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The Shiva Trilogy Review: Brilliant Re-telling of The Past

The Shiva Trilogy is a collection of three books – The Immortals of Meluha, The Secret of the Nagas and The Oath of the Vayuputras by author Amish Tripathi. These are some of the highest selling books in the literary history of India, and the trilogy is often considered to be India’s very own Lord of the Rings, with Amish’s style of writing compared to Tolkien. With each book selling more than 1 million copies, the story has been further translated into many languages and the movie rights for the first book, The Immortals of Meluha, has been bought by Karan Johar. Amish has been awarded the Society Young Achiever Award for the books. Other accolades include being named in the list of Top 100 Indians, four times in a row by Forbes and the Raymond Crossword Popular Choice Award.

The Shiva trilogy: Storyline

The Shiva Trilogy interprets the life of Lord Shiva as merely a common man. Amish foretells the story of Shiva, a tribal who lived in the mountains, and his journey from a simple mortal to the prophesized Neelkanth – the one with a blue throat. After a medical remedy of somras turns Shiva’s throat blue, the people of the town of Meluha proclaim him as the Neelkanth, the one who shall guide the Suryavanshis to victory against the Chandravanshis. However, Shiva soon learns that what is seen is rarely the truth, and he has to overcome tragedy, deceit and personal loss as friends turn foes and he finds the real enemy, hidden deep inside. Shiva, his wife Sati, and their children have to fight against the whole world as Shiva fulfills his destiny to become the successor to Lord Rudra.

The Shiva Trilogy: Review

Breaking barriers, the author considers a powerful God, known to Hindus as the destroyer, as a mere mortal, and shows his journey from a man to a God, which is groundbreaking in the genre as well as in the literary landscape of India. Amish builds everything with finesse. Exploring and defining the minute details to paint the most imaginative of landscapes, structures and people gives him the upper hand over the contemporary writings in India. He explains the concepts of Hinduism to the reader in a much more efficient way than his contemporaries and connects with the reader very well. The character development is very strong, and there are very few characters introduced which have no overall relationship with the passage of the story. The language used makes certain that the story could reach to the average Indian and besides a few instances, there is very little that you’ll have to concentrate hard on to understand. For a debutante author, he has done a great job of holding the story together without loopholes across three books.

However, the story loses steam as it reaches its closing in the third book. Writing out the finale to a good story is often the trickiest part of writing a book, and Amish, too, seems to have been affected by it. It is as if very little attention was paid to the ending as compared to the development of the plot, and it seems forced and predictable by the time you are halfway through The Oath of the Vayuputras. Some of the elements of technology used would be better suited in a science fiction rather than in mythology.

The whole idea of imagining and writing mythology through the lens of a contemporary outlook giving it the slight touch of science and fiction, running on loops with the established stories of Gods and their deeds make these books worth reading. It’s also the acceptance of the books, which nonetheless invades the privacy of religious monotone scriptures, but at the same time, shines a torch on it, proves the plot strength of our religious books and shows the readiness of people to help grow the literary scene of our country.

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