Tuesday, 16 December 2014

Book Review: The Oath of The Vayuputras by Amish Tripathi

Amish’s latest offering in his Shiva Trilogy, ‘The Oath of the Vayuputras’ has been an absolute let down. With high hopes after reading the first two in the set, the seasoned reader is almost sure to feel tragic. The first 200 pages of this unnecessarily long book were boring, to put it mildly. The rest of the 350 pages were made unnecessarily long where a few things could have sufficed. In fact, there are many gaping mistakes and oversights in the whole book, that the reader is left to wonder whether at all the book was edited or not. The first two books ‘The Immortals of Meluha’ and ‘The Secret of the Nagas’ were thrilling and fast paced, where the reader is never allowed a chance to come at a plausible guess, the plot was strong and the characters seemed natural. But the third volume has nothing of that sort. Although Amish has improved his writing capabilities but his work has diminished.

The plot of this book takes off from where the predecessor had left off. Shiva, the human God has been reunited with his long-lost friend, Brahaspati. He then turns his life mission to destroy evil which has arisen in India. Only this time, the evil is not so easily vanquished, because it is not even a person, it is an elixir that the people of India consume happily. Shiva with the help of various people like Brahaspati, his wife Sati, his sister-in-law Kali, and his two sons Ganesh and Kartik comes to this conclusion about evil. He then turns in mind to uniting various forces of India and then fight a mighty nation. In the meantime a lot of things happens and unless the reader forgets the ‘Vayuputras’ makes a cameo appearance and almost nothing seems to be pertaining to their oath which the title apparently suggests. The climax is also not that great and the reader will be
too bored by the time Shiva’s war ends. In fact the war is also mostly a one sided affair as Shiva’s opponents surrender after Sati is brutally murdered. The entire plot hangs like many loose threads which needs to be tied up at many places.

Amish like some of his fellow Indian authors makes deliberate and excessive use of science and scientific terminology in his books. But the science is for the most part half-baked and it has no connection whatsoever to the reality that exists. It would have been good if he had remembered that he is talking about a person living 4000 years ago. The books had enormous potential, as Shiva is seen as a God with immense power and respect, but Amish failed to capitalize that feeling after his first two books. however, there are some positives in terms of the knowledge that a reader can gain about ancient India and its traditions by reading these books, but that can be found in any ancient textbook. Amish would do good to remember this in his forthcoming books, which most likely seems to be one on the epic war ‘Mahabharata’.

As already mentioned the book has many serious writing flaws, anyone following the Wren and Martin grammar school would be shocked at the author’s usage of certain terms and words at some places. There is a scope for a lot of improvement and Amish can only get better from this point onwards. If you have read the first two books then you would want to read this one, but if you haven’t read the other two books, then really don’t bother, you won’t be missing much.

Title: The Oath of the Vayuputras
Author: Amish Tripathi
Publisher: Westland Ltd
Price: Rs. 350
Rating: 6/10
Reviewer: Manjil P. Saikia

[This review was published here.]