Review of The Oath of the Vayuputras; Amish Tripathi; Westland Books 2013; pp 565
– Tiya Mary Joshi
Having read The Immortals of Meluha and The Secret of the Nagas, I pre-ordered my copy of the third book in The Shiva trilogy by Amish Tripathi just to complete the series. (The first book was fresh, hence read the second; and the second was waiting for the third book to support it.) So getting down to the book, the cover page definitely is catchy, unlike how I find its contents. The innumerable references to various myths, histories, geographies at the least affirm that the author has done his homework on these quite a bit trying to make it more engrossing (maybe?), but even these doesn’t give enough fuel for the reader to be completely engrossed in the book.
In The Oath of the Vayuputras, the author tells us what the story is going to be about after a buildup of characters and events in the previous ones. Like its predecessors, this book too has its share of explanations on whom and how the characters or stories have come into being. The book shows how excessive good was turning evil, the two being the flip-sides of a coin. It’s filled with its own share of staunch believers, non-believers, the highly moral ones, the opportunists and the familiar lot.
My first question after reading the book was why is it titled so. The Vayuputras don’t make an entry till late in the book, and then too of not much consequence other than giving Shiva the divine astra. If it was in reference to the Neelkanth alone (ignoring the plural in the title), then I have to ask, what oath are we talking about? The destruction of evil? It does seem as if the author was hard pressed to name the book in a hurry.
Three things I like about the book:
First is its detailing, and it is this very same detailing which is the book’s undoing. Too much of anything does no good, right? Second is that the author leaves nothing left as a mysterious magical power, he explains everything in relation to something the reader can relate to. For example, take the divine astras being explained through nuclear fission and fusion for instance. Third, he portrays the characters of the world, and not any unworldly people, with divine powers.
What disappoints me in this book:
More than 500 pages of text in which I find nothing commendable in terms of literary excellence, or a plot, or seamless flow of reading. The details do become a bit too much in the absence of a rock hard plot to complement it. For all the build-up created in the previous two books (the reader keeps on waiting for a good plot to come out), no justice is done to the storyline. It’s like a promise unfulfilled. This is a passable book – read it for only finishing the series.
* The reviewer Tiya, a shaken and not stirred mix… A Chartered Accountant by qualification, ex-Software consultant by earlier employment, Fashion Designer by interest, a baker by love of cakes, an ardent dog lover and an avid reader by hobby… Settled in Bangalore, she runs her own online boutique after having taken a break from her earlier employment. She has her own one-off moments when she will pen down a few lines of poetry and then leave it at that and just go pick up a book to read, mostly Tolkien… (Read that as diehard Tolkien fan)
So isn’t that just shaken and not stirred?