Weekly round up – 11/01 to 16/01

Hello All,

To keep things interesting, I have decided to do a round-up of books read every week and share some insight into the books I liked best and those which did not live up to expectations (though I am sure this is very less so far!).

So here is the list of books read in the last week, from 11.01.2021 (Sunday) until 16.01.2021 (Saturday).

 

 

This duology is definitely worth reading and describes one of the best heists and revenge plots that I have come across with wonderfully crafted characters who are ruthless and still honorable in their own way. A must read series!

 

 

 

 

 

This fast paced book has so many plots and sub plots and sub sub plots that it is hard to keep track, but important all the same. I love that there are so many aspects to the story that add value to the entire story! In the end, the book will leave the reader wanting more! I have never felt so happy after having read a book and this series has done this and more! It has left me raving and talking about it even after finishing the books!

 

 

 

 

In conclusion, this book is worth the read as is the entire series! The Vikramaditya Veergatha proves to be a treasure trove of mystery keeping the reader guessing until the very end! The readers are in for a treat and eventually arrive at a conclusion that will satisfy everyone with strong characters fighting to save humanity against all odds!

 

 

 

The Newlyweds

 

 

I thoroughly enjoyed reading this book and was truly shocked by some of the revelations. I would never have guessed at anything that happened. This is the beauty of the story telling and I highly recommend this book for fans of psychological thrillers!

 

 

 

 

Do share your thoughts and the books read in the last week! 🙂 Have a great weekend and week ahead!

WWW WEDNESDAY – 13/01/2021

This is a fun weekly meme hosted by Sam at Taking on a World of Words.

All you need to do is answer the following three questions:

What are you currently reading?
What did you recently finish reading?
What do you think you’ll read next?

Also, do follow the host and other bloggers who participate!

It is wonderful to know what everyone is reading and recommendations are always welcome!

 ——————————————————————————————————————

What are you currently reading?

The NewlywedsAbout the Book:

One marriage. One lie. Two sides to the story.

The moment Vivien meets Ashton, she knows she will be his wife and absolutely nothing will stop her.

Powerful, rich and from a good family, Ashton is everything Vivien is not. So, she molds herself into Ashton’s perfect soulmate.

Pouring his favorite vintage wine, whispering ‘I love you’ over dinner in front of friends and biting her tongue when she disagrees with him are simple sacrifices for the perfect marriage she has always craved.

When people begin to notice the bruises on her cheek, she holds their stares. There is no cry for help from Vivien. She simply keeps her mouth shut and lets the gossip continue.

If you saw Vivien nursing a black eye, you might be forgiven for thinking what everyone else does – that she is the victim in her marriage, but you’d be wrong. Vivien and Ashton’s life together is much more complicated than that. You will never guess the true story behind Vivien’s undying devotion to her husband. Nor could you possibly predict what she does next…

Perfect for fans of Gone Girl, Behind Closed Doors and The Perfect Couple. If you enjoy reading twisted psychological thrillers with bags of suspense, then you’ll love The Newlyweds from USA TODAY bestselling author Arianne Richmonde.

What did you recently finish reading?

 

The Vengeance of Indra is Book 3 in the Vikramaditya Veergatha series and is absolutely mind-blowing! The book is so well-written and filled with so many twists and turns!

This series is indeed a must read for fans of Indian Mythology and mythology in general!

 

 

 

What do you think you’ll read next?

The Wrath of the Hellfires (Vikramaditya Veergatha, #4)

 

Well, as usual my TBR pile is high and there are many upcoming Book releases and blog tours!

In spite of all this, my main target is to read The Wrath of the Hellfires, Book 4 in the Vikramaditya Veergatha series. This is the final book and will bring the entire story to conclusion.

Book Review: The Vengeance of Indra (Vikramaditya Veergatha #3) by Shatrujeet Nath

About the Book:

VENGEANCE IS A CAGE. FORGIVENESS IS FREEDOM.

