dead, she takes the spotlight. I enjoyed the chapters that had Varu's book about Yama and Yami. It's was ABSOLUTELY amazing to learn about these two characters from the Indian mythology who are to be honest, not much talked about. I honestly don't know why as they are so interesting!

I loved how the characters Yama and Yami were brought into the story! For those who are new to Indian Mythology, Yama is the King of hell and Yami is his sister. They are both mythological characters who even in India, people don't talk much about and I LOVED that they are a major part of this story!


Though the story at first seems like a predictable 'The Chosen One' story, it definitely is not. The author deftly spins a complex plot that keeps readers on their toes, wondering what will happen next. There are actually two storylines in the story - One with Agni fighting the arakshas from hell as a part of the mission given to him and the other of the story of Yama and Yami from Varu's book.

The interesting thing is how these plots seem unconnected and yet there are these parallels that can be seen. The two storyline entwine in a delicate manner, bringing together the past and the present quite beautiful. Each twiast in the story is unexpected and will make reader grin in delight!


The author does imagery quite beautifully. Her descriptions allowed me to envision the story in my head quite clearly. while at times the description made me impatient for I wanted to know what happens next, the writing is hauntingly seductive, pulling one into the story and not quite letting go even after the last page!

Also I loved the underlying commentary of the present society. Many instances we see in the book show the corruption and the illness that plagues our world and which we hear about everyday. This social dialogue gave a very realistic ring to the story!


- The unique plot
- The knowledge of Indian mythology
- The writing


- Certain tropes characteristic of YA novels


A wonderful and fast paced story with Indian mythology woven into it in such a way that it would appeal to readers young and old! The plot is as enchanting as the writing and this keeps the readers turning the pages!
Profile Image for Arun Divakar.
796 reviews393 followers
July 26, 2017
Note : Copy of the book sent by the author for review.

For a vaguely similar reason the title of this book brought another author and series to mind. Terry Pratchett’s Mort was about Death getting an apprentice from the mortal realms followed by their adventures and the name of the book put me in that mind-set. In Hindu mythology, Yama is the lord of death and a story about his lieutenant brought Discworld to mind and yet the similarity ended there as these two stories are as different as chalk and cheese. The story of Agni Prakash and his hero quest while facing down supernaturally powerful antagonists is certainly interesting and riveting but only in snatches.

Diving a bit more into the background - Yama is not just the lord of death, he also reigns over the underworld ( and his role is more than that of Hades too) but beyond all this he is the ultimate word when it comes to dharma which roughly translates into righteousness. There have not been many books that have covered the realms of Yama, his story or about the underworld and truth be told I was looking forward to something along those lines. While this is covered in bits and pieces, a detailed view was not forthcoming. In the early stages of this tale and through the journal entries of one of the characters, Yama is introduced as a young boy along with his twin sister Yami and the life they lead at their father’s palace. All through the narrative, this one thread is gradually unravelled until we know what happens to the twins and of Yama’s coming of age. Although this one thread had a trend to slip into melodrama, it was something that could be related to. What irked me later was this came to an end when Yama reaches his adulthood. Which is to say we do not really get a first-hand account of Yama’s ascension to power or what made him the character he is. A similar fate awaited Agni Prakash who becomes the lieutenant of the God akin to something that drops from the sky. There really wasn’t much offered by way of an explanation as to how he came to be the way he is. What I really liked about the story was the way the mythological denizens of hell were used as the characters in the story and personally all of these were new and exciting to me. There is a lot by way of blood and gore in the story but the circumstances and the antagonists are ones which do not let you go all that easily.

The storytelling is structured in such a way that there are multiple threads running through the story which all finally tie together to form a closure pattern. While some of them attain a logical culmination, a few are cut abruptly and tied together. Some of the possibly exciting subplots all fizzled out while certain others took precedence over them.

All considered a good hero quest and by the looks of it, this might become a series which might address some of my points above later.
Profile Image for Bookish Indulgenges with b00k r3vi3ws.
1,610 reviews243 followers
February 22, 2017
I have previously read and enjoyed the works by this author. Arjuna, Kamadeva and Shakti have all been retellings of stories that we have heard before but with her own twist. And it has worked well for the author. Yama’s Lieutenant is however a fantasy fiction with which the author has given her writing a new direction.

