Saturday, August 20, 2011

Book Review: THE SECRETS OF THE NAGAS by Amish

The mind did work that maybe the author had been first time lucky and that I should not expect as much from this sequel. Well, I had my mind changed for me...

This is the second book in The Shiva Trilogy, the first one being The Immortals of Meluha. This is also the second book written by the author, Amish.

What is the book about? (This is from the website

Shiva’s hunt for the Naga who killed his friend Brahaspati and targeted his wife Sati, takes him down India’s major river networks, searching for traitors and seeking allies in his war against evil. But evil is rising again, more potent than ever. A whole nation is dying. Another, suffering for no fault of its own. Everyone is suspect: new friends, old allies and even his philosopher guides. At every corner, Shiva finds evidence of Naga activity. A crown prince is murdered. A people held to ransom for a miracle drug made only by the Nagas.

Shiva’s journey takes him across the length and breadth of Swadweep, to the land of the Brangas and further south, deep into the Dandak forest. Shiva searches for the truth in a land of deadly mysteries – only to find that nothing is what it seems.

Book 2 of the Shiva trilogy takes up from the point where Shiva is dashing to save Sati at the end of The Immortals of Meluha. Does he succeed? His archenemy seems to be winning every encounter. All Shiva knows for sure is that the Chandravanshis aren’t evil. But then, neither are the Suryavanshis. So who or what is evil? And who is the mysterious Naga that stalks his family? What does he want? What is The Secret of the Nagas?

What’s my take on it?

Amish Tripathi’s first book was The Immortals of Meluha. It was simply superb! What one would tend assume is that:

1. Maybe Amish Tripathi was first time lucky
2. He had said all he had to say in the first book
3. Amish had worked out a special genre by weaving together mythology and history and surprised everyone in his first book. What more could be special in the second one?
4. Yeah, there could be more mystery and more wars – so what will be different in this one?

Well, you have to read the book to find out. I was totally zapped. I went back to my college days (that of course, was eons ago) when I used to stay up late into the night, reading books that I simply could not put down. Somehow, that trend had stopped as I took on more responsibilities as a wife, mother and a full-time employee. After two-and-a-half decades, I stayed up till 3 am to complete the book as I just could not put it down without finishing it.

Before reading the book, I seriously wondered what more the author could have to astonish, amaze or hold one’s interest. It seemed that he had said it all in the first book.

Reading the book made me understand differently. It just shows the wealth of imagination Amish has and his story-telling skills don’t waver at all as he fascinates us with more characters – will not mention names here as the book has been out for barely a week – and incidents that are spellbinding.

It’s amazing the way Amish weaves characters and incidents from mythology along with perfectly acceptable, workable incidents in everyday life in 1900 BC and presents the perfect product, not a thread out of place. Swadweep, Brangaidai, Dandakaranya Forests and Panchavati spring to life in front of our eyes under the author’s able guidance.

I don’t think I should say any more – worried what I might let out to the readers.

I need to mention here that the cover art is beautiful with an abrasive snake held tightly curled around Shiva's left arm. Loved this one!

Way to go Amish! Looking forward to the third and final book of the trilogy and more and more in the future!


  1. Wow - getting the books soon and can't wait to read. Again, very well written review Sundari as always!


  2. Here is my review of the book:

  3. Hi...i also liked the books very much...cant wait for the third to be out soon!!:)

  4. hmm, i did not want to read your review until i laid my hands on the book! what a book it is
    Right from the book cover, everything is deadly about the book. I loved the way he described Ganges delta and Sundarbans! Yeah like to say he is just too good a writer!

  5. Hello ..I hope you don't mind. I linked your review on my blog post.

  6. @Swapna
    not at all! thanks :)
    you have a nice blog. checked that out too