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Shiva Trilogy #1

The Immortals of Meluha

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1900 BC. In what modern Indians mistakenly call the Indus Valley Civilisation. The inhabitants of that period called it the land of Meluha a near perfect empire created many centuries earlier by Lord Ram, one of the greatest monarchs that ever lived. This once proud empire and its Suryavanshi rulers face severe perils as its primary river, the revered Saraswati, is slowly drying to extinction. They also face devastating terrorist attacks from the east, the land of the Chandravanshis. To make matters worse, the Chandravanshis appear to have allied with the Nagas, an ostracised and sinister race of deformed humans with astonishing martial skills!

The only hope for the Suryavanshis is an ancient legend: When evil reaches epic proportions, when all seems lost, when it appears that your enemies have triumphed, a hero will emerge.

Is the rough-hewn Tibetan immigrant Shiva, really that hero? And does he want to be that hero at all? Drawn suddenly to his destiny, by duty as well as by love, will Shiva lead the Suryavanshi vengeance and destroy evil?

436 pages, Paperback

First published February 1, 2010

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About the author

Amish Tripathi

34 books6,849 followers
Amish is an IIM (Kolkata) educated, banker turned award-winning author. The success of his debut book, The Immortals of Meluha (Book 1 of the Shiva Trilogy), encouraged him to give up a fourteen-year-old career in financial services to focus on writing. He is passionate about history, mythology and philosophy, finding beauty and meaning in all world religions.

His 7 books have sold over 5 million copies and been translated into 19 Indian & international languages. His Shiva Trilogy is the fastest-selling book series in Indian publishing history while his Ram Chandra Series is the second fastest-selling book series in Indian publishing history.

In 2019, Amish was appointed to a diplomatic role as Director , The Nehru Centre in London, India's premier cultural centre abroad.

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Displaying 1 - 30 of 6,528 reviews
Profile Image for Jo.
30 reviews
March 26, 2011
I first heard about this book from a friend who had said that the book was a good read. Curious I tried reading up more about it and saw that noted columnists like Anil Dharkar and Sandipan Deb had given it great reviews. I read the first chapter online and liked it well enough that I decided to buy it. I went to quite a few book shops and found that it was sold out in most places. That is really surprising for a first time Indian author. Finally I found it in a tiny little shop, the proprietor telling me that the one I bought was one of the last copies he had left.

The plot seemed interesting enough. A different take on Shiva the destroyer, a god revered by millions of Hindus all over the world, one of the Trimurti (three main Gods, the others being Brahma the creator and Vishnu the preserver ), known as Natraj -- the lord of dance and one of the most passionate men in Hindu mythology.

The author has done a good job of integrating all the details known to us about the Indus Valley Civilization and has also given his own explanations for various concepts. I liked the discussion on what is evil and the fact that what is considered evil or wrong by some people may not be seen in the same way by others. He has introduced concepts of terrorism, the caste system and the position of women in society in this first book in a planned trilogy.

But that was all I liked about the book. The writing was poor and the editor needed to do a better job. The characters were flat and not at all well developed. It was hard to believe that people, even a wise king and his courtiers, would be so ready to believe that a person was their savior and blindly follow him without considering the consequences of their decisions.

Also when an author wants to emphasize how good his protagonist is, it is best done in a subtle manner but here it is loudly proclaimed over and over again by the other characters which annoyed me a lot. Each fact is repeated over and over again in ten different ways and it made me wonder if the author thinks we are complete fools who will not get a concept on the first try.

Even though modern language is necessary for a book to connect with the general audience, the author seems to have completely forgotten what his book was about & the language used was extremely jarring and cliched and kept distracting me from focusing on the book. The book reads more like a movie script than a novel. It seems as though the author has written the book keeping Bollywood producers and directors in mind, rather than genuine readers.

The last few chapters, especially were very hastily written and seemed really rushed. The author had some good places where he could have ended this book but he chose to end the book with a cliffhanger and a 'To Be Continued'. Did the author not know what was to happen next? Or was he not convinced that his story was interesting enough for audiences to want to read the next book if he had given it a proper ending. Even in a book series a reader must be able to read a book and have a sense of conclusion which was absent here.

Overall even though the author had a great idea and some really interesting ways of making it all come together, weak writing and poor editing makes this a very big let down.
Profile Image for MonaQ.
69 reviews82 followers
January 10, 2019
The book is based on the belief that perhaps the actions, the deeds and karma are the only deciding factors in transforming an ordinary man to Mahadev - God of Gods.

Using the same characters, places and names which are associated with Lord Shiva -Mansarovar,Sati, Nandi, Daksh, Gunas, makes the whole story very believable and easy to relate to.Many euphoric moments throughout the narrative, especially the episode when Neelkanth inspires the Suryavanshi army to believe in 'Har Har Mahadev' - each and every person is Mahadev. The climax and the final revelation to Neelkanth. His inner struggle, turmoil, frustration and desperation to find the answer, the solution and the final realization. Interweaving the sub plots of Saptrishis, Vasudevs, brief history of Devas and Asurasa and Rudra in the narrative without confusing the readers anywhere. Liked the detailed description of places and situations which helps the readers in understanding the story and moving along with it. A completely original plot brilliantly amalgamating mythology, history and fiction to create a mesmerizing saga. I would like to give 10/10 for the imagination of the author. The author has fictionalized and simplified the mythology to such an extent that it can easily be followed by all, thereby increasing its reach extensively.

After reading this book, I was wondering, perhaps the 'page-turner' term was coined for such books. This book completely lives up to the term.Definitely one of the stories which will remain with the readers for a very long time and I am sure Shiva/Neelkanth/Mahadev will be in their hearts forever.
Profile Image for Indian.
92 reviews28 followers
December 31, 2018
Good story poorly written

Amish Tripathi weaves a splendid but totally fictional & fantasized account of Shiva's travails.

For the folks looking for Lord Shiva's methodologically accurate chronicle would feel frustrated. This book is certainly not for the purists; they should explore authentic SHIVA PURAN for that goal.

This is a fabricated, but very well conceptualized story, weaving together the history (Indus Valley Civilization), geography (North Indian plains above the Vidhya’s) & mythology; it still is a fantasy nevertheless! The publishers should have mentioned that caveat with a disclaimer somewhere, else many readers might feel cheated, like me.

The writer deserves kudos for coming up with such creative story-plot, however the quality of writing is very pedestrian. This belongs to those beginners’ English students, for whom Amitav Ghosh's brilliance maybe too much to comprehend.

Chetan Bhagat’s audience is the target here, so serious Anglo-bibliophiles beware; the 10th standard writing style would leave you unhappy. The story however holds enough content to keep you turning the pages.

I wish the editors would have helped the author to rise to the occasion & it could have been our desi reply to Eragon & twilight-saga!
December 10, 2022

*So excited* Hahaha 😆 It's my pleasure to read Meluha which was recommended by my Indian friends. So I'm sure that this book is super popular in their country!! 🤣 Buddy read with Avan who helps me a lot in deep Indian beliefs and Hindu Myths that I've never known before.

Omg! I felt like I'm Ron and Harry, while Avan is my Hermione Jean Granger. You know what I mean, right? 🤣🤣😂 Many, many new knowledges I got from her that are too valuable to describe.*sniffs* 🙏

"Your destiny is much larger than these massive mountains. But to make it come true, you will have to cross these very same massive mountains." Mount Kailash (ภูเขาไกรลาส) so beautiful..

YES! Before my epic adventure begin, I prepared myself a lot at Kailash, soooo beautiful Lol Seriously! Normally, Thai people are quite familiar with Pali and Sanskrit (in Thai) but meeting these ancient language in English. Omg, they're aliens to my eyes. LOL! So, I have to turn them in Thai and I was like.. "aww.. this is it, I know this!" lol! So, I can think them out much more easier! 😉

The near perfect Land created by Lord Ram. *Eeeeeeeeeeep*


Shiva is tested! and his throat turns blue. So, everyone got all excited and believes that he's Neelkanth in the Legend.

