When it comes to sequels, the book has to be just as amazing as the previous book in the series, if not better. I’ve awaited this book, The Conspiracy at Meru, ever since I finished reading the first book, The Guardians of the Halahala. The author, thankfully, had the patience to withstand my constant enquiry on the release date of this book. Two years after I reviewed the first, I finally put my thoughts to words on this sequel.
To recap The Guardians of the Halahala quickly, the dagger containing the mystic poison Halahala has been given by Lord Shiva to Vikramaditya for safekeeping. He and his council take on the task, knowing that the Devas and the Asuras will stop at nothing to get their hands on that dagger. On another angle, the political drama that is developing in the kingdoms of Sindhuvarta continues. The quest for power leads to bloodshed and war, but that’s inevitable.
The Conspiracy at Meru picks up where that left off, and continues to add intrigue to the story. The Asuras and the Devas were left red-faced after failing in their initial battles with Vikramaditya, the “mere human king”, but they plot more devious attempts, waging battles on each other, hoping the other is distracted from the main goal of retrieving the Halahala. Queen Vishakha continues her recovery. Feuding kingdoms continue to add to the Samrat’s headache as well. The storyline keeps the reader on the edge to know if the Guardians continue to excel or if there is one enemy too many to handle.
Mythology or fantasy demands that the narration be magical and engaging. The Conspiracy at Meru does have that ability in oodles. Though it took me some time to get back into the plot of the series, not for one moment did I feel bored reading it. There is magic too, and some fantastical creatures that were fantastic to read about. I loved the vyalas in particular. I expected thrilling battle scenes from this book, especially after the events at the end of the last one. I wasn’t disappointed. These were delivered excellently. New characters arrive on the scene while other favorite characters continue to develop. There are secondary characters that shine, like Kshapanaka and Udayasanga. And though there are many characters, it’s not that difficult to get familiarized with them.
From the cover design, to the story idea, the narration and the characters, this book matches the previous one very well, maybe even goes a bit better. The one flipside I see is the wait for the third part of this series, but hopefully, that book comes out sooner rather than later.
|Title: The Conspiracy at Meru||Series: Vikramaditya Veergatha #2|
|Author(s): Shatrujeet Nath||Genre: Fantasy/Mythology|
|ISBN/ASIN: 9788184958874||Publisher: Jaico Books|
(© Vinay Leo R. @ A Bookworm’s Musing
26th January 2017)