Agni Prakash, our protagonist, is naturally a suave personality but comes with some baggage. The loss of his twin sister has changed his world and his life completely. When he is approached to become Yama’s lieutenant and help him avert certain annihilation that awaits both hell and earth. You see, the populace of the hells that Yama reigns over have escaped and their plans will bring nothing but mayhem. Armed with wit, charm and a manuscript left behind by his sister, Agni is ready to face whatever it takes. But is one human enough? Will he succeed or will he perish in the face of the pure evil that is now on the loose?

One thing that I have come to expect from Anuja Chandramouli is quality in language. Over the last three books she has grown a lot and this time too she has delivered on my expectations. The story telling style and the different narratives within the story have delivered on all my expectations from this author. Her style is certainly enchanting. The plot itself feels a little inspired by our mythology, yet has its own unique flavor. It is an interesting premise which is not very complicated and I kind of expected the ending, yet the pages just flew by. The one thing I would like to point out here is that I wished for more depth and allure from our protagonist. Agni is supposedly this charismatic personality yet at times he felt too simple and his personality didn’t really come through or speak to me. It was more telling and less showing with Agni’s character. It did make it a bit difficult for me to really root for him.

For those of you who have already read her books, you can see that she has grown a bit more into her role as an author. For those who are yet to experience Anuja’s writing, give this book a try if mythology and fantasy interests you.
Profile Image for Lady Clementina ffinch-ffarowmore.
799 reviews180 followers
June 14, 2017
My thanks to the author for a review copy of the book.

This fantasy–adventure with a basis in mythology is the story of a young man, Agni Prakash, who suffering intense grief from the loss of his twin sister Varu (Varuna), finds himself “recruited” by a mysterious yet charming silver goddess to be Yama’s Lieutenant. As Yama’s Lieutenant he finds himself having to fight the grotesque and dangerous arakshas, the tortured souls in Yama’s charge who have escaped the underworld and are wreaking havoc on earth. This gives him some sense of purpose and escape from his own pain. But soon he finds out that a far more perilous mission of great consequence lies ahead for him, for Yama’s powers are weakening and forces beyond any control are all set to invade the earth. In his mission he is helped by the land-spirit Dharami and the kritya Minothi, who has within her great magic, but this is often aroused only when she is angered beyond control, and she finds herself not quite able to harness it. The story is of the journey they have to make―battling a range of fiendish monsters and a necromancer who is desperate to destroy them―to fulfil their mission and save the world from a terrible fate. Alongside progresses a second story. Agni’s twin Varu has left for him a manuscript that she wrote. In this she tells the story of Yama and his twin Yami, and their lives and struggles in the celestial world, the challenges they face, and the bond between them that helps overcome much.

I quite enjoyed the plot of the book where the author has shown great creativity both in the story itself and in blending the worlds of mythology and reality. For the most part, the story reads like an adventure but towards the end, the author gives one a surprise or two one doesn’t see coming, and which I enjoyed. I also liked how the author weaves in the current state of society―things like crime, hate, communalism, environmental pollution and destruction, loss of values, materialism―linking it to things in the mythological world and vice versa. Her descriptions are indeed vivid (with blood and gore aplenty) but I had some quibble with them which I will come to. One of the thoughts that resonated with me was all the happy moments one has, one spends with a loved one always amounting to much more than anything/event that causes sorrow, and those moments always remaining with one, no matter what. Overall, for me the plot and story were both creative and enjoyable.

The negative for me in the writing and descriptions in particular was the constant references to bodily fluids and excreta (particularly the latter)―in some instances, I agree this was needed perhaps to convey just how grotesque the place or creature in question was―but there seemed just a few too many even where I felt it could have done without, and which just ends up making it a bit off-putting and takes away (for me, at least) from the readability of an otherwise interesting tale. Also (but here a minor issue) in some places I felt the language colloquial where it didn’t need to be and vice versa.

So an interesting read, with a theme and plot I rather liked but would have enjoyed far more but for the issues (actually just one really) mentioned.

p.s. Also quite like the cover!
Profile Image for Jayana.
30 reviews69 followers
April 14, 2017

This book was something

Thought I’d never use this Book Badge for some time but here it is.
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I received the Review Copy of this book by the Author in exchange for an honest review. For the record, I’m always honest in my reviews. Sometimes brutally.

