The Vishnu Chronicles: The Hunt for Rama’s Bow
Author: Suhail Mathur
Format: Kindle Edition
Publisher: Om Books International
Paperback: 310 pages
Genre-fiction, mythology, current events
Most of us who have grown on a steady diet of Amar Chitra Kathas, and Indian mythology stories have a fair idea about the events that transpired in Ramayana and Vishnu Puran. But not many of us can apply the relevance of those stories to the contemporary world or justify them in the context of history, culture, international affairs, and natural calamities.
Mathur weaves an intricate plot tucking fascinating anecdotes from mythology into the narrative. Mind you, each of these stories is, in fact, an answer to the riddles that the protagonists encounter.
The way Mathur conjures up puzzles and their solutions make for a delightful and thrilling reading experience.
Mohan, a young history student, finds himself pursued by a mysterious veiled entity. Cryptic notes mentioning the presence of a previously nonexistent grandfather and an illustrious lineage complicate the matters further. Accompanied by his best buddy Raj, Mohan undertakes a journey to mystic Sahastrapur, believed once to be part of the legendary city of Ayodhya.
However, Mohan has no idea about the unrivaled magic, otherworldliness, and sweeping fantasy that awaits him in the remote hamlet.
In the sleepy village Sahastrapur, young Mohan is entrusted with an immense task by his terminally ill grandfather, Ekashringa, that involves waging war against a tyrannical king Dasavankoka. Powered by the boon of immortality by none other than lord Shiva and residing at the top of 500 feet mountain, the evil king and his cronies seem invincible and unreachable.
However, undeterred by the impossibility of the whole venture, Mohan embarks on a perilous journey across the lands to the forbidden kingdom of Dasvanakoka to rescue a princess and foil the Dark Lord in his evil purpose. Newfound companions, ancient exotic advisors, and tacit clues from Indian sacred scriptures aid his spirited expeditions.
The narrative is a nod to the epic Ramayana and Vishnu Purana. Bolstered by otherworldly objects and characters like the sacred sword of the Maratha ruler, Shivaji—Bhawani, the celestial gatekeeper—Jay and Vijay, Taraka’s Forest, cursed celestial nymphs, Shabri’s sacred ber serve tangible keys to resolve issues that boggle the daredevil, Mohan.
Raj, Mohan’s best friend, provides comic relief with his cheeky quips and lowers the tension in the plot.
The action in the contemporary world is shown through Mohan’s well-wishers like Professor Suryamurthy, his girlfriend, Samaira Tandon, and Dr. Chandra, an eminent archeologist. Readers also receive a peek into an ambitious Sethusamudram Project that seems inconsequential initially but gathers significance in the latter half of the book.
In the end, Mathur merges the two worlds with masterful skill, and the denouncement validates the relevance of the Indian epics in today’s world.
Mathur’s descriptive narrative, armed with laudable world-building abilities, brings about an engaging tale of friendship, love, and heroism in the backdrop of fantasy and mythology.
The seemingly simple good versus evil plot, brimming with shapeshifters, supernatural beings, demons, kings, and queens, transitions into the present world with remarkable ease.
Mathur’s in-depth understanding of mythology, history, and current events, gives readers a fast-paced, action-packed tale fraught with twists at every step of the way. The lucid language and dynamic narration hook the readers, making the book a page-turner.
You don’t want to miss it if you love mythology, fantasy, and world-building novels.
The story within the story format is reminiscent of Grace Lin’s style, and I can’t emphasize how much I love it. Already looking forward to the next chapter in the series!
About the Author-
Suhail Mathur is an award winning and bestselling author of the historical-mythological fiction, The Bhairav Putras and the mythological-fantasy, The Hunt for Rama’s Bow, a TedX speaker, and is one of the country’s premier literary agents via his agency, The Book Bakers.