In their greed to possess the deadly Halahala, the devas and the asuras have employed every dirty trick against Vikramaditya and his Council of Nine. But the humans are still standing, bloodied but unbowed.

When the wily Shukracharya discovers the secret to breaking the Council’s unity and strength, he forges an unlikely alliance with his arch-enemy, Indra, to set a deceitful plan in motion.

As cracks emerge between the councilors and their king, ghosts from the past threaten to ruin Vikramaditya and Kalidasa’s friendship, signaling the beginning of an eclipse that will cast a long shadow over all that Vikramaditya holds dear. And into this shadow steps Indra, bearing an old grudge – and a devastating new weapon.

How much longer before the Guardians of the Halahala finally fall apart?

My Thoughts:

Once again my heartfelt gratitude to the author for reaching out to me regarding this series!

The Vengeance of Indra is Book 3 in the Vikramaditya Veergatha series. It picks off where Book 2 ends and maintains a steady pace throughout. With cracks forming in the bonds between the councilors in the court of Vikramaditya, it feels as though everyone is starting to forge their own path. Having been sent away, Shukracharya formulates a major plan to wreak havoc in the minds of the humans. To achieve this, he proposes an alliance between the devas and asuras.

With everyone’s focus shifting from the true purpose of protecting the Halahala and sticking together, jealousies come to the surface along with anger and pain among other negative emotions. The author has done a wonderful job with the story and the way it has been brought forward! There are so many many many twists that the reader will be left reeling in shock and trying to comprehend the situation. This is how I felt many times while reading the book, but I loved it!

The beauty of the story lies in it’s characters. Vikramaditya’s personality traits are those which we aspire to have in ourselves. With no fault of his own, he is placed in a situation where being true to his duty, leads to mistrust among his people, his family and those closest to him. The author brings out these contrasts in character traits very well while subtly teaching us some very valuable life lessons!

 This fast paced book has so many plots and sub plots and sub sub plots that it is hard to keep track, but important all the same. I love that there are so many aspects to the story that add value to the entire story! In the end, the book will leave the reader wanting more! I have never felt so happy after having read a book and this series has done this and more! It has left me raving and talking about it even after finishing the books!

Book 4, here I come! I cannot wait to know what happens in the conclusion to this epic tale!

Book Review: The Conspiracy at Meru (Vikramaditya Veergatha #2) by Shatrujeet Nath

A huge thank you to the author for providing me with a copy of the book!

About the Book:

The Conspiracy at Meru (Vikramaditya Veergatha, #2)

VICTORY IS TEMPORARY. THE BATTLE IS ETERNAL.

Vikramaditya and his Council of Nine have fought valiantly to repel the rampaging hordes from Devaloka and Patala – but Avanti has been brought to its knees. Ujjayini lies battered its citizens are scared and morale is badly shaken. Meanwhile, the barbaric Hunas and Sakas are gathering on the horizon and cracks are emerging between the allied kingdoms of Sindhuvarta.

The only silver lining is that the deadly Halahala is safe. For now.

Bent on vengeance, Indra is already scheming to destroy Vikramaditya, while Shukracharya has a plan that can spell the doom for the Guardians of the Halahala. How long can the human army hold out against the ferocity and cunning of the devas and asuras? And will Vikramaditya’s love for his queen come in the way of his promise to Shiva?

 

My Thoughts:

“The road begins where we start walking and ends where we stop. The road is not at our feet, it is in our minds. As long as we care to walk, we shall find roads to walk upon. If not old ones, then new. When neither of us is willing to halt, what have we to fear?” – said by King Vikramaditya to his Queen Vishakha.

                                         ——————–x——————–x———————

“In battle, is it not the strongest or the bravest or those with the greater numbers who win,” said Vararuchi. “Victory belongs to the side that best understands the price of defeat.”

                                         ——————–x——————–x———————

“The thirst for vengeance is invariably bereft of perspective and morals.” – Shukracharya

                                         ——————–x——————–x———————

These are some quotes from the book that have stayed with me long after I have finished reading it.