Remember me talking about the prejudice I had against Indian authors and it being shattered half way because of Karachi Deception by Shatrujeet Nath. (Review:https://www.goodreads.com/review/show...)

Well, talk about shattering that prejudice all the way to glory, credits to Anuja Chandramouli for creating such a spectacular book.

The Three Worlds are under great chaos as the inhabitants of the hells of Yama free themselves of their prisons and all hell breaks loose, pun intended.
Now It is upon Agni to get them back under control with Yama’s wicked power as ammunition and his wit and charm, though still haunted by his sister’s death, he’s set to bring things in order.

For those who don’t know a lot/nothing about Yama:
Yama/Yamraj also known as “Imra” is the God of Death. He is the Ruler of the Underworld and the Lord of the Departed.
Akin to Hades of Greek Mythology and the Grim Reaper but by all means more Badass and Hawt than either and to be honest, I found him to be the coolest of all gods.

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And the Author gives full justice to him and his story in the book.

The writing style being mildly sarcastic and throw in the subtle dry humor, it works perfectly.
Rich and eloquent writing may as well be the strongest contributing factor to the overall success of this book.
Generally, it is the surroundings and the happenings that build built up the plot but in this book, I found the writing to be the driving force that built it up.

What I Absolutely Loved About The Book

First: The Sibling Relationship
Being a sibling to an elder sister and loving every moment of it (I’m lying. Totally) I gobble up every detail of it whenever mentioned in a book and I loved the sibling relationship depicted here. Agni and Varu’s innocent childhood memories couldn’t have been better described in just 2-3 pages. While that of Yama and Yami was a tale full of sweet woe.
Both relationships tainted by sorrow and death.

Second: The Subtleties
The author has taken out even the subtle human expressions, dissected, analysed and laid out in the open and it was my favourite.

While the parallel stories running along with the main plot were thoroughly riveting.
The two sides of the world were synchronized so well, there’s not even a hint of a hitch.

And the twists!
The twists hit me like:
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They had my jaw hanging open like a blubbering fool.

Third: The Reluctant Heroes
This is what I liked about the Author that she didn’t overtly glorify Agni. She kept it very realistic. It is true that Agni was not cut out for this, he wanted none of it. His wounds were still fresh with the loss of her beloved sister, he couldn’t understand how to deal with the grief, he couldn’t understand the point of fighting when the odds were clearly stacked against him with no sign of a crack. But still he did. He fought like a warrior.
Fought like it was the last time. Everytime.
There was this unusual feeling of defeat and foreboding surrounding the plot, which I loved.

While Yama is a force and an entity unto himself.
I was honestly surprised by this unexpected bout of bittersweet respect for Yamraj, the reason why he had to rule the Netherlands, result of Indra and his minions’ manipulations.
How Son of the magnificent Surya, used to the brilliant rays cast by his father was now relegated to the Darkness.
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My Favourite: The War
This is what I absolutely loved about the book. There is no “clean” or “fair” warfare here unlike the other books. There’s no ‘one scratch on the cheek with an arm around around the heroine, striking a pose’.
It is filthy. It’s primeval. It’s ‘going down on all fours’ survival.
It’s real .

What I did not like about the book The part I hate to cover for a good book) *spoiler ahead*

The conclusion is that I totally dig this book and highly recommend it to all the Indian Mythology thriller readers out there.
Profile Image for Mishka.
176 reviews20 followers
July 27, 2017
Special Thanks to The Author for sending Me this Thrilling book to me
(so much in awe)

First things first :
This Is A Mythological Thriller .(i think it as it has kept me shocked through the twists like a Roller Coaster)
Books with food are always the best especially If it is with Bournvita
(It Was so Catchy i was Happier with The first PARA Itself). (*squeaks with Delight*)
Description of The gods and the goddesses we really didn't know about.
and the depth in the Mythlogical world
Book Inside a Book idea was Fantastic as Readers get to know the Main characters with more Ease
Author really has good taste in Bringing the correct words to jot up the situation and the Readers at Ease
It can Not be compared with anything such A Masterpiece ...
We Need More...........

