[Image courtesy: Deccan Chronicle]

Publisher: Penguin
Language: English
ISBN: 9780143423638
Pages: 384
Price: INR 399

Re-imaginings of Indian mythology are the latest fad with Indian fiction writing and these books are more often a miss than a hit. So, you can understand my reluctance to pick up this book to read. But surprisingly, once I started reading ‘Warrior’ by Olivier Lafont, I was quite surprised, and happily so!

WarriorThe ‘Warrior’ is the story of the last of the demigods on earth who though living on earth among the mortals have powers beyond imagination, so much that they are forced to abide to a covenant to never misuse or publicly display their powers lest the acceptable norms of humans be in jeopardy. The book begins with Saam, a simple watch repairer, sitting on the streets of Bombay. And suddenly, instead of the monsoon, there is an icy blizzard in the streets of Bombay. The End of the Days is predicted and all seems lost. Saam, who is then revealed to be the son of the Destroyer, Shiva becomes the reluctant hero. And then, an unlikely group is formed to save the word. Will they succeed and who is the real villain is the question.

Olivier has managed to weave together mythology and science very well, demarcating each with fine lines and yet ensuring that they tie in together. The book is extremely graphic and the sequences are well described, making you feel as though you are watching a movie in front of you. There are various elements put in the book, be it the themes of love, loss, crimes, brotherhood, parenthood, society etc or the on-goings of the book itself, which takes you all across the world and into other worlds as well. It is definitely well thought out and structured. There are numerous elements and adventures packed in to this book, that it seems like a series by itself. The most interesting part of the book for me was definitely the travel in the Ship of the Multiverse that takes the team across to various different parallel worlds.

The characters are well etched out, each with their own purpose and quirks. Each character is shown as a shade of grey and not as black and white. That is definitely the most interesting part of the book. And this is furthered by the re-explanation of the Mahabharata, where Fazal, a scholar argues that the great epic is most definitely not about good and evil and tries to put a new spin on the tale.

The main negative of the book that really hit me was the length. At various points, I felt my interest wavering as the scenes seemed repetitive or unnecessary. The author could have cut down on various action scenes and dialogues and made the story more crisp and edgy.

But all-in-all, this was a very entertaining read, with much to offer on various fronts – be it the mythology, the science or the lessons.

Rating: 8/10

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