Friday, December 11, 2015

Book Review: Soul Warrior (The Age of Kali #1) by Falguni Kothari


Book: Soul Warrior (The Age of Kali #1)

Author: Falguni Kothari

No. of Pages: 404

Genre: Fiction

Publisher: Falguni Kothari (seems like self-published)

The book blurb reads thus …

Twisted myths. Discretion advised. Fight fate, or succumb to destiny? 

In the dark Age of Kali, the Soul Warrior alone stands guard over the Human Realm, protecting its denizens from evil-willed asuras or demons. When a trick of fate appoints him guru to a motley crew of godlings, he agrees to train them as demon hunters against his better judgment. Suddenly, Lord Karna is not only battling the usual asuras with sinister agendas, but also rebellious students and a fault-ridden past.Spanning the cosmic realms of mythic India, here is a tale of a band of supernatural warriors who come together over a singular purpose: the salvation of Karna’s secret child.

It was definitely an interesting blurb but I was already suffering from a Mahabharata overload, having read Sharat Komarraju’s Hastinapur series (2 books) and some related short story collections. So, I actually skipped this one but luckily I did decide to read/review this one … why u ask ??

Because it was fugging awesome !!  (and if you are wondering what the hell is ‘fugging’ and why would I use it here in this particular review, you got to read the book)

I enjoyed reading every bit of this novel and would probably be the first time that I actually connected to the author on twitter and told her how much I was enjoying her work. Even asked her when the subsequent books in the series were coming up. 

Coming back to the book, the author has taken up a very refreshing writing style for the book. 

From the plot point of view, there are surprises in the book, Several of them, spread across the book ... and the way the author reveals the suspense in an off-hand matter-of-fact manner, it almost shocks you into stopping to read and say to yourself ... "Damn .. didn't see that coming" In short ... superbly written.  

The book is NOT mythological. It is set in modern day ... in the present times. What the author has done is take some characters from our Indian mythology and bring them to the present times (along with some 'new' characters'). 

The protagonist, Karna, is modernized. His portrayal as the cool-dude badass warrior is what I liked most and the introduction of the 'new' characters enhances the modernism and makes the whole take extremely enjoyable. 

The interaction between the various characters in the story is enjoyable and you look forward to their interactions more than the action inherent in the story. The other protagonist of the story is Draupadi. While Karna is still in his element, although modernized, you discover a completely different Draupadi here.

The supporting cast of Lavya and Ash along with the teens has done their job well of bolstering up the story-telling. And yeah, how can I forget the cool-dude Yama (God of Death) and the legendary Baitaal (from the Vikram-Baital stories, although nothing to do with Mahabharata). These and a couple of other character add to the colorful landscape of the story-telling. Kudos to the author.

I could probably go on and on about how wonderful the book is and one proof is also that I recommended the book as a 'must read' and 'immediate read' to my best friend who shares the passion of reading with me. 

It was a delightful read indeed and I will eagerly look forward to the next part in the series, to the extent that I tweeted to the author encouraging her to make that quick J


Ratings on Book Review Parameters:
Cover Design:  4.0 / 5
Writing Style:  4.5 / 5 
Characters:     4.5 / 5
Story / Plot:     4.0 / 5
Climax:             3.5 / 5
Overall:           4.0 / 5

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