The Conspiracy at Meru, book 2 in the Vikramaditya Veergatha series, picks up where book 1 left off. Having placed the Halahala in a safe place, King Vikramadiya and his council are still facing various threats to the nation, both expected and unexpected. When we find that the might of the Asuras and devas and everyone else in between are poised to attack in some way or other, it’s a matter of who will strike first! To counter all this, they come up with numerous plans and strategies, all the while trying to anticipate what can go wrong. Trust me, a lot can go wrong!

The author does a fabulous job with each of the characters, both important and seemingly unimportant. I have come to realize that every person has a role to play and as a reader, we should be careful not to disregard anyone in this series! Such is the way of the author that he masterfully creates plots and sub-plots that are wholly unexpected!

The story in itself is simple when we strip it down, coming down to the clear idea that the Halahala must be protected. But the cost to do so and the sense of duty are something to be considered. This takes a huge toll on everyone and the surprises and twists do not stop coming! New alliances are forged and old are broken in this story that seems to be foretelling of things to come (in the further books).

Shatrujeet Nath is a master story teller and his books are gripping, pulling the reader in from page one. Without going into details of the plot (this is already hinted at in the book blurb), I would like to point out that there is a lot looming over the horizon and this is just Book 2, there are two more books to go to find out what happens!

November 2020 – Book round-up!

A huge shoutout to all my readers and fellow bloggers.

I was inspired by other bloggers to post a recap of the books that I read or reviewed during November, 2020 and to highlight my favourite ones. I am hoping to continue this trend and post something similar every month.

I managed to read and review a good number of books last month. I usually do not manage to read so many due to time constraints. Nevertheless, some of them were wonderful and I truly enjoyed all the books!

Books read/reviewed in November 2020:

Finale (Caraval #3) by Stephanie Garber

The most awaited conclusion to the Caraval series, Stephanie Garber brings us a well-crafted ending! This is definitely one of the most talked about series in today’s world!

I thoroughly enjoyed this conclusion and loved the way the author has crafted the plot of the entire series. A well-written fantasy fiction, this series will take the reader on an adventure that is amazing, with colorful characters whom we cannot help but fall in love with! This series is indeed a must-read and is well worth the time spent on it.

Dinosaur Adventure: A Field Trip to Remember by Kelly Santana-Banks

This story can be used as a picture book for younger children and as an interactive learning book for older ones. It is truly well-written and interactive making it a wonderful teaching and learning aid.

Prism (The Color Alchemist #1) by Nina Walker

Prism by author Nina Walker introduces the reader to an intriguing concept of magic and magical abilities and I thoroughly enjoyed reading the book. The story is well-written and fast paced, keeping the reader hooked until the very end.

337 by M. Jonathan Lee

A wonderfully written novel, the story follows Sam as he goes through the motions of living every day. However, not everything is at it seems, and this is a constant theme running in the background of the plot.

This latest book by the author is a pleasure to read and though it raises many questions that ensure the reader is kept engaged long after finishing the book. This book is a must read!

Vampire Royals (Books 1-3) by Leigh Walker

Overall, this series is fun and enjoyable especially for those who love the idea of vampires and human’s together, though there is not a lot of focus on the supernatural aspect of the characters. The books are short and easy to read. They can each be read in one sitting and are a good stress free read!

Ten Days with a Duke by Erica Ridley

This book is a pleasant and quick read set in the time of Christmas in a rather picturesque village! It is indeed the season of love!

The Guardians of the Halahala by Shatrujeet Nath

A truly fascinating story set during the rule of Samrat Vikramaditya, this book is the first in a series of four books. In this book, the author has taken a tiny part of mythology and merged it with a historical setting to bring us this entertaining plot.

The book pulls you in until the very end as each character’s personality unravels and their dynamics together are established and later shift.

This book is truly a wonderful start to a great series and I cannot wait to read further!

Book Review: The Guardians of the Halahala by Shatrujeet Nath

About the Book:

The Guardians of the Halahala (Vikramaditya Veergatha, #1)

 

THE PRICE OF A PROMISE. PAID IN BLOOD.

