Author: Usha Narayanan
Genre: Historical (Mythology) Romance
‘I see a dark future that makes me quake,’ Devarishi Narada said. ‘One of these newborns will ravage the world and erase the name of Krishna from the face of the earth.’
As the world trembles on the threshold of Kali Yuga—4,32,000 years of unprecedented evil—it waits for a saviour to rise.
Meanwhile, in the dark netherland of the asuras, the meek Vama shudders as he learns that he is actually Pradyumna,
the son of Krishna. And that his journey has just begun. (Via Goodreads)
This is historical fiction based on the son of Krishna, who is an avatar of Vishnu. Krishna, the Blue God is everyone’s favourite and the story starts interestingly at a beautiful setting of a garden, with flowing waters and swans that you get carried away with the description. Vama, is shown as a flirty boy who hates to tar his body with learning warfare and about weapons. His foster mother, Mayawati, Kalasura’s wife, keeps insisting in her harshest voice for him to concentrate on war than the girls. This novel is also about tangled relationships. Kama- the God of Love is Pradyumna, is reborn and his wife Rati is Mayawati- a lot of confusion goes on in Pradyunma’s mind as to how he could love the woman whom he called as mother once. But soon he realises how long Rati has waited for him, to be with him that these things don’t matter in the end.
This novel does an excellent job of explaining and connecting facts. Vama, is actually Pradyumna who has been stolen by Kalasura (a demon king) so that he could give to his childless wife Mayawati. Mayawati raises him recognising her lover (Kama) in him and plans to marry him when he grows up. After coming to know about his foster parents, Pradyumna finally plans to learn the art of warfare and occult powers. Mayawati helps him control any sorcery that his enemy might use to overcome him. You also get the tidbits of Kama’s reason for re-birth and why he is born on earth. Rati emerges from Mayawati and they both join in love. Though the point of him marrying his foster mother always makes his step brother Samba, taunt him.
The Re-birth plays an important part in connecting the characters in the novel. Every one has to pay for their sins in some way or the other. There is no complete happiness or unhappiness. The language is almost poetic and you get into the flow of the book.
This novel is about Gods and Demons living on earth. And mortals interacting with Gods and demons. Also polygamy was a usual state of affair in the Hindu scriptures. We see Pradyumna true love Rati, supporting his other marriages and though it’s not what you think should happen when you find your one true love, there were times of war and there was a need for more heirs. Pleasure and war was the part of this world. It’s also a magical story where you read all about God’s bestowing weapons and boons to their follower after stringent tapasyas (meditation).
Narada, the devrishi another important character in their lives, always has stories to tell. He is what you could call, the messenger. He bought stories from Heaven, earth and Hell to convey it to people around. Some learn from it and some don’t. Pradyumna has a tough battle of wills with his brother Samba who hates him. And no matter how much Samba tries to best him, it never happens. He turns frustrated and vows to kill him. Another interesting battle of of Bana, Prahalad’s grandson who wants to take revenge on Vishnu and gets Shiva to grant him the power to be protected by him no matter what. His daughter Usha falls in love with Pradyumna’s son, which is not what Bana wants. The battle goes on and there is just so much uncertainty that it keeps you at your toes. It is difficult to keep the book down here.
The story ends with an anticipation of a second part of the series and you know that the war of Kurus and Pandavas is over and there is lot of desolation around now. Several people he loves were now killed in war and Gandhari is aching with the loss of her children. It is then Krishna meets his fate. The curse “Where all his people will kill each other”, hangs in the air like a bad omen.
What’s good about the book?
It has several little stories hidden to understand why the present is so messed up. And you really get a wider perception of those times
What’s dull about the book?
The battle never stop, it goes on. But if you love the action then this book has the right mixture of fights, weapons and blood for you!
One book you must pick up if you love reading Indian Mythology. The writer has done a commendable job of researching her subject and getting to the basics of writing about Indian Gods and Goddesses.