Writing fantasy fiction is easy. Recounting history/mythology is not tough. But writing historical fiction and making the reader glued to the book is no joke. Amish seems to have done that with ease in his final book on the Shiva Trilogy: The Oath of the Vayuputras.
While reading the book, you get the same feeling you get while watching Mani Ratnam’s Thalapathy. You know it’s fiction but you just cannot stop drawing parallels with the original.
Each of the fifty odd chapters ends on a twist/suspense that it’ll be extremely hard to put down the book and get back to work.
The characters in the book are ones you get to see in your daily life. The “Kadamai, Ganniyam, Kattupaadu” Parvateshwar, wise Gopal, fearless Kartik, sinister Vidyunmali, among others.
“What is Evil? Why should it be destroyed?” are the main questions answered in this book.
The definition of Evil in the “eye” of the reader keeps changing in every book of the Trilogy.
In the first book, Chandravanshis were portrayed as Evil from the “eye” of Suryavanshis.
In the second book, the Nagas were portrayed as Evil from the “eye” of both Suryavanshis and Chandravanshis, at least till some part of the book.
Only in the third book does the reader realize that Evil can be something very simple; something that is a part of your system, that no one notices.
Evil doesn’t exist in itself. It is the human greed that causes Evil to rise. Someday, even the Greatest Good WILL turn into Greatest Evil. It is only a question of “When?” Of course, Neelkanth is the ultimate “Destroyer of Evil”.
A good storyteller is one who makes the reader visualize the sequences as they unfold. The Author has proved himself to be an excellent storyteller. When he describes war, you can see the gore and bloodshed in front of your eyes. When he describes a city/town say, he is able to paint a picture in your mind.
In trying to prove a point that the characters in HIS story are humans, he gives a scientific explanation for almost everything considered superhuman, which might test the reader’s patience, at times!
Shiva’s conversations with Gopal are good life lessons for all.
A fitting and epic climax for the epic series, “The Oath of…” is easily the best book of the Trilogy, in my opinion. May be because it is the one I read most recently!
The Universe bows to Lord Shiva. I bow to Lord Shiva.
Har Har Mahadev!