You gotta love Shiva here! He is portrayed as modern-mind man, and he made me LOL a lot with his sense of humor! 🤣🤣🤣 He was destined ( The Legend said that!! lol ) to help Suryavanshis ☀️ to fight against Chandravanshis 🌙 and Oh! They say Chandravanshis allied with the Nagas!! You heard that right?? NAGA!!! 😱😱😱


🐍 Meet My Favorite Semi-Divine
Half-human and half-serpent.. NAGA

*Geeeeeeeeez* lol I know nagas are the villian team here. But I still got all excited when I meet them. HAHAHAHAAAA I'm sooo happy!! You might don't understand how I feel!! Lol

If you guys don't know naga, Goshh meet them already!! 🐍

In Shiva's vague dream..
Shiva pointed his finger menacingly at the serpent in the centre.
"You dare touch even a hair on her and I will rip your soul out!!"


See? Don't need to be worry.. THIS BOOK HAS ROMANCE!!

For anyone who's afriad it will be male fantasy without romance. No.no no. Romance is here for you! and Shiva loves her fiercely. You might find yourself *giddy, giddy* on how cuteee he is when he's around Sati, our feisty heroine ! 😆

"Respect?! Why respect? Why not love?!" Hahaha. Just love him!!


Thai Glossery
Profile Image for Ahmad Sharabiani.
9,566 reviews56k followers
September 23, 2020
The Immortals of Meluha (Shiva Trilogy, #1), Amish Tripathi

The Immortals of Meluha is the first novel of the Shiva trilogy series by Amish Tripathi.

The story is set in the land of Meluha and starts with the arrival of the Shiva. The Meluhans believe that Shiva is their fabled savior Neelkanth. Shiva decides to help the Meluhans in their war against the Chandravanshis, who had joined forces with a cursed Nagas; however, during his journey and the fight that ensues, Shiva learns how his choices actually reflect who he aspires to be and how they lead to dire consequences.

Meluha is a near perfect empire, created many centuries earlier by Lord Ram, one of the greatest Hindu kings that ever lived. However, the once proud empire and its Suryavanshi rulers face severe crisis as its primary river, Saraswati, is slowly drying to extinction.

They also face devastating terrorist attacks from the Chandravanshis who have joined forces with the Nagas, a cursed race with physical deformities. The present Meluhan king, Daksha, sends his emissaries to North India in Tibet, to invite the local tribes to Meluha.

Shiva, chief of the Guna tribe, accepts the proposal and moves to Meluha with his people. Once reached they are received by Ayurvati, the Chief of Medicine of the Meluhans. The Gunas are impressed with the Meluhan way of life. On their first night of stay the tribe wake up with high fever and sweating. The Meluhan doctors administer medicine.

تاریخ خوانش روز دوم ماه فوریه سال 2017 میلادی

عنوان: جاودانه های ملوحا: کتاب نخست از سه گانه شیوا؛ نویسنده: آمیش ترپانتی؛

ملوحا (ملوها) یک امپراتوری تقریباً کامل است، که سده ها پیش توسط «لرد رام»، یکی از بزرگترین پادشاهان «هندو» که تاکنون زندگی کرده، ایجاد شده است؛ با اینحال، امپراتوری که روزی افتخارآمیز بوده، حاکمان آن سوریوانشی با بحران شدید روبرو هستند، زیرا رودخانه اصلی آن «سارسواتی»، به آرامی در حال خشکیدن است؛ آنها همچنین با حملات ویرانگر تروریستهایی از «چاندروانشی»ها روبرو شده اند، که به نیروها�� «ناگا» پیوسته اند، ...؛

تاریخ بهنگام رسانی 01/07/1399هجری خورشیدی؛ ا. شربیانی
Profile Image for Rajat.
87 reviews5 followers
February 28, 2019
Flat and ordinary writing. The book never touches a pinnacle like it should, especially when you're reading Indian mythology. Indian mythology, a subject which in itself offers a vast, vivid, picturesque, setup with a lot of thrills, mysteries, a set of complete civilization which defined the future. The leading characters should be larger than life but in this book, the author is just engrossed in moving the story forward while he forgets to add any substance to the grand character Shiva himself, the Lord, the one of Trinity. The characters in modern day fiction are more researched and elaborated, create a more connect with the reader than the protagonist in this one. I just wanted to get through the book. I wish that the writing was more elegant, content more researched and the story presented to reflect the story of Shiva, the God, rather than Shiva yes someone like yeah who transformed.
Profile Image for Saburi Pandit.
92 reviews82 followers
May 12, 2016
This book is a nightmare for all those who not only are devout lovers of Shiva but worship him for what we know of him. For me it definitely was a nightmare. The idea of his journey from human to supreme being is the only thing about the plot that I liked and which had tempted me to buy this book. But, very sadly, I could not relate to the Tripathi's take on Tibetan Shiva and to the very vague writing (which killed me)!! Moreover, if you really want to read a good mythology, why not read Shiva Purana or Saivism this book is not for you. But, if in case you just want a not so well-written Indian fiction you could waste your time on this! I believe even fiction should have some essence to it. I am very disappointed. The thought that in this book Shiva does not know who Ram was when basically Hanuman was the eleventh avatar of Shiva makes no sense at all to me. I mean it's not that my 'sentiments' are 'hurt'. Just that this book could have talked about a time way before that which would have actually made sense. It seems like the Indian version of Harry Potter where Harry, who is destined to fulfill certain prophecy, plays along. The only difference being that he becomes God here!
Sati cannot marry anyone and Daksha is perfecly happy that Shiva is interested in his daughter because he is already a Neelkanth(somehow). I mean it is not bad fiction but just that it's not appealing at all. I did not even want to finish reading it.
It is sad that this is what is representing Contemporary Indian literature. Read Kalidasa instead, go back to 1BC, his plot and writings are way more interesting than this well marketed book!
Profile Image for Anish Kohli.
182 reviews320 followers
May 19, 2019
“Death is the ultimate destroyer of a soul’s aspirations. Ironically, it is usually the approach of this very destruction which gives a soul the courage to challenge every constraint and express itself. Express even a long-denied dream.”
This was supposed to be a BR with Sillyhead! but it fell through due to real life shit. Sucks ass. I know not when I will get another chance to read with her. While she finished the book ages ago and wrote an amazingly detailed and dissecting review of everything that is wrong with this book, I have just finished reading it and I will try to tell you about what the book does right before I move onto what is wrong with it. Here goes my honest review:

Let’s get something out of the way to begin with. I am sort of biased towards the Hindu God Shiva. Not in a religious way but in more of a spiritual way. And understandably so, I am biased towards this book as well. BUT, I will try to keep my prejudices out of this review.

Before I tell you what this book is about, let me tell you what its NOT about because I feel that is more important.

This is not the story of Shiva, the God! This is not a lesson in history. This is not the Shivapuran. This is not some religious text so stop being offended! This is a fictionalized account! This book, is the story of a man named Shiva. A simple man, who is placed in a foreign land, out of his depth and looking for solid footing. A man who was proclaimed the lord and savior to a nation overnight. A man, looking to make sense of things. A man trying to find his standing and acceptance in his new role which he didn’t ask for.
This is not the story of Shiva, the God. This, is the story of a MAN on his journey that will transform him into MAHADEV!!
“Shiva! The Mahadev. The God of Gods. Destroyer of Evil. All-powerful, yet incorruptible. Quick wit, accompanied by an equally quick and fearsome temper.”
Let me give you a small rundown of the story.