The deadly Halahala, the all-devouring poison churned from the depths of the White Lake by the devas and asuras, was swallowed by Shiva to save the universe from extinction.
But was the Halahala truly destroyed?
A small portion still remains – a weapon powerful enough to guarantee victory to whoever possesses it. And both asuras and devas, locked in battle for supremacy, will stop at nothing to claim it.
As the forces of Devaloka and Patala, led by Indra and Shukracharya, plot to possess the Halahala, Shiva turns to mankind to guard it from their murderous clutches. It is now up to Samrat Vikramaditya and his Council of Nine to quell the supernatural hordes – and prevent the universe from tumbling into chaos!
A sweeping tale of honour and courage in the face of infinite danger, greed and deceit, The Guardians of the Halahala is a fantastical journey into a time of myth and legend.

 

My Thoughts:

A truly fascinating story set during the rule of Samrat Vikramaditya, this book is the first in a series of four books. In this book, the author has taken a tiny part of mythology and merged it with a historical setting to bring us this entertaining plot. The reader is introduced to a myriad of characters, each part of Vikramaditya’s council and his immediate family. We are also introduced to Devas and Asuras, ensuring the perfect mix of mythology and historical characters on the Earthen plane. The concept of the story is simple, but the plot progresses in an interesting manner.

Even though the book is initially a little slow, the pace is understandable as the author sets the context and brings the kingdom, it’s neighbouring lands and the other kings into focus. Alliances are made and some are lost as the story progresses, teasing of wars on different fronts, both human and supernatural. The bonds between the principal characters and the understanding they have is wonderful to read about. The story starts to gain pace once Vikramaditya is entrusted with keeping safe the last remaining portion of the Halahala, coveted by the Devas and Asuras alike. The author’s style of writing is poetic and flows so well, that I was not able to stop reading! The description of the settings are amazing and so deatiled that it is easy for the reader to picture the scenes as they happen. The book pulls you in until the very end as each character’s personality unravels and their dynamics together are established and later shift.

This book is truly a wonderful start to a great series and I cannot wait to read further!

Book Review: The Forest of Enchantments by Chitra Banerjee Divakaruni

Having read The Palace of Illusions by Chita Divakaruni, it was a no-brainer to pick up this book! Read on to know my thoughts on this must read book!

About the Book:

The Forest of Enchantments

The Ramayana, one of the world’s greatest epics, is also a tragic love story. In this brilliant retelling, Chitra Banerjee Divakaruni places Sita at the centre of the novel: this is Sita’s version.

The Forest of Enchantments is also a very human story of some of the other women in the epic, often misunderstood and relegated to the margins: Kaikeyi, Surpanakha, Mandodari. A powerful comment on duty, betrayal, infidelity and honour, it is also about women’s struggle to retain autonomy in a world that privileges men, as Chitra transforms an ancient story into a gripping, contemporary battle of wills.

While the Ramayana resonates even today, she makes it more relevant than ever, in the underlying questions in the novel: How should women be treated by their loved ones? What are their rights in a relationship? When does a woman need to stand up and say, ‘Enough!’

My Thoughts:

A scintillating read, The Forest of Enchantments will take the reader on a journey with Sita as the protagonist. The story follows her from childhood to adulthood and highlights the Ramayana from her point of view.

We are introduced to Ram, Lakshman and even Raavan as they are seen by Sita. The entire story focuses on her journey and what she felt through it. It is a wonderful take on the Ramayana and strongly brings out the feelings and opinions of the women in the story.

The author brings out the contrast in characters and ensures that the reader is interested in reading the book. There is not even one moment when the reader will wonder why they are reading the book. Even though we might have already read the Ramayana, Sita’s perspective is something none of us stop to think about. It is a re-telling like no other, exploring the views of the women in the story and introducing the reader to them.

