Fantasy

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Book Review : Harappa – The Curse Of The Blood River

Published August 29, 2017 by vishalvkale

The fantasy genre seems to be the in-thing for Indian writers nowadays; we have seen a series of books around this theme, a few having reached my blog as well. This is in keeping with a rising trend among Indians, a fascination for our past – which  has both positive as well as negative overtones and ramifications. One of the positives is the emerging trend of fiction writing using our past as a backdrop; this is a significant factor, as these writings influence the public to seek more of the truth, as well as get regarded by some as based on truth.
Written By Vineet Bajpai

That is why it is incumbent on the authors who are indulging in this genre to be as close to the truth as it is feasible for them to be – and give a proper bibliography at the end of such  books so that fact can be separated from “literary licence” – that is, the padding used by the author to flesh out the story. East or west, most writers {save one} have failed on this score; they just neglect to give a proper bibliography or notes so that readers can, if interested, look up the reality. This book fails on only one point – the absence of end-notes giving links or book references to sources of facts. That has cost it one star.
THE BOOK
Harappa – The Curse Of The Blood River by Vineet Bajpai is a fantasy novel {I wont label it as Historical Fiction} that is based on The Sindhu-Saraswati Civilization, and the mythical Aryan Invasion Theory {fed to us as gospel}, and their modern ramifications. The story is told in two parts – one from 1700 BC, and the other from modern India, with a strong connecting thread. The ancient story tells the sequence of events that lead to the destruction of Harappa, and the modern one takes off from there, dealing with its implications, effects and resultant conspiracies arising from the ancient event.

In the ancient part, the story is that of a Demi-God, who is targeted and destroyed by jealous rivalry in the city of Harappa, and how he rises from the ashes to swear revenge on the city and its people; it is the story of naked greed and ambition. The modern part deals with his descendant, who is fabled to be his re-incarnation, and how he deals with his legacy; for the ancient tale has left a curse that will be fulfilled, and a secret that cannot  be unveiled – which has managed to garner significant interest among powerful modern vested interests and sects / groups. The problem is that the modern vested interests have powerful backing, even more powerful weapons and the will to use them to kill the current Demi-God, a reluctant Demi-God who is now a digital expert, top Industrialist, and ultra modern to boot!
THE ANALYSIS
First-  the classification; I place this as Fantasy due to the treatment of main characters as Demi-Gods, and there being small but significant differences from the truth of The Sindhu-Saraswati that make it less of historical fiction, and more of fantasy. That said – the overall gist, rather 80-90% of the basis is factual. For example, The AMT, and its rebuttal is reasonably correct; as is the fictionalization of our history, which isn’t limited to The Sindhu-Saraswati, and many other points. The Sindhu Saraswati Civilization had started declining from 2500BC, and was dead by 1900BC, whereas the timelines uses 1700 BC. Next, The Sindhu-Saraswati was decimated by creeping drought, unlike as stated in this book.
That said – let me be clear, some of this research on which I have based the above facts is still only the preliminary stage findings, and need peer review; some of it is still being actively researched and so on; in light of that, the author is perfectly within his rights to take literary leeway for the creation of a story.  This will also have the benefit of kindling the desire to read up on that time in us, thus overall, it is a good thing that these historical fiction and fantasy novels are being written!
Coming to the book – this is an excellent tome; a superb edge-of-the-seat spell binding pace has been kept throughout the book. You will desperately want to skip to the end to see how it turns out, and yet – the pull of the narrative is compelling, preventing you from doing so. The author has used an interleaving style – having a chapter from ancient as well as modern storylines alternating; this is actually a good style, as it adds to the suspense as each chapter ends at a cliff-hanger, leaving you wanting for more – but then you go into the other storyline, which is also on a cliffpoint!
Overall, I rate this book 4 stars, and a very richly deserved 4 stars at that. This is an excellent piece of fiction – and it also avoids the vulgarity totally. The story is well put together, without any holes that I could spot; the entire plot comes together as one whole quite convincingly. There are no needless detours : almost everything written is relevant, making for a very taut narrative and flawless flow. The various characters stay within the prescribed plots, and the story draws you in, making for good entertainment and a great read! 

“This Book Review/Interview is a part of The Readers Cosmos Book Review Program and Book Promotions” to know more log on to http://thereaderscosmos.blogspot.in/.”

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