Shiva, the chief of a mountain tribe, the Gunas, is offered a choice. Either stay in his harsh homeland and face battles daily just to stay alive or to migrate to a land called Meluha, one of the greatest civilizations known to man. Having the best interests of his tribe at heart, Shiva decides to migrate. Little does he know that the Meluhans have a hidden agenda in offering sanctuary!
Troubles begin when upon being administered a medicine, Shiva’s throat turns blue and everyone hails him as the Lord Neelkanth, the savior! As Shiva spends time with the Meluhans, he finds that while the society of Meluha functions perfectly, it has its problems and erroneous ways too. Not in a situation to change or comment on the system and its flaws, Shiva’s concern is to find out why and how he is supposed to save a society that is far better than he can imagine. The destroyer of Evil, needs to determine what truly is evil before he can take on the task. Meanwhile Shiva finds himself falling in love with the one woman who was made for him, the one he cannot have, as the norms of the society dictate. What shall he do?

Shiva must accept his role and destiny as the NeelKanth and wage a war to destroy the evil that he has been shown to protect the land of Meluha, who so lovingly accepted him and made him their lord. Will he succeed? Or is he in for a surprise?

As I said in the beginning, I am biased towards Lord Shiva and so understandably, I have tried to read some stories and books based on him. I have read blogs and articles, few religious texts and heard lectures about what and who Shiva is. The way I perceive him, Shiva is a difficult god to capture. Very difficult indeed. Other Gods, not so much!

Take Indra, for example. Throw in arrogance, mix some debauchery and bullheadedness with a lot of anger, you get the perfect Indra.

Ram? Make him follow all the rules and make him do everything that is by the book and make him bow and you have the Maryada Purshottam Ram!

Krishna? Paint a picture of calm and an ever smiling persona who always believes in the grand plan, add a pinch of polygamy, you have Krishna Kanhhaiya.

Shiva? He is just something else. I have never read or heard anyone capture him better than Amish! I recently reviewed the book 7 secrets of Shiva by the Hindu mythology authoritarian, Devdutt Pattanaik and he just fails soo bad! Most of them do. Why?

Shiva is a walking contradiction!

He is detached, yet his love is something beyond the word ‘passionate’. He is calm, serene and yet, he has a temper that is beyond scary. He is a hermit, withdrawn, yet he is lustful. He kills mercilessly, yet he never goes to battles.
Shiva, atleast for me, is a Human God. He makes mistakes, he loves, he punishes, he laughs, he kills, he cries, and he dances!!
“Shiva was in his own world. He did not dance for the audience. He did not dance for appreciation. He did not dance for the music. He danced only for himself.”
Amish does a fabulous job of capturing all of that! He delivers to you, through his ink, not a God. But a God in the making. An uncouth tribal man, who will transcend into a legend and be morphed into a God through his deeds.

The pacing of the story is great. It is constantly moving forward and developing the story for something bigger. There are decent bits about real life philosophy, the kind that you can relate to. Shiva as a character grows. Although the start to the love story of Shiva and Sati is cheesy, the chemistry is good and it develops nicely. The skirmishes and the battle sequence at the end are well done and thought out. Also the turn of events at the ending is pretty interesting too.

BUT, it’s not all puppies and sunshine. This book has its problems too!

To begin with, Amish maintains the weird approach of the Indian authors targeting only the Indian readers. And that would mean that the book is found wanting for details in places and some concepts. In places, the usage of the words, is somewhat not in line with the time and age that Amish is portraying. It also feels that at places, there is a lack of conviction on Amish’s part whether to explain a phrase or not and as a result, some places, he over does it and some places he is found wanting.
The battle sequence towards the end is short-ish. I felt it should have spanned a few more pages.
Another thing is that without a doubt, the love story between Shiva and Sati could have been done better and could use a little more detail to make it more real.

Having said all of that, I feel that somethings aren’t just about the writing. It’s about the ideology behind it too. Somethings matter in context. Given that Amish’s writing is at best, average, but so far from what I have read from Indian authors, a market where authors like Chetan Bhagat rule, I think Amish is way above par.
Add to the fact that this is his debut book, which was also self-published initially, I won’t take points away from him on this. Infact, he is to be credited for coming up with a plot like this and doing it justice.

I feel, personally, that Amish is painting a picture through this book and he is not done yet. This is not book one in a trilogy. This is ONE story published in three volumes, much like LoTR (something I think Amish derived from that series).
While we’re on the topic of Tolkien, I would like to remark on something. Amish has been named as Paulo Coelho and Tolkein of India. When I first read this book in 2013, I hadn’t read Tolkien, only heard of him and I felt a measure of pride that an Indian author has been given such a compliment. Now that I have read Tolkien and Coelho, both, I would like to take this statement as a sad testament and proof just how wanting Indian authors are (or maybe I have been unfortunate enough to not have read from any great ones). I mean, I always moderate my expectations when I read an Indian author. I never expect them to cross a certain standard bcz I know what to expect. While no doubt that Amish can write, but imagine the competition around him if his average writing (compared globally) turns to gold by Indian standards!
And while that is a sad fact, it is also a fact that Amish deserves the attention and accolades he got. He humanized a deity masterfully and allowed many a people to connect. He provided simple and logical explanations to the myths that we grew up with but never understood the meaning of it. He brought out a philosophy that makes sense, that is easy for people to pick up and to understand. He has dared to pick a sensitive topic and has done it justice. Needless to say I will be finishing the Trilogy once again.

My advice to anyone about to or currently reading this series would be what I have stated in the review itself. Try to think of this trilogy as one long story and don’t go in expecting religiously (historic) and politically correct text. And before you feel the need do that, I would like you to ponder on this: religion based on Shiva isn’t a fact either. The religious texts while sacred (no offence to anyone in anyway) do not act as a proof of reality of how the life of Shiva unfolded. There is no point in comparing that text with the book and getting offended. And the author explicitly states a HUGE ‘what if’ premise at the beginning of the book while mentioning this book is fiction. So treat it as such.

And if you understand Shiva as he is supposed to be understood, then you’ll find more of him in this book than you’d expect.

PS: What follows is my cringe worthy original review of the book from 2013 and I haven’t even changed the formatting of my original review.
Pro tip? Do. Not. Read. It.

Original Rating: 4 stars (maintained)
Original Review:

He has been named the JRR Tolkien of India for the Shiva Trilogy. I would say that it is rightly so because mostly the Indian Market is dominated by the likes of Chetan Bhagat, who neither have content nor writing prowess.
Amish Tripathi brings much welcomed freshness in the book with his flowing style of writing and excellent story line. He has given many a readers like me a chance to hope that Yes, Indian writers can too…!!!!!
Amish takes a bunch of Mythical stories, characters, places and weaves them into an excellent plot that moves at a steady pace, holding the reader firmly. He maintains a respectful approach, unlike Devdutt Pattnaik(The Pregnant King), and creates a new world for the readers.
The best thing about this particular book is that, Amish takes a very holistic route to explain how some great deeds of a man can transform him into a LEGEND and subsequently graduate him into a GOD over generations. He leaves nothing to imagination. If u know the Hindu myths around Lord Shiva, and can imagine his visage in your mind, you will realize how well he explains everything, from the concepts of a serpent around the neck of Lord Shiva right down to the second name he bears very often “Neel Kanth” .
I would like to sum up by saying that it is one the must read novels and would suggest to read the complete Series for the full effect, not just the 1 book.
1 review4 followers
December 27, 2012
I tried to avoid reading this book but eventually i fell prey to the so called 'positive reviews' and some really good marketing by Amish. Now i regret wasting my money & time on this one.
The idea of portraying lord Shiva as 'just a man who went on to become a god' is really cool & a fresh one. Full marks to that. But apart from that everything is horrible.

1. Alternate history is alright as long as you make it believable. The nature of light and the reason behind the formation of rainbow could not have possibly been known at that time (1900 BC). Come on, we used to call it 'indra-dhanush'. Also, mention of oxygen (& free radicals) is totally out of place considering it was not discovered up until late 18th century.
2.Most of the logic and philosophy in the book is difficult to buy. It seems puerile and out of place. For example, the concept of making women deliver their babies at 'Maika' and then abandoning them immediately is cruel, unjustifiable and couldn't have worked in any society. The book sort of goes on to insult your intelligence.
3. The dialogues between characters seem straight out of some TV soap opera.
4. The author tries his best to sound humorous but fails at it terribly. Jokes seem unnatural (not just unfunny) and are forced into the plot which is irksome.
5. It has all the cliches in the book like when Sati takes the deadly arrow onto herself which was actually meant for Shiva and then Shiva
charges towards the attacker deflecting the arrows shot at him with his sword, is simply preposterous.
6. The description of war is unoriginal and is totally inspired from Zack Snyder's '300'.
7. The book seems like the work of a dilettante.