The strength of the women, the resolve and their actions shape the course of the story and give us a different view of the same events we are familiar with. Chitra succeeds in humanizing all the characters and making them more relatable. We are forced to think about their points of view, their circumstances and give them the benefit of doubt. The author brings enough doubt to the idea of good and bad, focussing on the grey areas and the fact that there could be more to how we perceive things.

This is perhaps one of the best written books and I can promise that the readers will be left spell bound!

Book Review : Circe by Madeline Miller

About the Book:

Circe

From the Orange Prize-winning, internationally bestselling author of The Song of Achilles comes the powerful story of the mythological witch Circe, inspired by Homer’s Odyssey

Chosen as must-read book of 2018 by the Guardian, Independent, Mail on Sunday, Sunday Express and Stylist


In the house of Helios, god of the sun and mightiest of the Titans, a daughter is born. But Circe has neither the look nor the voice of divinity, and is scorned and rejected by her kin. Increasingly isolated, she turns to mortals for companionship, leading her to discover a power forbidden to the gods: witchcraft.

When love drives Circe to cast a dark spell, wrathful Zeus banishes her to the remote island of Aiaia. There she learns to harness her occult craft, drawing strength from nature. But she will not always be alone; many are destined to pass through Circe’s place of exile, entwining their fates with hers. The messenger god, Hermes. The craftsman, Daedalus. A ship bearing a golden fleece. And wily Odysseus, on his epic voyage home.

There is danger for a solitary woman in this world, and Circe’s independence draws the wrath of men and gods alike. To protect what she holds dear, Circe must decide whether she belongs with the deities she is born from, or the mortals she has come to love.

Breathing life into the ancient world, Madeline Miller weaves an intoxicating tale of gods and heroes, magic and monsters, survival and transformation.

My Thoughts:

This is one of the most talked about books at the moment, trending on every social media site possible. I found out about this book on Instagram and decided to give it a shot. I must say that I was not disappointed.

Circe by Madeline Miller gives us a peek into the lives of the Titans and Olympians as well as that of man. A beautifully written book, the story is told from Circe’s point of view, following her life from birth. In the beginning, the story focuses on the life of the Titans, the pact they have with the Olympians and Circe’s yearning to be accepted and understood. She seems to always be apart from the rest of the household, an enigma.

As time passes, she starts to discover a latent power, sleeping somewhere within her, the power of witchcraft and magic. She discovers that though she is different from her family, she has her own set of strengths. this is a story of self-discovery and along the way we meet a lot of people who help shape how Circe sees herself.

The story is masterfully crafted, introducing us to a number of familiar names at each stage, thus making this story even more enjoyable. It is both heart-warming and heart-wrenching at the same time forcing us to experience the journey with Circe. We are not just reading about her, there are many times when the descriptions are so well done that the reader becomes a part of the story, another character. We meet a whole array of people, most of whom you would have heard before, but who are shown through Circe’s eyes in this book, portraying them in a different light. Many incidents and situations are achingly familiar and we do know how it all ends, but we do not know how Circe fits into the sequence and her reactions to it. This book brings out those connections, including a wonderful introduction to Odysseus and the lasting impression he has on Circe’s life.

The beauty of the plot lies in the simplicity with which the story is written and the complexity of the characters involved. The author passes on to us the message that to love oneself is most important and to understand one’s worth. With a lot of emotions involved, the author captures Circe’s thoughts very well, giving us vivid descriptions and glimpses into the worlds beyond. This book is about Circe’s journey as she searches for love, acceptance and deals with motherhood, the challenges she faces and the joy she finds in small things.

I cannot begin to explain how much this book had me hooked, turning page after page just to see where Circe goes and how she deals with her life. I learnt a lot from her, the way she treated people, the way she interacted with them, and in the end, her understanding of her position in the world and in life.

In conclusion, I strongly recommend this book to all those who enjoy fiction and fantasy steeped in mythology.