3.5 stars.

we get seeped and we are Lost to find ourselves in this old but new enticing atmosphere Mixed with the annexure of Three World The Almighty created.

Yama's Lieutenant is about a Young man Named Agni Prakash who is himself YAma's Lieutenant and is Given the task to kill The Necromancer evil deeds and the creatures he is framing for The Fall of the (Varu) King of the damned (Yama).
But Agni's sister's death has already turned his world Upside down..
Lest will he complete the task given BY Yama so as to save the world with the power gifted to him ?

The description About the undead was indeed anewly described which really brought us to a new universe which I felt in Love with.
And also Agni who is scared at First about his powers but as soon as he is Known to his Task properly with his new friends and the Things Descripted about the new World with the Godly and the Netherworld.
Agni is determined to fight as he reads a Manuscript given to him By Varu which helps him solving doubts about the Task He is Up To.
The Manuscript is About the Unearthly World and All The gods which Reside in the Heavenly Abode.

Overall It was Three worlds attached a power Packed Thrilling adventure for all the Mythological Lovers around there.
Profile Image for Rahul Khatri.
116 reviews45 followers
June 11, 2017
* Check out the complete review on blog and follow me on Insta @foodiebibliophile *

Mind- Boggling Mythological Thriller !!!

After back to back bestsellers, Anuja Chandramouli is back with "Yama's Lieutenant ". Mired with mythology and fantasy, her books stretches from 300-350 pages but the readers need not to worry about the length because of the gripping tale. Once you will start reading, your eyes will stick to the pages, engrossed in reading, and the fingers will start turning pages automatically while the brain will be absolutely focussed to the plot. And when you will finish the book but there will you will crave to read more in the same genre from the same author.
Now, what makes you say that you are reading Ahuja's book? So the answer is : A story that is woven on the outline of mythological anecdotes along with her expertise of giving a deep plot with the help of fiction & twisting the plots in unexpected ways. Yes, that's Anuja's signature of writing thrillers.

While all hell broke out in Yama's Hell, Agni Prakash was chosen as Yama's Lieutenant to bring the order in the earthly world. After losing his twin daughter, Agni started living a life of bedraggled junkie with zero hopes and zero senses of the actions enacted in his environment.He chased after death but death eluded him with persistence. One night while roaming in the foliage he stumbled into a goddess who recruited Agni to fight against the evils that had been trying to strip the humanity from the face of the earth. Suffering, fear, and uncertainty had left him bereft but the fire in his character made the goddess chose him. And wielding the mighty powers bestowed to him by Yama, the lord of Damned, Agni Prakash started hunting down the Arakshas one by one.

Who are Arakshas? Arakshas were the residents of Yama's hell.Their disguise speaks of the torture that their souls and spirits endure. Yama's fire didn't burn them. The fire didn't consume them completely. It just melts the flesh and the molding makes them look like the creatures with mutilated flesh.
While mortals cannot see Arakshas in their original form, Agni can see them, with the unstoppable powers he had been gifted from Yama, and exterminate them one by one. And these Arakshas launched the plot in full throttle when Agni was revealed to a bitter truth that forces that keep the Arakshas within the boundaries of Hell had breached and the evil powers were working assiduously to rip that invisible force. Now it's Agni's job to deliver the person to Yama whose powers can repair that unseen boundary with the help of kind souls and her quieted sister's story that she had given him before her demise. Will he able to survive and protect this beloved earth of ours before more Arakshas poured in? Well. You have to pick the book to know more about it.

What I find most interesting in the plot is author's way to address the issues like pollution and moral corruptions. Feelings like Bhaya ( Fear ), Vyadhi ( Disease ), Sokka ( Sadness ) , Dukh ( Pain ) , Krodha ( Anger ) and Trsna ( Thirst ) are depicted as the evil monsters that have tacitly become the part of civilization and they are slowly pulverizing the humans.