All in all, the book might work for some Indian readers, who have not read much before and the simplicity of the language might appeal to them (which i think is the major reason for the commercial success of this book in India). But regular & mature readers, who have read
some good books before should refrain themselves from reading this one. It is utter waste of time & money. In my case, after reading 50 pages i just wanted it to be over and believe me it was really painful read. So, don't get fooled by the positive reviews & find a good book to read. The world is full of them.
Profile Image for Tanvi Srivastava.
7 reviews75 followers
September 17, 2012
Oh! What a book I have just finished reading... spell-binding and refreshingly different from the rest..! Amazed by the writer's flights of fantasy and how beautifully he has woven the mythology with fiction in a contemporary style..!! Must read..!
Profile Image for Aakanksha.
Author 17 books657 followers
July 27, 2020
The story is a perfect blend of modern-day technologies and the Hindu mythological legends. Every character is described well and in an informative manner. Whether it is a war sequence or a simple conversation, Amish's writing hooked the readers, but I feel there is a lack of suspense. The narrations are explicit as well as the language. In his debut book, Amish Tripathi creates a world of fantasy which includes topics like corruption, caste system, unnecessary laws, and enters directly into the heart of the readers. I definitely recommend this book, if you're a mythological fan, don't miss out this book.

Read more about this book here - https://www.bookscharming.com/2019/06...
Profile Image for Maninee.
152 reviews35 followers
October 11, 2011
When I first heard of the book I was a bit apprehensive for a few reasons.
1) I’m not a fan of Indian mythology, I adore Greek mythology and I am mildly interested in Egyptian but Indian mythology never appealed to me.
2) The author had said in an interview that he worshipped Shiva. People tend to sometimes show their own heroes/idols in a supreme being/perfect way therefore I assumed that Amish Tripathi had done the same.
3) The Indian market is full of books written by authors who come from fields which are completely un related to Literature. They write books which are poor in writing and are completely devoid of any plot. Catering to the mass Indian audience who love that sort of chick lit writing they get away with a lot of money. Please don’t get me wrong, I’m not being a snob and saying only those who study literature come out as good authors. There are plenty of good authors who have never studied literature and have yet written excellent books, writing is an inborn talent. What I am trying to say is that not many of these chick lit-YA authors do not have that talent yet write books anyway.
Anyway, I was sure I’d give the book a miss. But then on my 14th birthday a friend of mine gifted me this book and so I gave it a read.

I’m not going to say that the book blew me off completely and that I was left gasping for breath and cursing my own stupidity for not devoting my entire life to Indian authors. But it did give me a few pleasant surprises.

I liked the way the characters, especially Shiva, developed throughout the book. Tripathi, instead of giving away the full magnitude of each character’s personality at their very introduction let them unfold throughout the book one by one like the many layers of a cake. Almost all the characters grew through the book, blossoming slowly to reveal themselves as complex human beings, not just cardboard cut outs. The only main character I can think of who remained more or less the same till the end of the book is Sati.

I was proved wrong in my opinion of the book being another outlet of hero worship. Shiva wasn’t an all mighty, all powerful god who knew everything, never made any mistakes, never strayed of the path of dharma; he was a hot tempered youth who lead a tribe, smoked marijuana and swore in almost every other thought. In fact, if anything, he swore too much. I liked the way he grew in the book, gaining knowledge, experience and wisdom and never losing his humility though everyone worshipped the ground he stood on.

The writing, however, was poor. The author used over powering adjectives, melodramatic comparisons and seriously strong description. At one point in the book when Shiva first met Sati, Tripathi wote:

“…he(Shiva) continued to stare at the dust with intense jealousy. It had been fortunate enough to have touched her”

What?!? I get that the guy’s in love, but don’t you think that’s a tad too melodramatic?

The concept of the book was nice. I liked the way the author contrasted the two civilizations of Suryavanshis and Chandravanshis. The detailed descriptions of the city were, I think, based on the Mohenjo Daro civilization. Especially that part of the drainage system and the houses being at right angles with each other and the great bath. The society of the Suryavanshis was fascinating. I found myself wondering if it was actually possible to follow their beliefs and system in our society. Also the justification of the vikarma practice showed that the author gave great attention to the grays of the society where often the happiness of a few have to be sacrificed for the greater good of the others.

Overall, I liked the book, though I can’t say I fell head over heels in love with it(my heart, I’m afraid, was stolen by the Potter books and I am yet to have it back). I look forward to the next book and I am glad that an Indian author has emerged who has been able to bring Indian mythology into the word of YA literature.
Profile Image for Scarlet.
187 reviews1,149 followers
August 15, 2012
Actual rating: 2.5

There were times when I believed this book to be five-star worthy, but these moments were too few and far in between. Now, having finished the 400-odd pages that comprise the first instalment of the highly acclaimed Shiva trilogy, I can’t even bring myself to round up the rating to three.

Let’s start with the plus-points: I thought the story was brilliant. Amish Tripathi’s imagination is fantastic. The idea that Gods were originally humans, elevated to divine status by their karma, is awe-inspiring. The twists and turns are well-executed and keep you guessing. The way the author has so seamlessly combined history with mythology is astonishing. Really, I loved the story.

However, awesome stories don’t always make awesome books.

The biggest letdown was the writing. I felt the author tried too hard to flower up the language by using big, ostentatious words repeatedly, and the effort showed. It reminded me of an essay by a school kid, who’s just learnt a new word and is eager to use it at any opportunity he might get. Seriously, isn’t ‘kindness’ a much better substitute to ‘munificence’? And isn’t ‘arrogant’ a lot less conspicuous than ‘supercilious’?

And because the writing was so contrived, it was impossible to connect to the story. It felt like a really long bedtime story that you simply read for the sake of reading and maybe, falling asleep.

The characters were nothing new. And throughout the book, I was painfully aware of the fact that the characters were just characters: fictional, fake elements of the story. I couldn’t empathize with them. I couldn’t visualise them in flesh and blood.

And the end isn’t exactly an end. You could call it a cliff-hanger, except it didn’t really make me want to run to the library and get the next book. At the most, it made me curious, but that feeling didn’t last too long.

The Immortals Of Meluha is like a movie with a promising plot, that is unfortunately botched up due to sloppy editing and uninspiring performances. And yes, there’s a sequel. So I guess I just have to wait and watch.
Profile Image for Priyanka Adhikary.
16 reviews96 followers
February 23, 2013
I first saw the ad for Immortals of Meluha on You Tube and it piqued my curiosity. A thriller set against the backdrop of ancient Meluha with Lord Shiva as the protagonist sounded novel. The intriguing theme and the glorified blurbs heightened my expectations from the book. The cover was nicely done and impressive. So, with eager anticipation, typical of a bibliophile, I started reading. But the first few pages itself planted a seed of doubt in my mind. With a plot that is virtually non-existent, characters that are quarter-baked, terrible language and dialogues that range from asinine to absurd, Immortals of Meluha can be best described as a brilliant concept gone complete awry in execution. It is only because of my strict principle of finishing a book I start, no matter how horrible it is, that I managed to drag myself to the last page. The only thing rivaling the colander-like plot was the ridiculous ending. Reminded me the way Ekta Kapoor soap episodes used to get over, with a cheap suspense that materialized into nothing in the next episode. In short, a book that was a complete waste of time. Reading the yellow pages might have been a better way to pass time. How this became a national bestseller is way beyond my comprehension!!!
Profile Image for Yamna.
356 reviews116 followers
December 28, 2017
Disclaimer: No part of this review is intended to offend anyone’s religious views. I do not want to go lenient because I consider it my right as a reader to be honest and open about the books I read. I apologize for any mistakes I made while pointing out certain points of the book. Please bear in mind that I was, up until this book, only slightly educated in Hindu mythologies and have less than sufficient knowledge to consider the facts portrayed by Tripathi as right or wrong
***Mild spoilers in the middle and end***

