Fantasy adventure is a magical genre if done right and can be quite boring when gone haywire. Astra the quest for Starsong by Aditya Mukherjee and Arnav Mukherjee is one such fantasy adventure set in the times of Ramayana. The book is published by Penguin India.

The book follows the story of a teenager Varkan, the scion of Ashmaka. He is imprisoned by his uncle but he somehow manages to escape. However on his way out he comes across Rakshasas, the army of the mighty Ravana, who are planning to yield a celestial weapon that belongs to Varkan’s family. Varkan, once in possession of this weapon called Starsong becomes indomitable. His adventure then leads to the impending war to save his kingdom, Ulka.

The plot is linear and the narration smooth. The language used by the authors is lucid. However, I felt that the book introduces too many characters and loses direction somehow. It failed to keep me hooked, despite the fact that I love mythological fiction.

The story is shown to run parallel to the happenings of Ramayana. The attempt is laudable but I felt that there needed execution. The book seemed to come close to Percy Jackson but then it swayed. The book does amuse you at some points and it does thrill you with its character sketches and mystical elements. However, I feel the book is meant to be read by the teens or those wanting to start reading mythological fiction. Then again, what is inspiring in this book is to see a teen boy conquering an ever powerful celestial weapon with ease and poise.

Overall, you can give it a read if you like mythological fiction.

Rating: 🌟🌟🌟
Publisher: Penguin India
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