Review: Yama's Lieutenant by Anuja Chandramouli

Yama's Lieutenant by Anuja Chandramouli

(I received a free copy of this book from the author in exchange for an honest review.)

The inhabitants of the thousand hells of Yama have broken free from their prison and vowed to wreak havoc on the heavens, the earth and hell. With the fiendish Hatakas and Narakamayas teamed up with Naganara, a terrifying necromancer hungry for power, the universe is headed for war and destruction unless one human has something to do with it.
Agni Prakash, a debonair young man whose world has been turned upside down by the death of his twin sister, Varu, has been enlisted to stop these forces and be Yama s very own lieutenant. As the mythical world clashes with his own, Agni discovers a manuscript left behind by his sister. Hauntingly, it draws parallels to the treacherous path upon which he has been thrust. Equipped with an acerbic wit and winning charm, Agni undertakes a battle, where the odds seem tipped wildly against him, and finds unlikely companions along the way.
Will he be able to uncover the secret behind his sister's writings? And more importantly, will he be able to avert the destruction that seems imminent?

Agni Prakash is grieving the death of his twin sister Varu and there's nothing anyone can do about it. He feels empty without his sister who was like a part of him. The emptiness leads him to waste away his life, until he is given a task. 'The Chosen One' is a trope I enjoyed in Harry Potter but it has been so oft repeated that it's hard to get excited about it and I was a bit wary when Agni is 'the chosen one'. And while I was not-so-thrilled about this aspect and the way the mission finds him, I quite enjoyed Agni's narration. he is a realistic character in the sense that he isn't perfect. He makes mistakes and assumes the wrong things and it's those things that make him a likeable character readers can relate to.

Even though we don't see as much of Varu as we do of Agni, I liked her more than her twin. Her dialogue stands out in Agni's memories of her and even when she's dead, she takes the spotlight. I enjoyed the chapters that had Varu's book about Yama and Yami. It's was ABSOLUTELY amazing to learn about these two characters from the Indian mythology who are to be honest, not much talked about. I honestly don't know why as they are so interesting!

I loved how the characters Yama and Yami were brought into the story! For those who are new to Indian Mythology, Yama is the King of hell and Yami is his sister. They are both mythological characters who even in India, people don't talk much about and I LOVED that they are a major part of this story!

Though the story at first seems like a predictable 'The Chosen One' story, it definitely is not. The author deftly spins a complex plot that keeps readers on their toes, wondering what will happen next. There are actually two storylines in the story - One with Agni fighting the arakshas from hell as a part of the mission given to him and the other of the story of Yama and Yami from Varu's book.

The interesting thing is how these plots seem unconnected and yet there are these parallels that can be seen. The two storyline entwine in a delicate manner, bringing together the past and the present quite beautiful. Each twiast in the story is unexpected and will make reader grin in delight!

The author does imagery quite beautifully. Her descriptions allowed me to envision the story in my head quite clearly. while at times the description made me impatient for I wanted to know what happens next, the writing is hauntingly seductive, pulling one into the story and not quite letting go even after the last page!

Also I loved the underlying commentary of the present society. Many instances we see in the book show the corruption and the illness that plagues our world and which we hear about everyday. This social dialogue gave a very realistic ring to the story!

- The unique plot
- The knowledge of Indian mythology
- The writing

- Certain tropes characteristic of YA novels

A wonderful and fast paced story with Indian mythology woven into it in such a way that it would appeal to readers young and old! The plot is as enchanting as the writing and this keeps the readers turning the pages!

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