Friday, 30 October 2015

'The Curse of Brahma (Krishna Trilogy #1)' by Jagmohan Bhanver: A Book Review


The man who became a Brahmarishi...
The curse that banished him to the hell of hells...
And the revenge that threatens to destroy the three worlds...

When Lord Brahma, the God of Creation, banishes his star pupil from Swarglok in a fit of rage, he does not foresee that his decision will alter the fate of the three worlds. Mortally wounded, and anguished at Brahma's unfair punishment, his pupil struggles to survive in Tamastamah Prabha, the hell of hells. In time, he becomes the Dark Lord, the most feared figure in Pataal Lok, who swears to destroy Brahma.

The power of the Dark Lord soon begins to make its presence felt in the mortal world. Vasudev, the brave prince of Bateshwar, becomes the hunter of Asura assassins; his closest friend, Kansa, almost dies while trying to save his sister from a group of deadly monsters; and the most valiant kings in Mrityulok turn over to the dark side, driven by forces beyond their control.
Only one person threatens the Dark Lord's well-laid plans - Devki, the beautiful princess of Madhuvan, who is destined to give birth to the warrior Krishna.
Will the Dark Lord allow Krishna - the person who has been prophesied to destroy him - to be born?
Note: I received a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.

I don't usually read Indian fiction - forget Indian mythological fiction - but I was pleasantly surprised by this one. 

Although this book is the first in the Krishna trilogy, it reads more like a prequel, considering the fact that the namesake isn't even born during the course of the story. No, The Curse of Brahma tells us the tale of Amartya "The Dark Lord" Kalyanesu, who goes rogue after being sent to Pataal Lok by his mentor, Brahma. Now seeking revenge, The Dark Lord prepares an army to terrorize the other two worlds to no end... all in the name of 'the greater good'.


Now, I haven't read the original works of Indian mythology at all, but I can say that much of this book isn't historically accurate. And that's fine with me, because this is fiction, after all. However, these changes might upset some people. 

The story is told from varying perspectives. From The Dark Lord to the trinity of Gods to Vasudev and Devki (our resident good guys) to even asuras and other monsters, you get the whole picture of what's going on in each of the three worlds. I wouldn't recommend this style of writing for most genres, because it keeps the reader from bonding with the protagonist, but mythological fiction is too vast to be restricted to one perspective. I do wish, however, that we were given more insight into The Dark Lord's mind. I like to know what the villain is thinking. 


I wasn't that interested in the plot at first. It took me a while to understand what was going on - much of the story is revealed in bits and pieces, which makes for a slightly slower read - but then the book got very interesting. Vicious attacks, marriage proposals, death threats, murder attempts, actual murders... yeah, I'm not sure why I didn't try mythology before.

However, there are quite a few punctuation and syntax errors, and you Geeks know how annoying it is when legitimately published books haven't been proofread properly. Plus, some of the characters use illogical phrases now and then. For example, one of the warriors insulted an asura during battle by asking him to "burn in hell". Yeah, asuras live in hell already. 


The book ends right when the story gets started, probably to garner interest for the sequel. The reader is left hanging, wondering how and when Krishna's birth will change the face of mankind forever. 

I'm going to go with 3.5 stars out of 5 for this one.
The Curse of Brahma is interesting, engaging and downright hilarious quite often. It's a fair attempt for a first-time author, the grammar mistakes notwithstanding. 

Geeks, are you a fan of mythological fiction? I haven't read this genre before, but now I'm seriously considering it. I have high hopes for the second book in the Krishna trilogy, and I do hope Rupa publications finds a better proofreader. Otherwise, I'm always up for some editing. 
... Just kidding. Not.


If you have any book suggestions for me, then head straight to the comment box! I'm always looking for new reads. Any review requests would be appreciated, too.  

Bye-bye! :)

2 comments:

  1. Hey, I suggest reading Ajaya: The Roll of the Dice by Anand Neelakantan. It's the Mahabharata told from Duryodhana's point of view. It's really well-written, you might like it :) Anyway, I've been reading this genre for the past two months avidly, I love reading about these epics from other people's point of views...I'm yet to read this, though; hope to do so soon!
    -
    Sound
    (theparadoxicanomaly.blogspot.com)

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    Replies
    1. Ooh! Sounds interesting. I'll add it to my TBR pile immediately. :D

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