Sunday, 29 July 2012

The Secret of the Nagas by Amish Tripathi - Book Review

Author: Amish Tripathi
Genre: Fantasy
Rating: 7/10

Publisher's write-up:

'The hunt is on. The sinister Naga warrior has killed his friend Brahaspati and now stalks his wife Sati. Shiva, the Tibetan immigrant who is the prophesied destroyer of evil, will not rest till he finds his demonic adversary. His vengeance and the path to evil will lead him to the door of the Nagas, the serpent people. Of that he is certain.

The evidence of the malevolent rise of evil is everywhere. A kingdom is dying as it is held to ransom for a miracle drug. A crown prince is murdered. The Vasudevs – Shiva's philosopher guides – betray his unquestioning faith as they take the aid of the dark side. Even the perfect empire, Meluha is riddled with a terrible secret in Maika, the city of births. Unknown to Shiva, a master puppeteer is playing a grand game.

In a journey that will take him across the length and breadth of ancient India, Shiva searches for the truth in a land of deadly mysteries – only to find that nothing is what it seems.

Fierce battles will be fought. Surprising alliances will be forged. Unbelievable secrets will be revealed in this second book of Shiva Trilogy, the sequel to the #1 national bestseller, The Immortals of Meluha.'

The Secret of the Nagas is the sequel to The Immortals of Meluha, in the Shiva Trilogy of Amish Tripathi. Although it is called a sequel, I wouldn't exactly put it like that; rather, I'd just say that the author has just split the same story into two books as The Secret of the Nagas starts from exactly where The Immortals of Meluha had its last full stop. Before you go any further, I'd advise you to not read this review in case you haven't read the prequel.


After Swadweep's defeat in the war against Meluha, after meeting some of the people at its capital, Ayodhya, Shiva realises that the Chandravanshis (Swadweepans) are not evil and is convinced that it is the Nagas who are evil and his battle is against them. Shiva seeks vengeance against the Nagas for it was a Naga attack on Mount Mandar in Meluha which led to the death of Brahaspati the scientist and also Shiva's close friend. Nagas are those born to human with strange deformities and are mercilessly abandoned in the lands to the south of the Narmada river by Suryavanshis and Chandravanshis alike. Shiva goes to different places in Swadweep in search of the Naga who led the attack at Mount Mandar along with the Meluhan army general Parvateshwar and the Swadweepan prince Bhagirath.

This book could effectively be termed as a travelogue of Shiva around Swadweep. I liked the plot in this, far better than that of its prequel along with interesting twists and turns combined with the picturesque descriptions of the places in Swadweep. It maintained a much higher pace than that of its prequel making it somewhat a page-turner. Despite the fact that the characters from the prequel are still as lousy as they were, the newly introduced ones such as Prince Bhagirath and the bandit Parshuram have been slightly better who are unlike the highly one sided characters of the prequel.

On the flip side, what I said about for The Immortals of Meluha holds good here as well, such as the highly inappropriate dialogues and a pointless romantic sub-plot. The moment Sati and Shiva got married, I had thought that the romance in this trilogy had come to an end but little did I realise that the author would introduce a pointless one between Princess Anandmayi and General Parvateshwar. Besides, I found it frustrating that hardly anyone is referred to by their name, it is either 'My lord' or 'your highness' all the time.

On a side note, I felt that Amish has probably started anticipating a film considering the popularity of his work since it had everything that a common Indian expects in a film, heroic acts from the protagonists, a battle and romance (just for the sake of it, like in the case of most Indian action films).


This was better than The Immortals of Meluha, for sure, maintaining a far greater pace, a far better story and with good twists. What wasn't corrected after the first book won't be changed for the final book, I'm sure and the dialogues would remain lousy with the usage of modern Indian slang. This is a good read provided you've read the first book and since it is slightly better than the prequel, it also gets a slightly better rating, seven.

Have a nice day,

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