Now, to the review
ONE extremely-disappointed star
Yeah, so this book-read with Mr. KnuckleHead fell through because of, well, a couple of disagreements about the book and conflicting schedules and whatnot. In a way, I am glad it did, because I really didn’t want to spoil Anish’s favor for this book by bashing it while we read it together
It has taken me close to three months to finish this book, which speaks volumes about my perception of Tripathi’s work. And since this was Anish’s idea, I believe he will take full responsibility for any backlash I get due to this review. (*insert evil smile*)
In the end, I think it all boils down to this:
I have concluded that it was the right character BUT the wrong author

Let’s go back to the start. I had never heard of this book before I met Mr. Anish. (And now I wish I hadn’t even now). Like every Indian child, I have grown up watching a lot of Indian shows and dramas, being a citizen of India’s neighbor. I also have been exposed to a limited amount of Indian mythologies, prime being those related to Krishna and Ram although I never watched any shows related to the mythologies. Hence, when I first heard of this book, I was aware of Shiva, but I had no idea about the hierarchy of gods or how Shiva is portrayed in the legends. I have always been a fan of stories from the medieval times, my favorites being the likes of The Inheritance Cycle. So, when I heard the word ‘myth’ and ‘god’, I assumed the Shiva Trilogy will feature wars, a society from the AD era and people from that time. So, I agreed to read the trilogy when Anish suggested them to me. I also, later on, agreed to a book-read with him
Here is where the trouble started
First of all, no one unfamiliar with the myths in the first place can understand most of the book. Tripathi automatically assumed every single of his reader would know the legend of ‘Neelkanth’ and the various words from Sanskrit used in the book
Second of all, the trilogy is completely different from the original story. (Had I not googled Shiva’s story 15% into the book, I would not have realized that Tripathi has borrowed most of the characters from the original story but not their backgrounds . This means the book came off more as fan fiction. Ever read Harry Potter’s or LOTR’s parodies? They are so different from the originals, they offer no satisfaction and are nothing compared to the actual books. Where Tripathi’s work is not a parody, it comes very close to distorting Shiva’s story and portraying it in a fashion he actually considered to be educating , a fact I shall explain later on
Third of all, it was 10 pages into the book that I realized this was a book about a half-god, half-man being from medieval times, written in the era of Indus Valley Civilization while using MODERN DAY language. That’s three things you need to comprehend to actually understand what Tripathi is doing. Shiva’s story, the era and the language being spoken all seem to be borrowed to build up a book that comes off more as…disconcerting than impressive
I would deeply like to speak good words about the book. It has taken a good amount of effort to even finish the book, and I think it will take a monumental effort to even consider liking this book
Unfortunately, no matter how much I have tried, I have decided in the end that I am not a fan of Tripathi’s work
Before I explain why, I’d like to offer a snippet of the actual story:
Shiva, one of the three main deities in Hindu mythologies, is called Neelkanth (man with blue throat). He was described, according to Wikipedia, as kind, caring and devoted. Sati, daughter of a ruler, heard of him and vowed to make the man hers. She goes into the forest near her kingdom, meditates for weeks and eats next to nothing to impress Shiva. In the end, Shiva admits defeat, marries Sati and falls in love with her. Sati had been a reincarnation of one of the Goddesses, who had vowed to exert revenge if she were ever disrespected. Sati’s father never approved of Shiva and one day insults him in front of Sati. Sati, angry, burns herself as a result. Shiva, madly grieved at his beloved’s death, promises a heavy revenge. And here goes the story
Tripathi portrayed Shiva, Sati, Nandi differently, but to make it more "interesting", he wove in about 5 different social issues in present-day India for seemingly to educate the society. The story’s complete transformation did not please me. One of the main reasons why I am not a fan of the book
I would like to highlight the negatives first; the main ones that had me hate the book

The story starts off with Shiva reaching an apparently modern society, one proud of its system called “maika”. This is basically one in which the people do not keep their blood children. Those wishing to raise children can choose so from a wide range of kids growing in a secluded area off the society. Although he didn’t count on it being seen that way, but to me, in Tripathi’s theory of the Meluhans and their system, children are considered outcasts, unnecessary and unneeded. In a world where a mother or a father’s relationship with her/his child is considered the most sacred thing after man’s relationship with his/her God, Tripathi decided his story will have people who considered it okay to not keep their children. That concept is further made implausible by the explanation that women carry a child till 9 months, travel to a place off the main city when they approach labour, give birth and leave empty-handed. I know Tripathi had his reasons to put this theory in his book, but it seems cruel. It can be argued that the people did it to please Lord Ram. However, human beings have, to this day, suffered mainly due to emotions. Rage causes you to declare war. Pain causes you to commit suicide. Pleasure causes you to love. And when human beings are known to have emotions, it seems pretty stupid to think the entire society did not protest. I posed this question to myself: If I were someone hoping to be either a mother or a father, would I give that child up and later take in another child? The answer is a clear no. In a world where abortions are frowned upon, I find it hard to believe Tripathi thought his concept was foolproof

To make the matter worse, we get this wonderful quote from Mr. Tripathi 26% into the book to explain his brilliant maika system: Nothing can be worse for a mother than having a child who does not measure up to her expectations
First of all, what?!
Second of all, Mr. Tripathi, do you honestly think any mother will hate or dislike her child for not measuring up to her expectations ? Have you even SEEN or TALKED to any mother in your life? If this is not clear, how about you answer this: imagine you did not live up to YOUR mother’s expectations. Do you really think your mother will stop loving you? Or she will not like you anymore? Or she will even consider that bad?? Or she will think that is the worst thing in her life? What kind of a person thinks a mother is capable of that?
A mother is considered someone who will love her child unconditionally, protect it from the world and NEVER give up on it is being portrayed by you as someone who will even THINK of having ‘expectations’ for her child? How is that logical? And I seriously need to have a look at the mothers that Tripathi talked to just to come to this mindless conclusion
And just because you have seen ONE or TWO mothers behaving that way, that does NOT give you the right to label ALL mothers like that. To be really honest, I couldn’t even try to like Amish after that. He majorly blew up chances of his words reaching me after this atrocious statement

Tripathi explained that the maika system was put in place to promote equality. However, that is just one way to look at it. E.g. I am a child who is born in that secluded place. I grow up, in the first few years, without the love of a mother and a father. Where scientific studies have proved a child’s mental health depends on how much he/she perceives to be loved by his/her parents, Tripathi has come forward to argue children can survive at first without parents. When the child begins to show talent, he is sorted according to his capability. If he seems good at medical science, he is given to a doctor parent. And so on. However, if I were a parent, even a poor one, would I happily give up my child for this seeming ‘equality’? Because Tripathi says the children are given up so that e.g. if a child capable of being a doctor is born in a farmer’s family, he does not become deprived of becoming a doctor merely because his parents cannot afford it. But he forgot that money or skills are not enough to take a person forward if that is not written in that parent’s fate. Who can argue accurately that just because a farmer cannot afford to make his child a doctor, the child cannot follow that destiny? If a person is destined for something, he/she will get it. There is no way to deduce that just by a small example. And where Tripathi thought of the maika system as efficient, I find it downright cruel and unfair. No mother or father should be deprived of their own child, no matter what
To make matters even worse, a society being built to promote equality has the rule that rulers are allowed to keep their blood children. There is no plausible reason behind a ruler having the right to keep his/her child but an ordinary person being deprived of their child. What if the ruler’s child has the brains to only be a simple fisherman? Where is this maika’s system ‘equality’ then? Doesn’t this child deserve to be a ruler less than a child born to another person who has the cleverness to be an effective ruler?

