Thursday, 11 April 2013

The Oath of the Vayuputras by Amish Tripathi – Book Review

Publisher’s write-up:

‘Shiva is gathering his forces. He reaches the Naga capital, Panchavati, and Evil is finally revealed. The Neelkanth prepares for a holy war against his true enemy, a man whose name instils dread in the fiercest warriors.

India convulses under the onslaught of a series of brutal battles. It’s a war for the very soul of the nation. Many will die. But Shiva must not fail, no matter what the cost. In his desperation, he reaches out to the ones who have never offered any help to him: the Vayuputras.

Will he succeed? And what will be the real cost of battling Evil? To India? And to Shiva’s soul?’

The Oath of the Vayuputras is the final book in Amish Tripathi’s Shiva Trilogy. This book too, like The Secret of the Nagas, starts exactly where the prequel stops. So, don’t read this as a stand-alone before reading The Immortals of Meluha or The Secret of the Nagas, the reviews of which are available in this blog.

In this, Shiva’s quest for evil is complete after the reunion with his friend Brahaspati. The reasons for the plague in Branga, the birth of Nagas, had all been brought to light – and the reason is what is said to be the greatest invention – the Somras – the potion which extends the lifespan of a person (I’m not spoiling anything here, it is revealed within the first 40 pages). Shiva decides that Somras is evil and it has to be removed from the world. However, he has obstacles in his way – the actual beneficiary of the potion, the Meluha, doesn’t accept Shiva’s position, and Shiva himself is seen as he was never nominated by the Vayuputras, a tribe who were supposed to choose the Neelkanth. War is inevitable, and it has to be won.

The first thing I could notice in this novel immediately was that Amish’s writing has improved, A LOT. While the language in the first was rather amateurish, and in an attempt to make it better, the second book was highly laboured but the final instalment of the trilogy is natural and the author has largely stopped using modern slang but I’d reiterate that this is only a case of improvement and doesn’t necessarily mean that the language and presentation is noteworthy. Another interesting aspect of it was the global element of it – if you take a present day political map, the story revolves around in India, Pakistan, Iran, Bangladesh and Egypt. Coming to the story as such, the important part of it, the war strategies of both the sides was brought out well. The characters had become complete now and now the reader can easily judge the reaction of a character based on her/his personality, which was one of my major complaints with the first book. I loved the character of Kali in particular, which was somewhere close to my own line of thought, such as her open criticism of paramatma (supreme being / god) owing to the unnecessary suffering of the Nagas for the mistakes of certain Meluhans; I was immediately reminded of Austin Dacey’s fifth argument in favour of atheism and against god, that is, ‘The existence of gratuitous / pointless evil and suffering’. The story got into the crux of the plot, immediately, and that page was well maintained throughout and the only complaint that people could have regarding this is that there was no element of mystery involved, unlike the first two books, nevertheless, it wasn’t devoid of twists and turns. The allusions that the author makes to the Zoroastrians and the Buddhists was also quite interesting, something which most could easily relate to.

This book also had its flaws, starting with Kartik. The kid, I guess, was a six or seven year old at the beginning of this novel and although it is said that he is a prodigy when it comes to wielding the sword, no prodigy could even thinking of leading an army of hundred thousand against a ferocious force. So, his intellectual thoughts and his role are highly inconsistent with his age. Like in all the other books, the excessive usage of the ‘respect pronouns’ such as your highness, my lord/lady, etcetera was quite annoying. The sudden patriotism of Amish was also quite strange, considering how he had started referring to the land as ‘India’ and similar to how the author only referred to west Asia as Mesopotamia and not Iran / Iraq is because these name didn’t exist back then and the same applies for the name, India as well. While I liked the strategies that were formulated for the war, I was disappointed with the actual wars, as each of them, were highly one sided, either in favour of one or the other. Moreover, while the ending was good, but I don’t think any sensible person would regard Shiva as a great person, considering what the means he had employed to attain his ends. The author did a commendable job in covering up most of the loose ends but I found one significant loose end, that is, the murder of Sati’s deceased husband Chandhadwaj. The reasons for the same could be presumed by the reader but, Daksha, while thinking about it personally, comes to a conclusion that he was party to it, but it happened because of an act of omission on his part although the reader is kept in the dark as to what was that omission.

Overall, I enjoyed the novel very much, much more than the previous ones. I don’t consider the Shiva trilogy to be a series per se, rather, the same book broken into three parts and hence, I’d also consider working on a review and a concluding summary of the novel, soon, and the latter would definitely contain spoilers.

The author did suggest his next work towards the end of the novel – a similar genre, based on Mahabharat. If it happens, it would not add versatility to his name, but I do understand that it has the potential to generate a lot more money and I hope he does a good job in writing that book.

Coming to the rating of this book, although this is much better than The Secret of the Nagas, the book still doesn’t deserve a rating of nine. I’d award this an eight on ten.

Rating – 8/10

Have a nice day,



  1. Dude, this is really good. You definitely can reach out for a bigger readership.

    1. Thanks for the feedback. You too are an author with executive powers. So, any suggestions to increase the readership?


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