The Immortals of Meluha. Book Review

220px-The_Immortals_Of_MeluhaTHE IMMORTALS OF MELUHA by Amish

Jo Fletcher Books, p/b, £8.99

Reviewed by Elloise Hopkins

The land is torn with strife. Terrorist attacks and threat of war prevent peaceful existence and now the Nagas, an outcast race of deformed peoples, are allying themselves with the Chandravanshis. The great river is drying up and the Suryavanshi rulers, like their enemies, place all their hopes of survival on an ancient prophecy. One will come and destroy evil.

Shiva is the head of his tribe. Ordinarily he uses Marijuana to relax but now he seeks answers. A foreigner came and told him about Meluha and all that the empire could offer. It is a paradise, he said. The approach of his enemies makes Shiva’s decision for him. He leads his tribe to Meluha and finds it to be every bit as luxurious, civilised and advanced as he was led to believe. It is a paradise indeed, on the surface, but soon talk of a prophecy that revolves around Shiva puts a darker taint on his new life.

The introduction in this book introduces us to the main character and tells us the book is a tribute to Lord Shiva and the lessons he teaches us. Indeed there are many moral lessons in here – not to judge or make assumptions, that good and bad are not clear definitions, that there are always two sides to every story and there is always balance.

Originally published in India, and a big seller at that, The Immortals of Meluha brings a tale that is steeped in India’s culture and belief system. Anyone interested in mythology, religion, and fantasy set in a different location to the norm will enjoy this.

This first book in the trilogy follows Shiva’s journey as the prophecy begins to play out. It moves in a linear fashion and although the story focuses mostly on Shiva, a roaming point of view does occasionally briefly place the focus on other characters, both allies and antagonists.

Amish uses chapter endings to best advantage employing cliff-hangers and introducing new characters or elements at the end of chapters to entice the reader to continue on.  Coupled with the very fast pace the story moves at, this makes for an easy and enjoyable read. The downside is that the level of detail and plot complexity is less than we have come to expect in modern fantasy and its natural rhythm is at times stilted.