I’ve not read many historical fiction books, but when I was approached for a review for this book, I kind of liked the blurb, which felt interesting. That’s why I picked it up. The Speaking Stone is a fiction novel narrated in two timelines, one in 1900, the other in 2016/17.
Saikat finds a large stone with inscriptions on it. The seller tells him that it is called The Speaking Stone. No, it doesn’t have magic powers to talk, but it does have a story to tell. He tries to trace the stone’s origins, and that leads him to Tripura. Shuvashini, a historian, finds a fascinating story in a library book. But before she can complete the story, the book mysteriously disappears. Her curiosity leads her to Tripura. The duo cross paths at the museum, and the story of the stone leads them from there on a journey both literally and back in time. But the mystery might have its own dangers too…
I like mysteries. This story was engaging because it made me want to know the story behind the stone as well, and kept the pages turning to know more. The other timeline of the story, the one in 1900, is about a kind king, a dancer, her lover, the king’s enemy, and well, a conspiracy. One could argue that the quest leads them to this timeline, but I think that might differ for each reader. While I loved both timelines, the historical one felt more interesting than the current one. Perhaps that’s what it is meant to do. I loved each of the characters in the book, and the illustrations too, which help to imagine.
The connect between Saikat and Shuvashini felt odd at the start. I wasn’t sure that even if two people cross paths often, they would strike up a connection like that so quickly. The language of the book, I felt could have been a bit better. It’s not bad, but some editing might have lifted it a notch for sure. I liked the cover art, which was mysterious, but I thought the “couple” could have been left out of it.
I had to read this book quickly, so that might have had its effect on how the story came across. It is interesting, so I will reread at a calmer speed. Maybe that will help. Do I recommend? I think it will appeal to a historical fiction lover, as well as to a mystery lover. So yes, worth a try.
Title: The Speaking Stone
Author: Ratnadip Acharya
No. of Pages: 444
Publisher: Aksora Publications
Rating: 8 out of 10