Friday, 31 July 2015

Book Review: Rise of the grey prince (The Saga of Agni) Book #2

Book: Rise of the Grey Prince (Saga of Agni)
Author: Arka Chakrabarti
Publisher: Srishti Publishers
Genre: Fantasy/Fiction
Pages: 213
Price: 150 INR

Blurb: That cursed night at Nisarga had revealed the true reason behind his father's sacrifice and his own dark past. Each revelation now draws Agni into the sublime world of secrets. With Vrish and Guru Sidak by his side, fighting the daggers from the past and winning over the opponents of the present, somewhere deep down, he knows that his journey has just begun. 
The other scarred prince walks the ashes of his reality. Haunted by the glimpses of truth the same night, Yani had but one choice to survive. His unknowing steps, trapped in cruel games of ancient powers had led him to a truth, a truth which shall mould a good man in the clay of misfortune, hate and lust. 
Such is the world of Gaya and thus shall be the Rise of the Grey Prince the one torn between the darkness of evil and a lone ray of hope.

My Rating: 3.75/5

My Review: 

The Saga of Agni has totally managed to captivate me, the moment I started reading the 1st book of the series "The Secrets of the Dark". The earlier book ended at a very interesting juncture where Agni got to know about the dark secrets of his life.

Read my review of The Secrets of the Dark here

"The Rise of the Grey Prince" is the second book of the series, which started from the place the 1st book ended. Therefore, to read this book, people must read the 1st book else the incidents will fail to make an impact in the reader's mind.

"The Rise of the Grey Prince" is a dark, bewitching thriller with frequent twists and turns. The author has woven the story of Agni with such panache and skill that reading the two books back to back can almost transport you to the fictitious world of Gaya which is full of secrets, prophecies and mysteries. Every single character in this book has a dark mystery within him or her.

Agni, the son of King Arkansas finally reaches the kingdom of Leu located in the Land of the Setting Sun to fulfill his destiny. He meets Lysandra, the Princess of Leu. From there on, the flashback starts and we are taken to the juncture where the first book ended.

The book is all about how Agni manages to reach the Land of the Setting Sun from the Land of the Rising Sun along with his best friend, Vrish and Guru Sidak. The journey is full of adventure and thrills that keeps the reader hooked to the book for example, the place in the book where Guru Sidak cleverly killed Girish and put the blame on Marut.  

Parallel to Agni's journey, we also get to know about how Yani's life unfolds after Agni and he parted ways. Yani, the Prince of Himadri and Agni's childhood friend gets to know about the things that were kept concealed from him. Feeling bruised and battered, he embarks on a fresh, new journey, but unfortunately gets trapped in some ugly games. 

The book ends at a very interesting juncture after Agni met Lysandra. I really cannot wait to read the next book of the series, which I am sure would be more spine chilling and engrossing. 

The only drawback of the book is the several characters included in it, which can confuse the readers. I had to look at the last page of the book which had the character summary many times in the course of reading the book. Apart from this, there is no such flaw in the book. 

The narration is wonderful and the flow of the story is very interesting. The author has done a great job in the 1st 2 books of Saga of Agni and I am looking forward to read the next book of the series.

I recommend the Saga of Agni to all the fantasy thriller lovers. 

Wednesday, 8 July 2015

Book Review: The Secrets of the Dark (The Saga of Agni)

Book: The Secrets of the Dark (The Saga of Agni)
Author: Arka Chakrabarti
Publisher: Srishti Publishers
Genre: Fantasy/ Fiction
Pages: 342
Price: 195 INR

Blurb: Is one born with his destiny or does he forge it?
 In the mystical land of Gaya, two prophecies bind the fate of men and empires alike. The Destroyer born from the royal seed on the Land of the Setting Sun shall bring the empires down, or so has been foretold. 
In between the Destroyer and the world stand the Seven Guardians of Gaya, guarding the realm of man. A king, a father, defies the Seven and fate itself to save the last drop of his blood and prince Agni grows in the Land of the Rising Sun, exiled from his own people, unaware of his past. 
Losing the woman he loved most to the shadows in the dark, Agni is thrown into a whirlpool of events that he neither knows, nor understands. His quest for vengeance brings him to the doorstep of a secret that will shatter the very foundation of beliefs of a world. 
Can Agni avert his destiny? Can he uncover the truth about the Seven and the prophecies, now hidden behind a veil of ignorance? 
The secrets of the dark are sometimes so terrible that they are better left unsaid.

My Rating: 4/5

My Review: 

The Secrets of the Dark is the first book in The Saga of Agni series and as eminent from the title, the book deals with innumerable secrets, prophecies, mysteries that would provide you with frequent doses of thrills from page to page.

A great thriller is the one which manages to keep you on your toes and author, Arka Chakrabarti has penned an extremely successful book in this regard. As you turn the pages of the book, the story becomes more and more gripping and you find yourself lost in the fictional land of Gaya, which is divided into two continents: The Land of the Rising Sun and The Land of the Setting Sun. 

The story begins with Agni's birth, the hero of our story who is born in the Land of the Setting Sun in a kingdom called Athena to King Arkansas. According to tradition, a son is never allowed to born in the Land of the Setting Sun as according to a prophecy, the Destroyer would be born in the Land of the Setting Sun and would grow up in the Land of the Rising Sun. Due to this prophecy, no prince is permitted to live as the Abode of the Seven lives in the fear of the emergence of the Destroyer. As you can guess, Agni is that Destroyer, who survives as his father, King Arkansas sacrifices his life to protect Agni from the Abode of Seven. 

This prophecy would surely remind readers of the life of Lord Krishna who was born in one place and allowed to grow up in another, due to a similar prophecy. It can be clearly understood that the author has been highly inspired from mythology and folklore which helped him to weave this intriguing tale. 

Coming back to this tale, Agni grows up in Himadri, which is located in the Land of the Rising Sun under King Adhirath and Briksha, the merchant. Agni's best friend is Vrish, Briksha's son and the love of his life is Malini, Briksha's daughter. His life is filled with bliss and serenity until the day a tragedy occurs, taking away the lives of Briksha and Malini in a flash. Just before Malini closes her eyes forever, she gives a hint to Agni about her killer. And thus, Agni embarks on a difficult journey to find the murderer of Malini and Briksha. 

There are several twists and turns in the book which would leave you speechless. Especially the last few pages of the book are nail biting. The best part of the book is undoubtedly the climax, which leaves the reader thrilled, satisfied and happy. The second best thing are the characters in the book which would stay with you, even after you finish reading the book. The characters of Agni, Vrish, Yani, Lysandra and Prince Drake are brilliantly sketched. The language is lucid and the flow of the story is smooth.

On the flip side, there are times when the pace of the book gets a little slow, especially in the first half of the book but nevertheless the book gains its momentum as it progresses. 

Here are some quotes from the book which I found very impressive:

There is a thin line between right and wrong and sometimes it is blurred. That leaves the one in a predicament.

"When you are facing one enemy, how many are you facing and whom do you need to defeat first?" the voice was ringing in his ears.
"Two, and firstly I must defeat the fear in my heart." whispered Agni to himself and there was a smile on his face.

If you love fantasy and if you are fond of thriller, then this is a perfect book to laze around in the monsoons with a steaming cup of coffee.

P.S. I just started with the next book in the Saga of Agni series, Rise of the Grey Prince. Will post the review soon.