This book which is the sequel to “The Immortals of Meluha” takes off where the first book ends. Shiva wants to hunt down the Nagas, especially the one who has killed his dear friend Brahaspathi. And to make matters worse this Naga has also been stalking Sati. A clue left behind by the Naga points Shiva to the Brangas who reside in the religious temple town of Kasi. The hunt for the Nagas takes Shiva and his faithful warriors to the religious temple town of Kasi only to discover that the Brangas have allied with the Nagas in order to survive; they rely heavily upon the magic medicine manufactured at the Naga capital of Panchavati! To top it off the recipe for the magic medicine is known only to one other man, the bandit Parashuram. In an effort to eliminate the Nagas, Shiva sets off with the Brangas to search for Parashuram while Sati remains at Kasi to take care of their son Karthik and provide council to the king of Kasi who seems to be hiding his own secrets.
From here on the search for the Nagas leads Shiva and Sati through the jungles of India in order to discover the truth and the secret of the Nagas. What is it about the Nagas that make them the savior to some and monsters to others?
The pace of this book is much quicker compared to the first. Shiva swears less 🙂 and we start witnessing the growth of the Shiva into a wiser man along with his growing fondness for Kasi. This book sees the birth of “Karthik” the son of Shiva and Sati and the mystery behind what was once Sati’s Vikarma status is also revealed. Was the death of her first husband a mere accident or a planned execution? Was her first son a still born or is he still alive? What is her father, the emperor of India – King Daksha trying to hide?
The readers are also introduced to the Queen of the Nagas and the Lord of the people, Kali and Ganesh. The author tries to explain their complicated status in life due to the practices of the the times and the even more confounding connections with the emperor of India. To be honest this was the most interesting part of the book. The rest of the book details wars, battles, the search for the bandit Parasuram and more. The budding relationship between Karthik and Ganesh as the latter struggles with Shiva for acceptance is also very beautifully described.
A predominant topic that rears its head through out the book is discrimination among the citizens of the country. In the days of yore, those born in a deformed manner were discriminated as Nagas and were banished from the kingdom. It is also seen how the emperor secretively tries to favor his own family before the needs of his country men, a direct contrast to the laws of Dharma. What is more ironical is how these practices continue till this date 😦 The saving grace of this issue is the way Shiva and Sati fight the demons of discrimination, favoritism and ignorance reuniting their family in the process…
An interesting read and good sequel! Go for it if you survived the first book 🙂