Cover Reveal: The Vengeance of Indra (Vikramaditya Veergatha #3) by Shatrujeet Nath

~ Cover Reveal ~
The Vengeance of Indra 
(Vikramaditya Veergatha #3)
by Shatrujeet Nath
VENGEANCE IS A CAGE
FORGIVENESS IS FREEDOM
In their greed to possess the deadly Halahala, the devas and the asuras have employed every dirty trick against Vikramaditya and his Council of Nine. But the humans are still standing, bloodied but unbowed.
When the wily Shukracharya discovers the secret to breaking the Council’s strength and unity, he forges an unlikely alliance with his arch-enemy, Indra, to set a deceitful plan in motion.
As cracks emerge between the councilors and their king, ghosts from the past threaten to ruin Vikramaditya and Kalidasa’s friendship, signaling the beginning of an eclipse that will cast a long shadow over all that Vikramaditya holds dear. And into this shadow steps Indra, bearing an old grudge — and a devastating new weapon.
How much longer before the Guardians of the Halahala finally fall apart?
Other Books in the Series:
 
(Click on the Covers for more details)
About the Author:
Shatrujeet Nath is the creator of the runaway national bestseller series Vikramaditya Veergatha, a four-book mytho-fantasy arc which includes The Guardians of the Halahala, The Conspiracy at Meru and The Vengeance of Indra. Described as “a new face to Indian mythology” by DNA, Shatrujeet writes for movies and web shows as well. He is also the author of The Karachi Deception, an Indo-Pak spy thriller.
 
 

 

Book Blitz: Vishwamitra by Dr. Vineet Aggarwal

Vishwamitra by Dr. Vineet Aggarwal
Indian Mythological Fiction
~ Book Blitz ~
11th August, 2017

 

When Satyavati, wife of Rishi Ruchik, exchanges with her mother the magic potion for bearing a child, they change not just their children’s destiny, but also the history of mankind. Born of this mix up is Vishwamitra, the son of a Kshatriya, who strives to become a
Brahmarishi—the ultimate and most powerful of all Gurus.
Vishwamitra is the powerful story of a brave but stubborn, haughty yet compassionate, visionary king of Aryavarta who not only acquires material wealth through military conquests but also becomes one of the most well-known sages of all times.
Top 5 Rishis of all
time:

5. BHRIGUthe father-in-law of none other than Lord Vishnu! He is famous to have tested the three gods of the Hindu Trinity to see who’s the most deserving out of them! He is the author of the famous Bhrigu Samhita also known as ‘Laal Kitab’ that supposedly contains
information about every human being’s past, present and future.
4. KASHYAP the father of all species of life that exist including Devas, Daityas, Danavs, Manavs, Apsaras, Gandharvs, Nagas, Plants, Animals, Birds, Aquatics and many more! He gives realmeaning to the thought – Vasudhaiv Kutumbakam – the World is my Family.
3. VISHWAMITRA an ordinary human who in spite of being born as a Kshatriya reached the highest levels of spirituality and became a Brahmarishi at par with Vasishth! He is the discoverer of the famous Gayatri Mantra, and the creator of an entire constellation!
2. ATRI – another son of Brahma and one of the oldest rishis to exist. Husband of a very powerful lady Anasuya and the father of Chandrama, the Hindu Moon-god; Dattatreya, the combined Avatar of Brahma, Vishnu & Shiva; and the angry rishi Durvasa.
1. VASISHTH – the son of Brahma the creator-god is number one on the list. He is the original Brahmarishi whom Indra gifted the Divine Cow Nandini. He was the Kulguru of Suryavanshis or the Solar Dynasty of kings in ancient India and mentored many famous kings like Divodas, Harishchandra and Shri Rama.
About the Author
Dr. Vineet Aggarwal is described by many as a doctor by qualification, manager by profession and artist by temperament. Born in a family of doctors, he successfully completed an initial stint with the family occupation before deciding to venture into pharmaceutical management and currently pursues writing and photography as a passion.
He is the author of popular online blogs ‘Decode Hindu Mythology’ and ‘Fraternity Against Terrorism and Extremism’ and the author of books ‘Vishwamitra – The Man who dared to challenge the Gods’ and ‘The Legend of Parshu-Raam’