Since Tripathi was so focused on his system, he did not focus on any of his characters. He barely touched upon their personal thoughts, hopping from one theory to another. This meant he overlooked crucial parts of Shiva’s character. There are some factors about the story that annoyed me to end, one of which was Shiva’s superfluous transformation to (excuse my language) a man being led by his balls. When Shiva first sees Sati, he is smitten. And from then on, it is nothing but Shiva daydreaming about Sati and thinking of ways to meet her. I would have appreciated this in a normal story, but it seems out of character here, especially since from then on, all we hear from Shiva is weird, modern-day playboy language and thoughts of having Sati for himself. Apart from this, very little of his thoughts are dedicated to the fact that the people he is around are considering him a savior

To be able to explain the Meluhans and other stuff, Tripathi decided to put very little focus on the development of characters. Shiva does not mature or become smarter. There was no difference between the Shiva on the first page and the one on the last page, save from the fact that he just realized his destiny as the savior. His companions are put in the story only for dialogue exchange; Tripathi did not include their personal thoughts or a change in their character as the story progressed

The book has a complete absence of much-needed action or simply quite a toned down version of action you would expect from a story involving a savior. There are a few scenes thrown here and there, all of them, save for the war in the end, half-baked and too dull. In a fight towards the middle of the book, someone throws a weapon at Shiva, and since Tripathi wanted his story to appear cliché as well as off-putting, Sati races to save Shiva, gets hit by the weapon, falls severely ill and gets saved (woohoo) through an idea put across by Shiva. I could almost imagine all the times I have witnessed this ridiculous scene in a number of Asian movies, and clearly, this one also failed to impress me. The story’s pace could not even beat a turtle. There is far too much left for the next two books
Tripathi goes to preposterous lengths just to show Shiva in a ‘human’ light. Dear Author, for your information, just because he is a man, it does not call for showing him as a flirt with a word-forming capacity of a 14-year-old boy. There are things one can expect from a saviour but knowing what ‘pick up line’ to use in a time when slangs weren’t even formed and anything related to one night stands was alien, the use of such words just shows Tripathi had no idea how to switch to an era where English was not even the language being spoken, let alone slangs coined in the 21st century. Other words he happily, and foolishly, put in the book were “Dammit”, “Shit”, “Crap”, “man”, “ditto”, “weed”, to name a few

The refusal on Tripathi’s part to acknowledge the need to develop the partnership between Nandi and Shiva is one of my biggest complaints. Considering Nandi is supposed to be his ever-present bull companion, there is little dialogue exchange between the two in a story where a growth of their friendship was severely needed

A disturbing resemblance to literally every young adult / new adult book out there can be seen. Changing a myth to cater to the modern crowd has its consequences; this book seems no different than let’s say a book containing a saviour sceptical of his destiny upon arrival to a new land, surrounded by people telling him what to do and just trying to get through life by falling in love and making friends. Sound familiar? That’s the main storyline of a number of YA/NA books today

Tripathi tries to act like a hero by addressing common issues in the Indian society. However, I think he should have chosen the topics for a book that did not portray a mythological character. Since Tripathi wanted to educate readers so much, he barely focused on Shiva, pushing him back to make space for a number of issues such as that of vikarma. He was so bent on telling people vikarma are awesome that he forgot he was supposed to use Shiva as the main character, not just as a bystander. Although he wasn’t misplaced in showing vikarma as normal human beings, I feel like he didn’t try as hard as he could. For starters, showing Sati as vikarma didn’t seem like a wise choice. That just changed her character completely. Where I expected a jubilant and impressive heroine, (which could have been done even if she was a vikarma), Tripathi focused so much on the fact that was untouchable that he did not bother explaining any of her other characteristics. He also did not help much with the issue; I have finished the book yet I still don’t have a burning need to help the unfortunate people as Tripathi did not succeed in making me feel strongly for them. He ended the book with a scene where This just showed that he did not find it wrong that he was condemning the very same people he had been trying to save throughout the book to an unjust death. He also did not explain why the Meluhans thought it fair that they were sending out only the untouchables for a suicide mission. And since Tripathi was so focused on the war, he forgot then that he had previously shown Shiva as quite sympathetic of the unfortunate people ? And if I hear some “let the men die off in an honourable manner” bullshit, I’m going to kill someone. Why have only the vikarma been presented with this honor?

The concept behind vikarma is explained to Shiva with the words that people that have had misfortune in life become disconcerted and angry; they can become a threat to the society. Hence, to prevent this anger from destroying a society, such misfortunate people are regarded as vikarma and prevented from being a part of the society. If I am not wrong, a person would be more likely to become angry IF they are subjected to a cruel, lonely life where no one is willing to touch them. This concept is just assuming every single person with a misfortune in life will go on to become a threat even though there is no plausible reason why this should happen; each person has a different nature. There is no guarantee every single misfortunate person will go on to become a danger

The Somras potion’s making has a major flaw. If I am not wrong, the Meluhans need to ‘cleanse’ themselves However, if urine contains the toxic, how come the Meluhans are still alive after having sweated, having swallowed saliva and through snot produced in the nose? Moreover, how come period blood is not toxic?

I know there are a lot of negatives. But I had to point them out to justify my low rating
However, it is fair to give credit where it is due
It is clear that Tripathi has a knack for storytelling if we remove the flaws
I first developed a liking for the book (and lost that liking 0 pages later) when we get introduced to Shiva’s dance. The word ‘dance’ does not justify his skill. Where Shiva was known to dance impressively, Tripathi portrayed it in a completely different light. He did complete justice to this part of Shiva’s character by explaining each pull, each stretch and each movement in a mesmerizing manner.
He did not dance for the audience. He did not dance for appreciation. He did not dance for the music. He danced only for himself
There are a few parts here and there that are interesting. The war at the end is cleverly worded. We see the intelligent side of Shiva when he suggests brilliant ways of moving into the battle and formulates a plan that . The dance practices between him and Sati offered a brief glimpse into the love life of the actual couple. There are also titbits here and there that show the true love the two shared.
Tripathi may have failed in quoting the correct nature of most mothers. But he has a knack for wording a few sentences in ways that can touch a reader’s heart.
The most powerful force in a woman’s life is the need to be appreciated, loved and cherished for what she is
People do what their society rewards them to do. If the society rewards trust, people will be trusting

To conclude, this was a hit and miss for me. I had extremely high expectations, made greater with the constant urging I got while reading that ‘it gets better’. However, for me personally, the story started with a boom, went slightly uphill and then went down and down, and continued to plummet until the end
But, even though I tend to warn people off from the books I hate, for this one I have chosen to remain silent. If anyone ever asks me about my opinion, I will give my honest one but will urge them to read this one for themselves
I wish I had had a better experience, but I guess some books are not meant for me.
To end this a quote:
His burden didn’t feel lighter. But he felt strong enough to carry it
Profile Image for Prabhjot Kaur.
1,039 reviews141 followers
April 17, 2021
I love re-imagined stories like crazy and have a decent knowledge of Hindu religion and its stories. When I heard about this book, I wanted so badly to get my hands on it. Although I was really impressed with Amish Tripathi's imagination, it still didn't wow me as I expected it to. There was a lot of hype about this on social media, Twitter particularly and I expected so much from this so I'm guessing that's my fault to have crazy high expectations.

Lord Shiva or then known as Shiva ends up going to Meluha and learning the ways of their civilization. Shiva is impressed by all their advanced technology and the life style. I was impressed with how Amish handled Shiva's character. I was also impressed with Sati's entry but that's about it. I wanted Amish to explore Sati's character a bit more and he did but what I got disappointed me. I also didn't like Sati's back story.

I liked it but I didn't love it. I wanted desperately to love it, I really did but just couldn't. I hope what we get in the next book is better than what we got in this.

Har Har Mahadev.

