This novel picks up from where The Immortals of Meluha ended, in the garden of Ramajanmabhoomi Temple in Ayodhya. The Nagas have killed Brihaspati and are now after Sati. Shiva wants to punish the Nagas to avenge the killing of his dear friend. Shiva travels all across India, in search of the demonic serpent people, the Nagas. Will he able to find them and punish them? Are the Nagas really evil? Who exactly are the Naga people? Is everything as clear as it seems? What happens at the Maika? These are some of the questions that the author attempts to answer in the second edition of the Shiva Trilogy.
New characters like Ganesh, Kartik and Kali are introduced into the plot. Old alliances are broken and new ones are forged. Friends turn enemies and enemies surprisingly become friends and guides in this suspense-dripping novel. Readers get to know what happens at the Maika and how Naga progeny, the children born with physical and mental deformities, are thrown away from the kingdom of Meluha.
The relation between Sati and the Nagas is revealed in an interesting manner, which leaves the readers awestruck. The love story of Anandamayi and Parvateshwar adds a romantic angle to this nail-biting thriller. The story of Parasuram, a Brahmin warrior, and how he helps Shiva to look for the Nagas is gripping to say the least.
Amish is well versed in the subject. He tries to add a modern touch to the well-known Shiva Purana. He uses everyday English to make the book enjoyable for the regular masses. He has done a commendable job in keeping the suspense in the plot and revealing only what is required at a time. The sequel is as good as the first book, with the only difference being that this one is more loaded in suspense and nail-biting moments than the first one. More characters are introduced into the plot and some unbelievable revelations are made to startle the readers.
However, the plot contains some loose ends, which hopefully will be addressed in the last installment of the trilogy. Certain conversations between different characters are too lengthy for the reader’s liking. The presence of a number of characters in the story makes it difficult for the readers unfamiliar with the Shiva Purana, to keep up with the fast-paced nature of the plot.
The Secret of the Nagas is a 383-page paperback novel. The contents are arranged into twenty-three chapters. Each chapter unfolds several mysteries of the good and the evil. Viewers are forced to contemplate whether good and evil exist separately or are they the two sides of the same coin. The author touches upon certain Hindu philosophies like karma, loyalty and devotion, among others, without sounding too preachy.
The ancient map of India on the first page, helps the readers get an idea about the location of the different kingdoms mentioned in the story. The glossary at the end enables the readers to understand certain Sanskrit and Hindi terms used in the novel.
The Secret of the Nagas is, quite easily, worthy of a four-star rating. Despite a few loose ends, this novel makes for an interesting reading. At times, the literary language borders on the trite. However, its characters stay on with you long after you have finished reading the book, and it is fairly hard to resist thinking about what the third and final edition has in store for Shiva and his tribe.
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