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Disenchanted by Brianna Sugalski // Monsters, Banter and adventure through a dark forest

  GOODREADS // AMAZON // BOOK DEPOSITORY Breton princess at the peak of the French Renaissance, Lilac lives prisoner in her parents' castle after a wicked secret is revealed on the eve of her tenth birthday soirée. Years later, her coronation ceremony looms, and between the riotous townsfolk and scheming nobleman bent on snatching the throne, Lilac prepares for the worst... Until a mysterious letter arrives from The Witch of Lupine Grotto, detailing a curious offer to cure her darkness forever. Lilac begrudgingly trades her coronet for a cloak and ventures into the forest Brocéliande in pursuit of the impious enchantress at the edge of town. With only the protection of an inherited dagger—and unsolicited help of the sardonic stranger who inserts himself on her quest—she must traverse Brocèliande and return in time to claim her rightful position as sovereign monarch. This is the story of a cursed princess, A crestfallen killer, The town that wants them to burn, And the witch

Review: HARAPPA: Curse of the Blood River by Vineet Bajpai

HARAPPA: Curse of the Blood River by Vineet Bajpai
2017, Delhi – Vidyut’s dying ancestor summons him to Banaras. The old Brahmin chieftain of the Dev-Raakshasa Matth, or the God-Demon Clan, bears a chilling secret. Their bloodline carries an ancient curse that will plague mankind - towards its own violent extinction.

1700 BCE, Harappa – Harappa is a magnificent city on the banks of the mighty Saraswati river. The darkness of treachery, taantric exorcism and bloodshed unleashes itself on the last devta, paving the way for his devastating revenge…and the horrifying truth behind the fall of the glorious civilisation.

2017, Paris – The world’s most powerful religious institution is rattled. Europe’s dreaded crime lord meets a mysterious man in Paris. A lethal assassin boards a train, as Rome fears the worst. The prophesied devta has returned.

What connects Banaras, Harappa and Rome? What was the ancient curse and who was the last devta? What is the terrible secret behind the fall of the colossal Indus Valley? Read on as you travel through a saga of violence and deceit, gods and demons, love and ambition.

(This Book Review is a part of "The Readers Cosmos Book Review Program and Book Promotions" .To know more visit their site )

Vidyut Shastri is the protagonist of the story and is quite the chosen one. He excels in just about everything he does and has the aura of otherworldly-ness about him. In the beginning I felt a little annoyed by the fact that the author shows our hero as being pretty much perfect but as the truth about Vidyut is explained throughout the story, his personality and perfection starts to make sense. I liked how as the story progresses, Vidyut like any other character makes mistakes and learns from them.

Truth be told, it’s the characters in 1700 BCE, Harappa who intrigued me more than Vidyut. I can’t say much about them without giving anything away but they definitely were complex three dimensional characters caught in a turbulent plot.

I also enjoyed all the secondary characters immensely. It was interesting to learn about them and the relationships they share with each other. Also the author has quite a wonderful way of introducing some important characters that I loved!

There are two plots in this story. One that happens in the present with Vidyut and the people around him and another that takes place in 1700, BCE in the flourishing land of Harappa where unbeknownst to the people, there rises a dark force. While the plot running in the present had me interested and intrigued, it was the plot taking place thousands of years ago that was the star of the book for me. I absolutely can’t wait for book 2 so I can know what else happened all those years ago that has brought the Vidyut and the world to the current situation.

There were plenty of plot twists throughout the book that caught me by surprise almost every time.

I enjoyed the writing and the descriptions of the historical places we come across. Like I said before, the author has quite an interesting way of introducing some character that I very much enjoyed. He also draws parallels between the two plot which was done wonderfully.

“This duel was not between equals”
That being said, I wasn’t a fan of the dialogue and the info dumps at a few points. In the very beginning, the dialogue between Vidyut and Damini felt unnatural and contrived but thankfully I didn’t feel so about the dialogues in the rest of the book. Also I would have enjoyed learning all about the history of Harappa through the plot itself or in parts as at times when the characters talked about it, it felt a lot like info dumping. While it was very interesting to learn about the timeline between 1700 BCE and 2017 as the author imagines it, I would have preferred to learn it all slowly as the story progressed.

- The plot
- The mythological references
- The parallelisation between the two stories
- The secondary characters

- The info dumping at some parts

A wonderful mythological thriller with a whole new take on the long lost Harappan civilisation. It’s a book with all aspects of a thriller – mystery, drama, romance and violence. Looking forward to the sequel so I can see where the story goes!

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