3 stars
Profile Image for Ashish Iyer.
750 reviews470 followers
March 24, 2019
I have read many Lord Shiva's book. But something was lacking in that book of Shiva. Shiva wasn't really smiling. Too serious. He was romantic alright, just the way I pictured Him to be. But he wasn't so cheerful. At least, smile a bit. Shiva isn't Krishna, but at least some smiles would not hurt.

Amish' Shiva gave me the Shiva I identified with the most. Tho I don't mind a bit of swearing, he swears too much to my taste. But since the premise was human-turned-to-god anyway, it's not a big deal for me. Other than the swearing, I really like this Shiva. He was so humane and approachable. He made mistakes and learned from them. He became humble because of them, and rose above them. He seriously defended humanity, but he still enjoyed life and made jokes around as well, while he could. He had his demons in the past... and I hope he eventually made peace with them. Shiva's portrayal as a strong and mighty fighter at times conflicts with his easy banter and almost juvenile interactions with his friend, but in some sense, that's partly where the fun is.

And how can I tell you how mesmerised I was whenever I read about Shiva's interactions with Sati here? Amish wrote them just the way I picture Shiva-Sati relationship. Shiva with all his passions and thinly veiled disappointments whenever Sati refused him again... and Sati with her facade, trying not to need him yet in the end could not resist him. The love between Shiva and Sati was exactly as I pictured in my mind all these years. A beautiful eternal dance of love.

But perhaps the most impressive scene was when Shiva met the old beggar in Ayodhya. I won't give away anything here, but suffice to say that Shiva actually deserved the surprise. The last chapter with the Pandit was very interesting too.

The book is a fast paced read, written in an easy-going flowing manner. The ancient and the revered mixes nicely and effortlessly with modern concepts, and makes you smile. I know this is not Purana, but since it brings me closer to Shiva, what difference does it make? I love the book so much, it's difficult for me to lend it to my friend who also wants to read it. I wish I can give more stars, but since I can't... so it's five stars for the book.
Profile Image for Priyanshi Durbha.
22 reviews10 followers
June 18, 2012
I started off reading this book not out of some incentive, but out of an assignment at my previous workplace. At the outset, I had been right about my impression. The book is a midpoint between Chetan Bhagat's mind-numbing thrillers and a good mythology book.
It's a sad state of affairs that most Indians have prescribed to a fast way of life and refuse to read a good book, but will take the short-cut by reading a fast-paced thriller that cheats us into finding out loads about our own culture. I wouldn't deny that Amish makes a genuine effort to reveal to the reader much about our mythology, but I have serious reservations against the way he does it. Shiva, Amish's protagonist who is based on lord Shiva we are familiar with, is a characterization that is unorthodox and disturbing at times, if I may add. Shiva uses expressions like "shit" and "dude", which made me squirm. The trilogy is based on mythology but what Amish does is modify it to make it more palatable to the chick-lit loving Indian. The story is well paced and certainly worth a try, if not for the language and terrible editing, but for the plethora of mythology that has been twisted for the reader.
Many people I know have taken to this book before reading up on their mythology. My argument is that "Immortals" is but a story that may go down generations, while the original tales will die a slow death.
If you really want to learn about your culture, you might as well take up a Devdutt Patnaik or a Rajagopalachari. If you are merely looking for a fast read, the trilogy isn't disappointing.
Profile Image for Khalid Muhammad Abdul-Mumin.
146 reviews64 followers
March 24, 2023
Amish Tripathy has created a magnificently crafted historical and mythological Fantasy that's decadent, passionate and wondrous; full of lore. A real page turner!

It tells of the adventures of one Shiva circa 1900BC in the region known then as the Sapt Sindhu; "The land of the Indus, Saraswati, Yamuna, Ganga, Sarayu, Brahmaputra and Narmada, meaning the seven rivers that meander across from India and Kashmir that Hindu lore has given great importance too. We follow him as he rises from the lowly stature of a foreign barbarian that's the Chief of a mountain tribe to a charismatic Lord Shiva that's been destined and prophesied to be Meluha's god of gods, the ultimate Philosopher King.

The Kingdom of Meluha being the greatest Empire in the known world founded millennia ago and comprised of a society of immortals and a strictly hierarchical caste system form of community and governance set up centuries earlier by the august Lord Ram, but... something is slowly eating away at it's prosperity, chipping off at its tightly held belief and caste systems and rotting away this seeming utopia's foundation. It's now up to Lord Shiva to rise above Shiva the man and transform into Lord Shiva the god of gods! where in order to fulfill his duty to Meluha, he'll have to bring about an overhaul of existing belief systems, a new and modern interpretation of their most cherished cultural bias.

Expertly researched and written containing flawless characters with all the necessary self-doubt and superhuman insights, a terrific and gripping plotline combined with a vividly constructed world, The Shiva trilogy is a beautifully done piece of mythological Fantasy interweaving elements of history, geography, myth, legends and modern science, philosophy of morals and governance in an all encompassing tale. I really enjoyed this book. I can't wait to continue with this series and the reat of the author's works, I highly recommend!
Profile Image for Tamoghna Biswas.
255 reviews98 followers
March 14, 2021

I hadn’t heard of this book at first, nor did the storyline manage to encourage me in any way so that I will take up the three books at once, for I was quite late to the party, to tell the truth. But then I heard the second book’ title: The Secret of the Nagas, and I thought I had to read it. The friend from whom I borrowed the entire series eventually, told me that I won’t understand a word of the second without reading the first one.

Now, that was a bit harsh. For the storyline wasn’t that complicated. The plot goes as Shiva being a mortal being, the chief of the Guna tribe who accepts the proposal of the Meluhans and come to the superficially near-perfect-but-deeply-flawed empire of Meluha created centuries earlier by Lord Ram. The story weaves deeper with people discovering him as the Neelkanth for being immune to undiluted Somras, a drink, which can be fatal in its pure form and in its own ways is responsible for making the inhabitants of Meluha near immortals. And it’s where he meets the love of his life, Sati, and Brahaspati who will prove to be one of his closest friends in the coming days.

I was quite full of admiration when I read it for the first time, I still remember. The storytelling, though a bit slow, lavishly whatsoever is a perfect mixture of Ancient Hindu Mythology with the contemporary socio-political and cultural scenario of India, and hence my first encounter with what became popular as genre-subversion. Most of all I appreciated what can be summed up as a crude portrayal of a patriarchal society, which is still more than prevalent in rural India, quite a deal larger than the majority.

A bit unnecessary, it felt to me, was the way the story tried to end with a hook. So that people will be more than waiting for the next part. A bit overdramatically strategic, I will like to say. Despite that, still a delightful read.
Profile Image for Varun.
Author 7 books267 followers
July 21, 2018
By writing this book Amish unlocked an entirely different genre in the Indian Fiction writing scene. Strong narrative, vivid imagination and good story-pace keep you engaged with the book. The way he weaves Shiva as a human character with an ethereal out-worldly aura is remarkable. Top that off with picturesque descriptions of tools, weapons, battles, strategies, and way kingdoms and ancient commerce behaved, keeps you wanting for more. The book was a good story in itself, but at the root of it though I did not find the story engaging and suspenseful enough to read the next two books.
Profile Image for Shreyas.
59 reviews3 followers
October 2, 2017
A great book with a different outlook at Indian mythology. I first saw this book grandly stacked on shelves of a multitude of famous book stores. I resisted the temptation for a while for reasons unknown. The book definitely is worth a read. A few parts here and there are predictable but the author has tried to effectively maintain the element of attention as he progresses through this wonderful piece of work.
Profile Image for Riku Sayuj.
653 reviews6,946 followers
October 4, 2011
It grows on you.. even though childish for the most part, the child in us can not help but grow to like shiva
Profile Image for Qube.
149 reviews10 followers
June 5, 2013
The Immortals of Meluha is a mythological novel (erroneously labelled sometimes as epic fantasy) that takes one of the gods of Indian mythology and portrays him as a man. Amish intelligently tweaks and warps the cast of familiar characters (familiar to Indians, at least), and paints a fantastical version of Shiva's life that is credible in some parts and amateurish in others. It is not a version the religious or the traditional will appreciate, but is one that will appeal to those who are not averse to morphing mythology.

