Blurb: Millennia ago, the valley of Mohenja-Daro held one of the most organized and advanced civilizations for its time. Discovered in the late nineteenth century, all that was left of it now were ruins, and dead bodies. The mound of the dead, they called it, and rightly so. There were many dead bodies lying everywhere, and there stories were as mysterious as their states. What happened to the city of Mohenja-Daro? In a time when the city thrived, Koli was a seductive girl with an enigmatic charm. Sindhu lived with dreams burning in her eyes, and Girad with his burning passion for life. There were others, like the priest who professed to seeing a doomed future, a future cursed for all time. Their love, dreams, greed, mania and delusions formed a part of their lives, and added colour to it all the way. A mysterious series of deaths follows a frantic hunt for lust, gold and glory, and they do not stop until they destroy the very foundation of the city. Or until they venture Far Beyond the Dead End, to be discovered in the remnants of the lost city thousands of years later.
Author: Saikat Bakshi is an Indian writer and mechanical engineer. He enjoys exploring the unseen alleys of life, and observing people as he goes along. He enjoys taking in history, literature and art as well as writing whenever he finds the time. This is his fourth novel and he has also written: Did You See The Joker?, Fallen Leaf, Weathered Wind and Something In Your Eyes: Smiling In The Sky.
Review: It is about Koli, beautiful and intelligent girl, whose father wants her to get married to Sindhu, but Girad, a failed businessman wants to marry Koli. What a typical love triangle, Hindi movie manner, but this is not set in 2014 but set in Mohenjodaro when it was a flourishing society, a twirl unlikely. Simple, suspenseful, straight plot with twists in the story and flawless narration made this book one of my best reads of this year. The author has successful brought back the oldest and dead civilization back to life with this story. Historical fiction of which I am a huge fan of, was written with such ease by the author, his years of research on Indus valley civilisation is proven. This book turned out to be a page turner as every page is impulsive.
The book is divided into three parts:
- The first part introduces the reader to the plot, characters and their qualities. It does throw light on customs, traditions and practises of Indus valley civilisation – especially that of the city of Mohenjadaro.
- The second part takes the story ahead and narrating the episodes and experiences of all the characters of the story.
- The third part (what I loved reading the most) exposes the secrets, turn outs, shockers and surprises and the truth.
I liked the way; the author kept the thrill and the excitement part away in the first and second parts of the story and bought it out only towards the conclusion. The urgency and the pace of the story in the end for me went with the flow of the story well, I did not feel it disturbed or broke the course. I did not wanted to read any emotional content making the character of Koli a sensitive, emotional or a timid girl. I like female characters intelligent and intellectual.
- The ancient Indus valley civilisation woven into a fiction plot.
- The characters are well written and develop with the story.
- The detailed bibliography shows the hard work of the author that has gone into writing.
- Historical fiction, a genre never before read or explored.
- A great visual peek into history, each line made me imagine an entire ancient civilisation in front of my eyes.
- Affordable, light and easy read.
- After a long time I came across a book without much of spelling errors.
- The quality of the paper used should have been better.
- The editor should have re-read the content couple of times before the final print as I found many grammatical errors in the book, in the first 80-100pages.
I give this book 4stars out of 5. Spellbinding apprehension (which is my preference) set in Indus civilisation, which the author thoroughly researched about, took me to an era beyond the present. If you are an aficionado of historical fiction then this is the right book to keep you engage till the end. More over it is not an easy job to write historical fiction, and full credit to the author Saikat Bakshi for selecting this variety and coming out of it fruitfully.
I thank Saikbat Bakshi and Writers Melon for hosting the wonderful historical civilization contest and picking me out as one of the winners and sending this book as prize.
I write a lot, which keeps me off the streets and out of trouble. There is always something to write about, always a new story to craft. Not writing, for me, is like trying to hold back a sneeze. Learning to write was the most powerful influence in my life. I can still remember the awe I felt when I realized I could put real words onto paper and tell out a story. From that first ‘a-ha’ moment I knew I wanted to write.
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