I just finished reading Aryavir by Anita Shirodkar today. Here is my review of the book.
The book is a mythological fiction, a genre that is becoming quite popular. The first book I read was the popular Shiva Trilogy. Since then I have tried to read others but it never worked for me. With Aryavir, I felt the balance between mythology and fiction has been created well. There is a whole new world – geographically and historically – and yet there are references to the real world as we know it.
The story is about Ayravir, a young prince, destined with a terrible fate. He carries the burden of knowing this and yet is determined to make the best of his life by serving his family and kingdom. His childhood friend Sitanshu, who is more like a brother to him, is with him every step of the way in this journey. The royal family and its kingdom is under the divine protection of the Blue Lotus which blooms in their palace and is the source of their life, health and prosperity. The king has his share of enemies and when they join hands to wage a war, the kingdom prepares for battle. While the king and prince are getting ready to battle, back home, the family is faced with another crisis. Can Aryavir save his family and his kingdom before his time runs out? The story ends just as the Blue Lotus signals towards difficult times to come.
The story has been built well, with the main plot taking center stage and many sub plots and back stories contributing to it. The sub plots and back stories help in giving the story depth and body. Too many characters, but eventually you tend to get used to them. The progress within parallel plots are also dealt with quite well, such that the reader does not lose thread of any of them. The book ends at a point where the reader feels compelled to read the next, just like a series should.
I will be reading Sitanshu, the second book in the series. Hope it holds up the pace the way Aryavir did.