I tried reading the novel objectively, independent of the Indian and mythological contexts, and found it middling in story line and execution. But add the mythological context and powerful attachment to Lord Shiva in India, and the book becomes a big deal for some readers. There are couple of twists towards the end that are interesting. At the same time, some amateurish attempts to link up the modern and old (eg. antioxidants give immortality) don't hold water.

The author must be commended for his courage in playing with religious beliefs. Having said that, the success of his work shows that the average English novel reading Shiva devotee has high tolerance.

In summary, it is good in parts, and may be enjoyed by those Indian readers who are not very picky.

Overall Rating: 2.5 / 5
Sub-ratings: Setting (3); Story (2); Characters (3); Writing (2)
Profile Image for Neha.
277 reviews181 followers
October 28, 2014
A pure adult fantasy (in a nice way)... 'The Immortal of Meluha’ is a mythical fiction book… The legends of the past have been recreated.. Gods are humanized and traditions are questioned.

Without revealing too much I would say it traces beautifully the journey of Shiva from being a tribal to a 'Mahadeva'. Even other popular characters of Ram, Nandi, Sati, Daksha, Brahma are neatly placed. Only one issue the English used is too local and common phrases like 'dammit' 'what in the name of' etc sound too cliched and take away the glory & grace of the story.. Otherwise the subjects of Caste system, old cities of Harappa & Mohenjo-Daro, creation of 'Trishula', and the cry of ‘Har Har Mahadeva’ are explicitly weaved in, leaving you asking for more…

And not to worry Amish has a trilogy to meet your appetite and keep you hooked till the next ones hit the market...

To read more:
Profile Image for AC.
22 reviews
March 22, 2013
Dear Amish - Please stop making Ekta Kapoor soaps out of Indian Mythology. We hindus have a big heart and usually accept these kinds of remodelling of our sacred books. But this work is hopeless. This book is just a overhyped and overtalked about indian book, that has no moral value to impart. The writer starts of by saying that he wants to make shiva believable as a man and someone just like us, yet in the entire story, miracles keep happening all the time (none of which happen in our lives and hence cannot be related at all). Poor usage of langauge and random usage of swear words make the book an absolute pain to read. Just for an instance, I started counting the number of times the word "hell" has been used by shiva in the entire book - 32 times. The writer who has studied Finance and got an IIM degree, is expected to do a little bit more research before writing on topics as popular as shiva, since shiva is worshiped in every house in India and people know stuff already. NeelKanth does not mean blue throat - Neela in sanskrit means dark and not blue. Next time, please do some more digging and get some depth. Characters in this book keep dragging the same question again and again - for eg. - shiva keeps asking people whats the significance of being neelkanth, and no one tells him that, though we already know that people are aware of the facts. And in answer shiva keeps swearing - "What the hell with this blue throat?" LOL. The meeting of shiva with his love is completely ridiculous. Seems like Amish Tripathy picked it out of some bollywood crap movie and put it there. Please Mr Author, these are dangerous waters, tread with caution.
This is completely worthless piece of work which has nothing to contribute to the society, this book was written for the sole purpose of making money, and that, it has done successfully - thanks to the ample publicity. Playing with a soft ball is a better time pass than reading this book.
Profile Image for Rohit Raut.
44 reviews36 followers
August 5, 2010
Gods. Fables. Deities. Myths. Entities of immense and unfathomable power that is limited only by imagination. Creators and destroyers of worlds. Bramha, Vishnu, Mahesh and all the myriad entities of good and evil in the Hindu Pantheon. Long has been my fascination with all of them, and like so many of us I have often asked the question "Did they really exist?".

If they did, what would drive the actions of such giants? What would they be inspired by, when they could remake worlds in a whim? What if they weren't passive observers with their abodes in the skies, but instead were living, breathing, confused, loving, hating, full-of-life beings just like the rest of us?

History meets mythology in The Immortals of Meluha which undertakes the unenviable task of retelling the tale of the Lord Shiva, the Destroyer of Worlds. But the man we meet is not a celestial being. Instead, he is a great warrior with perhaps a destiny bigger than he can imagine, but one that he is relentlessly unsure of.

How can a man who doubts himself be a Mahadev, a God of Gods?
And what makes a mortal - a being of flesh and blood, a Mahadev?

In the first book of a trilogy, we join Shiva - a Tibetan tribal general on a quest that will lead him to worlds beyond his imagining, and impossible choices as he is faced with the titanic task of saving a civilization he knows nothing about.

Sit on the shoulder of the giants of lore, and take a magnificent journey through the India of myth in the Immortals of Meluha, a magnificent, spellbinding journey through epic wars, superhuman bravery, and a God's quest to conquer the greatest kingdom of them all - the kingdom of the SELF. Highly recommended.
Profile Image for Sara ➽ Ink Is My Sword.
561 reviews412 followers
November 10, 2017
This is one of those books that no one in their mother had talked about it. I randomly found it in the library. Thought I was gonna hate it. I ended up LIKING IT SO MUCH.
Need to re-read this and continue.
Super underrated series that you should give a shot.
Profile Image for Vibha.
186 reviews20 followers
October 4, 2020
4.5 Stars
A brilliant storyline based on indian mythology. I wasn't keen on starting this series because I don't like it when facts that I have read from mythologies change. But the author has done an amazing work in building all the characters!
People who aren't familiar with mythologies won't be confused when they read this.
Profile Image for Abhinav.
272 reviews249 followers
September 2, 2013
I've just finished this book & all I can think of right now is a silent plea to the Almighty - "Hey Mahadev, you blessed Amish with tremendous amount of inspiration to write a book like this. Perhaps, he could have done with some perspiration too, so he could have strived to write this book much better than it turned out to be."

There, I said it. And that is the biggest grievance I have with Mr. Amish over his bestselling debut novel.

I don't need to go over the plot (hell, all my friends in college who call themselves 'casual readers' had read this about a year back & had been telling me to read this ever since & then I finally borrowed the entire Shiva trilogy from a dear friend back in March in the middle of my university exams) & needless to say, Amish had a brilliant one on his hands. I'm no believer but you can't help being charmed by the Tibetan immigrant Shiva - the awe I felt as a kid when I read the Mahabharata & the Ramayana narrated in a style a la Amar Chitra Katha. The storytelling is decent too, given it is quite a page-turner.

And that is where pretty much all the good things about it stop. The writing is a major let-down, for a story of this scope deserves a hell lot better prose than what Amish offers. No, don't even get started on how this is written in a modern style, the existing standards of Indian popular fiction, blah blah. When you have a story like this, you have to work hard enough to give it the writing it deserves. Barring a couple of well-written war scenes (verging on the epic & did give me a bit of gooseflesh) & a bit of the seeming allegory between Harappa & modern India when Shiva visits Ayodhya (I was impressed by that part), this book has inexplicably bad, lazy writing. Why does King Daksha seem to go around 'hugging' everyone 'tightly'? Why does everyone seem to 'guffaw loudly' (Jai Shri Siddhu!) when a slight grin seems to auffice for the amount of humour in that particular situation? Why does Shiva & every soul unrelated to him or his dear ones get teary-eyed in every other situation involving them? Like some of my friends would say, "Kitna rota hai bey." (deriding someone for being too sentimental)

There are two kinds of readers - one who prefer writing over plot & vice versa. I'm one who changes sides as I switch from literary to popular fiction, but I'm usually on the side of the latter esp. when it comes to popular fiction. But I'm unequivocal on the stand that even popular fiction should have an acceptable standard in terms of writing & that is somewhere Mr. Amish fails considerably.

Still, if you can overlook the writing & focus only on plot, I do think there is a really captivating tale to be enjoyed here. I'm going with a rating of 3 to 3.5 stars for 'The Immortals of Meluha', the first book of the Shiva Trilogy by Amish Tripathi. Go for it if you're looking for a fast read, nothing more (given you haven't read it already).
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