Tag Archives: Krishna Udayasankar

Beast by Krishna Udayasankar

Beast by Krishna Udayasankar Title: Beast
Author: Krishna Udayasankar
Publisher: Penguin eBury Press
ISBN: 978-0143444480
Genre: Thriller, Fantasy
Pages: 288
Source: Publisher
Rating: 4 stars

So, I must admit that I do not read Indian crime or fantasy. That’s just my preference and nothing to do with how its written. Although this time I made an exception and deep-dived into “Beast” by Krishna Udayasankar and loved every bit of it. I think it had to do a lot also with the pacing, beside most things. It works superbly for a novel of this nature – a novel steeped in mystery, reads like an action thriller (is also by the way), and interspersed richly with fantasy, character development and parallel running storylines that do not lose sight of overall plot.

Beast is an urban fantasy thriller, deeply set in Indian myths and legends. Krishna Udayasankar doesn’t stray from what she knows best and that’s fantastic to me as a reader. I’ve read Immortal and loved the way the story was told. The narration of Three left me stunned. And might I also add, that her books grow on you. The narration grabs you and then you are hooked. Beast delivers on all of this and more.

Aditi Kashyap, the assistant commissioner of police is called to solve a gory triple homicide in a Mumbai suburb. The story starts this way and before you know it, she is a part of the terrifying world of the Saimhas – werelions, who live alongside humans since ancient times. She joins hands with Prithvi, an Enforcer called on to solve this case and hunt the murderer. That is the plot in a nutshell.

Udayasankar’s writing is detailed, rich, and her dialogues are absolutely on-point. No sentence is out of place. No one is out of character at any point and of course the female agency that Aditi has is much-needed in art. And might I also add that this isn’t your cliché werewolf story, if that’s what you think it is. Not at all. Far from it. I loved the  friendship between characters The friendship and camaraderie was something else and worked like a charm – the one that you can perhaps relate to in daily life.

Beast most certainly also needs a sequel to answer some plot points, however, that’s just my POV. The book is extremely entertaining, and if you like a good fantasy-cum-thriller, this is the book for you. Hands Down! Even if you don’t like this genre, pick up the book.

 

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Book Review: The Aryavarta Chronicles: Govinda (Book 1) by Krishna Udayasankar

Title: The Aryavarta Chronicles: Book 1: Govinda
Author: Krishna Udayasankar
Publisher: Hachette India
ISBN: 978-9350094464
Genre: Fiction, Mythology
Pages: 472
Source: Publisher
Rating: 3/5

The fact more or less of the Indian Literary world is this: Authors are getting back to their mythological roots and churning out the so-called, “bestseller of the year”. Everyone seems to be at it, and it does not end at one book. It has to but of course be a trilogy. The Gods would be pleased. Right from Shiva to Vishnu to Brahma to Rama are featured and much ground is covered. What then also tends to happen is that one or more writers often write on similar Gods and similar epics – ranging and sticking only to The Ramayana or The Mahabharata.

Coming to the book I am reviewing – “The Aryavarta Chronicles: Govinda (Book 1)” by Krishna Udayasankar. Going by the title, one can easily predict, the content of the book. The book is but obviously centered on Krishna – one of the many avatars of Lord Vishnu. The story though seems to be predictable, it actually isn’t so. May be that is what makes it different from the others in the running. Having said that, there are times when the interest did not manage to be sustained by the writing.

Now to the plot: We are introduced early on to the Firstborn dynasty of scholar-sages, descendants of Vasishta Varuni, who are also the protectors of the Divine Order on Earth. They are the ones who have been ruling the planet and controlling its working. On the other hand, you have the Agnirasa family of Firewrights, weapon-makers to the kings and master inventors, who have taken the step to defy the Firstborns. This rises to a conflict, leading to the united empire of Aryavarta falling apart. If this was not enough, then one of the Firewrights is dead, and that too a Secret Keeper, killed by a violent hand.

There is an evident bloody conflict. There is only one person who will save them all. That person but of course is Govinda Shauri, a cowherd-turned-prince and now Commander of the armies of Dwarka. The question that arises is that: How will he save Aryavarta? At this point in the book, the characters of the Mahabharata get introduced (they are known earlier on, but the part they will play gets clearer at this stage) and that is how the entire Book 1 gets looped in and reaches its logical end.

The plot did seem a little mundane when I started it, but the minute it picked pace and everything fell in place, it was something else. The characters are well developed and like I said, they make perfect sense at the end and the reasons why they are there in the book. The writing is crisp at times and at others, I thought it was a drag. Having said that, the book is quite charming and the mythology angle to it is superbly done. I for one will wait for the 2nd installment in the series.

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