So, Yama's Lieutenant is highly recommended for all the readers who own keen interest in Indian mythology !!!
Profile Image for Merril Anil.
807 reviews73 followers
September 18, 2016
First of all a huge thanks to the author for sharing me the book

Yama’s Lieutenant for me personally is a good read because of its unique story treatment. I loved the whole concept of altering path of death and the workings of a soldier of death. For me personally who had a week full of reading indian fiction that was solely based on mythologies, this was a breath of fresh air for being a fast paced thriller

The narration is good but yes it has a bit of trouble because the scenes fluctuates without warning and you need to be a little vigilant to these scene changes. I think that was the only thing that probably troubled with the book that the scene changes a little too unexpectedly and even when it goes to past, it does that almost in the middle without an indication. Fortunately at the crux of the story, it maintains a good hold on the scene so you wont fumble with understanding the setting of the scene.

The language is serving its purpose but must admit that at certain places the author does collaborate a whole lot of events and background details into a single line and when that happens, the readers do feel the need to stop and re read it so they can pick all that has been said in the book

The book is pretty unique in its basic story and with its fast paced keeps it exciting and the thriller elements are spot on and works like a charm but yes only you have to be a bit patient with sudden scene changes but otherwise it’s a very interesting thriller read.

Profile Image for Gayatri.
468 reviews56 followers
March 21, 2018
3.5 stars.

A commendable effort by the author.

The story is told laterally - one focuses on the happenings of Agni Prakash's joys and predominant woes, the other tells the story of Yama and his twin Yami's life. The latter is told in the form of Varu, Agni's twin, writing a story in chapters. It intertwines with the present and is partly an analogy for us (and Agni) to watch out for.

I enjoyed Yama's story much more than Agni's. Yama's story had more thrilling but subtle elements that made me ponder about what I read, while Agni's story, twisted as it may be, was much more straightforward and action-packed.

The writing is filled liberally with imagery - the words just flow out of the pages. At times, I found the pace a bit lacking, but it was missed due to sheer word-building.
Profile Image for Aditya.
270 reviews83 followers
July 5, 2020
Disclaimer: I have not read this book. Down voting because of spam

I am down voting the rating based on the desperate self promotional spamming done by its author. This author sent me a review request, when my Goodreads homepage specifically mentions ALL SELF PROMOTIONAL SPAM WILL BE IMMEDIATELY REWARDED WITH 1* REVIEW. I predominantly read crime fiction, what's the point of recommending me this mythological story (I presume) is beyond me. Spammers never learn. Rating - 1/5



PS. To like-minded authors : If you want to promote yourself at least have the basic decency to introduce yourself, interact for some time and then suggest your own work provided people share same tastes instead of pushing it the first opportunity you get.
Profile Image for Aryan Sarath.
Author 5 books35 followers
February 11, 2017

A brilliant story which makes you to read from the beginning till the end with no break. Author has made it sound like real through her language and the characters had lived through the story.

Agni is the protagonist. He loses his 6 year old twin sister Varuna. There was an event in Maduram City and Kiran Raj - Deputy Commisioner takes charge. At the same time Araksha causes a major fire accident in a school accident but surprisingly no kids sustain any burn injuries.

Agni summons Chandrama and Suryama. In the meanwhile Varu dies in an accident. Agni meets up with a Goddess who gives him an impregnable task of taking Naganara, the necromancer who practices occult arts. He summons Himsa from the twisted spirits - Niryana Pushkara.

Agni now meets Taravarsha who along with Dharami has been saving him from many attempts on his life. There are other characters who played a major role in the story which included Yama, Sanjana, Chaya.

The Narakamayas - totally 7 of them gets summoned by Naganara from the confines of Varudha. Taravarsha asks Agni to hurry as she is worried about Naganara finding Kritya. Who is she?

Sivagami Math comes into picture where it houses only the Kanyas. Gurvi Samporrna names a girl child as Minothi. Gurvi dies soon after. She however gave an enchanting pendant to Minothi. What is the speciality of it?

There are many such interesting twists and turns in this tale. I am sure once you start reading it, you will find it hard to break in between. You will also be real surprised when you come to know as to who the real culprit in the end. I had a great time reading this lengthy novel and I would recommend it for those who love fantasy/fiction.
Profile Image for Ritu Mantri.
247 reviews14 followers
August 21, 2017
Yama and his army has been cursed which greatly dwindle their power and were unable to keep demons prisoned who had escaped from the hell and are planning to break havoc in all the three worlds.

