The Guardians of the Halahala (Vikramaditya, #1)

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Blurb: The deadly Halahala, the all-devouring poison churned from the depths of the White Lake by the devas and asuras, was swallowed by Shiva to save the universe from extinction. But was the Halahala truly destroyed? A small portion still remains – a weapon powerful enough to guarantee victory to whoever possesses it. And both asuras and devas, locked in battle for supremacy, will stop at nothing to claim it. As the forces of Devaloka and Patala, led by Indra and Shukracharya, plot to possess the Halahala, Shiva turns to mankind to guard it from their murderous clutches. It is now up to Samrat Vikramaditya and his Council of Nine to quell the supernatural hordes – and prevent the universe from tumbling into chaos! A sweeping tale of honour and courage in the face of infinite danger, greed and deceit, The Guardians of the Halahala is a fantastical journey into a time of myth and legend.

About the author: Shatrujeet Nath has sold ice-creams, peddled computer training courses, written ad copy, and reported on business as a journalist and assistant editor at The Economic Times. His first book, The Karachi Deception, was published in 2013. The Guardians of the Halahala is his second book, and the first in The Vikramaditya Trilogy series. He divides his time between writing fiction and poetry, reading, playing with his daughter – and dreaming of buying a small castle in Scotland. Till that happens, he plans to continue living in Mumbai.
Review: This is my third historical fiction read of the year and I think this genre has become the flavour of the fiction season. I have read stories of Gods and Goddesses, Kings and Queens, interpretations of epics. Now has come ‘The Vikramaditya Trilogy’, the first book in the series ‘The Guardians of Halahala’, is creation of an entirely new historical saga, which is completely matchless. The author has included many historical characters in the story along with literary facts which make the plot fascinating. The kingdom of Avanti is a site of heroism with King Vikramaditya at its control. The nine gems of his court, Amara Simha, Dhanavantri, Kalidasa, Kshapanaka, Vararuchi, Varahamihira, Ghatakarpara, Shanku and Vetala Bhatta display utmost dedication to their king and the population of Avanti. They symbolise love, trust and devotion, signifying a bond of friendship so deep that one will be enthralled simply by reading about them.The cover reads -The deadly Halahala, the all-devouring poison churned from the depths of the White Lake by the devas and asuras, was swallowed by Shiva to save the Universe from extinction.  But was the Halahala truly destroyed? A small portion still remains- a weapon powerful enough to guarantee victory to whoever possesses it. And both asuras and devas, locked in battle for supremacy, will stop at nothing to claim it. A sweeping tale of honour and courage in the face of infinite danger, greed and deceit, The Guardians of the Halahala is a fantastical journey into time of myth and legend. The book throws light on the adventures of Vikram and Betaal. The author made Betaal a part of this story, devoid of any excuses.

Writing style has a classy touch to it and offers a smooth and soothing reading journey. Talking about the downfall of the book, at some places the needed flow is missing. Apart from this very thing, everything is at its place and played their role very-well. ‘The Guardians of the Halahala’ is a good read and the next book of the ‘The Vikramaditya Trilogy’ might emerge as a modern day masterpiece. In short, an entertaining story.  I would highly recommend this book to mythological lovers. Good luck to the author for his upcoming books.

The book was received as part of Reviewers Programme on The Tales Pensieve

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