‘Why is your faith so strong, son?’
‘Because I have nothing else, and when there’s nothing else, there is Lord Vishnu. And there’s faith Sometimes, you need to blindly follow it, to be guided to the light’.
Kevin Missal is a prolific writer. His debut Kalki has such distinguished imageries that it is still fresh in my mind. Narasimha is his next big trilogy and it certainly delivers what it promises. The book is published by Harper Collins India.
The novel follows the epic mythology of Bhakta Prahlad. Only this time we delve a lot deeper into this mythological story. Son of Asura, Hiranyakashyap joins the Vishnusena or the worshippers of Vishnu. Coming from an Asura’s royal clan, which is atheist, this is unacceptable to King Hiranyakashyap. Prahlad will be executed in front of his kingdom so that it sets an example. However, an avatar of Lord Vishnu, Narasimha,
– half human, half lion – will bring about the end of the tyrannical rule of Hiranyakashyap.
This one is an out and out positive review. I couldn’t find any hiccup or glitch from start to finish. The book kept hooked and entertained. I was thrilled by each revelation that I met. I loved how layered this work is and yet it isn’t confusing at all. It took me about 80nor so pages to be one with this book but post that, there was no turning back.
When I talk about plot, well, it is simply a retelling of a story we have grown up listening to but at the crux this is a story within a story. What I mean by that is every character presented in this book has a story to tell.
This book is more than just its plot or narrative. This book is more about its characters. Every character is born out if ashes. Their tragedies make them what they are and why they are so. Most characters shown in this novel are grey except the character of Lord Indra. I loved how the author has sketched the character of Indra. He has always been a vile man disguised as God and governed by his vices and indriyas (senses). Showing him just the same is what I loved. The author, thus, makes it simple for us to understand if a character is black or grey or white.
from the backstories of every character . Moreover, every character has a fight of his own, a selfish motive for the war and every character has a story to tell. So the book isn’t only about Narsimha and the worshipper Prahlad but it is about all the characters which has made this story immortal in Indian mythology.
Every chapter deals with one character and the progress in their story. And every chapter leaves us with a mysterious cliffhanger which ultimately makes this one a page turner. The book is peppered with life lessons and they are subtle but impactful.
I was blown away by the way the author logically and practically connects the story to the mythological epic. I loved how author made it a point to show us that Narasimha is Prahlad’s battle to find himself. This fact knocked me out totally and I fell in love with this story. Up until Prahlad’s realization I was facing a dilemma as to who was truly innocent and who precisely was shrewd, cunning and villain of this story. You don’t see a bhakta Prahlad here but someone who is an atheist and a philosopher questioning his existence and the faith of Vishnu worshippers. As also Narasimha is about Narasimha’s way to redemption.
I found myself literally cheering when I came across the boon Lord Brahma had bestowed on Hiranyakashyap. The way author got to that boon blew my mind. I never saw that one coming. Actually, you just can’t predict anything while you are reading this novel despite the fact that you have heard this story multiple times.
Overall, I think this book is a must read. Even if you aren’t a mythological fiction fan yet this book won’t bore you fore sure.
Publisher: HarperCollins India
To buy the book, pls click https://amzn.to/2YfBP7A