Title: The Conspiracy At Meru
Author: Shatrujeet Nath
Publisher: Jaico Publishing House
Not every book in a series is awaited with bated breath by readers. Especially not those that don’t live up to the promise of the initial installment(s). While writing a series, the mistake that most writers make is that for the furtherance of their story, they either tone down the first installment while planning mostly for the next ones. If not, after having written the first book, they flounder. Obviously, the second book falls way back in its deliverance — particularly if the series was an afterthought. Fortunately for us, Shatrujeet Nath made no such mistake. The pro that he is, Nath has given his readers only the very best from his caddy.
This latest installment in the Vikramaditya Veergatha series picks up the story so far told seamlessly. There’s no hiccup and it’s more like turning the next chapter albeit a year and a half later. (Not for me though. I read both the books back to back. Lucky me!)
The deadly Halahala weapon — created from the same poison that Lord Shiva had swallowed during the churning of the Ocean of Milk — still lies with its guardian Vikramaditya, a mortal chosen by the Lord himself. The battle between humans, Devas and Asuras has left Vikramaditya’s kingdom weakened and vulnerable. Moreover, both Indra and Shukracharya are not yet done in their quest for the deadly weapon. Amidst all this chaos the kingdoms of Magadha and Heheya present another set of complication for the protagonist. Not one to step down, Vikramadithya and his council of nine go around helping with damage control. They try to gather support, heal the wounded, and train the samsaptakas.
But not all is grim and bloody. There’s a chance for a sweet love story to blossom amidst the bloodshed. It almost comes as a relief between the ongoing tensions. The best thing is that this relationship between Vikramaditya and his lady doesn’t seem fabricated. It’s not the writer’s desperate attempt at holding the reader’s interest. Love can, and does, bloom at the most unexpected of circumstances.
Nath keeps Vikramaditya busy falling in love with Vishakha, battling the evil Asuras, keeping the Devas at bay, and still finding the courage to counter Shoorasena and Satyaveda’s agenda in this romp that rivals masters of the genre for inventive, magical storytelling. The story zips along with thrilling and action packed scenes, culminating in the perfect stage for the next adventure in a brand new book.
Newcomers to the series will race back to the first volume and eagerly await a third installment.
About the Author:
Door-to-door salesman, copywriter, business journalist and assistant editor at the Economic Times, Shatrujeet Nath was all this before he took to writing fiction full-time. He debuted with the Karachi Deception in 2013, followed by the Guardians of the Halahala and the Conspiracy at Meru, the first two books in the Vikramaditya series. At present, he is writing volume three of the series. Shatrujeet lives in Mumbai, but spends much of his time in the fantasy worlds of his stories. He can also be found at facebook.com/Shatrujeet Nath.
I'd like to thank the author for letting me review the book. I do hope you end up liking the book when you read it. Thank you so much for stopping by, and happy reading!
* I received a review copy from the author in exchange for an honest review.
** Picture courtesy: Amazon.in