Now it is on Agni Prakash who has been appointed as Yama's Lieutenant to capture those demons. He is also given a mission to safely bring back Yama's wife to Patal Lok who has the power to seal the doors of hell.

Yama's Lieutenant is an action pack thriller fantasy novel interspersed with the story of mythical characters Yama and his sister Yami. There is not much fiction written on Yama so it was something new to read.

Yama's story and Agni Prakash quest goes parallel in the story. There is no apparent relation between the two stories. It is towards the end some connection comes up.

The story is well laid out but it is very complex to read due to use of heavy words, weird style of narrative, too many supernatural creatures in the story whose characterization was not given properly. Author was in a hurry to finish off the book so end seems to be abrupt and logical explanation of many things were missed.

The author's writing is of top notch when description of places and expressing emotion comes. The bonding among siblings is heart touching both between Yama & Yami and Agni & Varuna.

All the mortal characters were well written. The protagonist Agni's character is well structured but it is the Minothi's character which is impressive and her guilt, fear, reluctance and confusion were all penned nicely by the author. It is the supernatural characters with which there is confusion as they were not characterised properly.

Overall mythological fantasy fiction lovers will simply love it.
Profile Image for Vikas Datta.
2,178 reviews128 followers
May 30, 2016
Most absorbing... the author has taken an ominous but obscure character from Indian myths, and an enduring human fear, and adapted it to contemporary times to fashion a veritable cliff-hanger where you will contest with the characters to understand who is behind the quest. Those of a fastidious bent of mind may be put off by some content - but the old myths, or fairy tales, for that matter, were never pretty, and some may find the denouement a bit telescoped, but it will still hold your unwavering attention.. Those familiar with Anuja Chandramouli's previous books will expect a host of well placed swipes at politics and society and won't be disappointed. But the cops are wasted..
5 reviews
October 18, 2016
A wonderful chain of events woven around little known plots of Indian Mythology like Dhuromna( which I seriously am not sure if this character is a part of mythos or just a new person part of author's imagination). I had known little bit of Yami being Yama's twin sister as well as Sanjana(Sanjna as I had read in my childhood) turning into a mare although reason being somewhat different to what is present in this book. But it is this fill in the blanks kind of a quest between all those and linking all these to our present world characters is what worked for me the most. Kudos to the author.
1 review2 followers
March 8, 2017
One of the best Historical Fictions by Anuja Chandramouli ma'm.
The story is narrated in such a manner that reader is so indulged into the well nurtured characters.
This book gives you no chance of getting bored and the curiosity of next episode is throughly maintained.
Profile Image for Rahul Singh.
471 reviews16 followers
December 2, 2017

Being born to a family in a metropolis, fortunately, I have never felt religion being imposed upon me. However, the drawback of this lack of imposition is that I have heard very few stories mentioned in the Vedas and other religious texts. Nonetheless, I believe nothing can be out of one’s reach if one is a reader. My belief was proven by an email I received from one of India’s best-selling author, Anuja Chandramouli. She blessed me with a copy of her widely acclaimed novel Yama’s Lieutenant.
The novel opens up with a scene unfolding one of the sweetest bonds a human being ever gets to share with one another in her/his lifetime. The story starts gaining momentum when the readers are slowly brought face-to-face with the forces of hell, heaven and earth colliding and the universe heading for war and destruction. Agni Prakash, the protagonist, picks up a manuscript left by his twin sister and realises a new dimension to his life that he has never discovered before.

What does the manuscript contain?
What will Agni Prakash realise?
Will his realisations be any good for the world that is leading to an apocalypse?

To begin with, I really liked the way the novel began and I couldn’t have asked for anything better to prepare a reader for a book packed with fantastical and mythological adventure. I was impressed by the author’s inclusion of caste violence as it seems to be an issue persisting in the Indian society since time immemorial. On the down side, I seemed to be a little confused with the story as there were a lot of characters and I had to re-read things to get it clear. Being a reader not akin to fantasy, I did feel lost in between the world-building. Admittedly, I took to the chapters in the manuscript and I loved the way the novel drew to a bitter-sweet close. Lastly, I would like to thank Chandramouli for letting me read her work as I got to know about a varied set of characters from the Rig Veda that I hadn’t known before.
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