The Shiva trilogy by Amish Tripathi, in a nutshell, is a quest to find evil and destroy it. It is the journey of a man from humanity to divinity.
Book 1: The Immortals of Meluha
The journey begins. A Tibetan tribesman, Shiva, is brought to Meluha along with his tribe. Meluha is a land where the rules of God and duty to the country are followed to the T. Loyalty, patriotism and courtesy flow like rivers. After he consumes the Somras, a healing potion, Shiva becomes the famous Neelkanth or the one with the blue throat. Accepting his destiny as the one chosen to destroy evil, he embarks on a mission to fight for the Suryavanshi Meluhans who believe evil lurks in the form of the Chandravanshis and the Nagas.
Book 2: The Secret of the Nagas
Shiva moves from the near-perfect Meluha to the more chaotic Ayodhya, the land of the Chandravanshis. He finds out that the Chandravanshis are not evil but just different from the Suryavanshis. So maybe the evil out there is just the Nagas.
The Nagas are people with deformities who are ostracized from Meluhan society. They are considered evil. But are they really? Shiva uncovers the shocking truth of the Nagas and discovers that evil is closer to home than he believed.
Book 3: The Oath of the Vayuputras
After the discovery of evil, Shiva now decides to destroy evil and restore order. But it is easier said than done. He has to fight the very people who believed in him. He learns that evil has a significant control on people and has misled them.
The war against evil has begun. The war between humanity and ignorance. The war that may lead to Shiva losing his soul and those dear to him.
- The Pros:
- The story is a nice take on the legend of Shiva. It’s perspective shows the human side of a man who becomes divine through his deeds.
- Most of the characters are strong and well-developed. Even minor characters have strong back stories.
- The writing is simple.
- Meanings of words are thrown in every sentence that makes use of the word. Example: Pitratulya means “like a father”. Whenever the word is used it is followed by its meaning in the same or following paragraph. The author could have saved a few pages without this constant meaning-explaining paragraphs.
- Unlike the first two books, The Oath of the Vayuputras is a misleading title. There is actually no “oath” or anything. The Vayuputras have hardly 50 pages in the book.
- Like a movie, the bad guys always make big mistakes. When the good guy makes one, there’s an easy, alternative solution. I wanted Shiva himself to fail at times. But he doesn’t. It would have been nice to know that even the good guys fail sometimes.
- My main complaint lies in the third book. 565 pages filled with a lot of meaningless conversation about the same entity, Evil. Rather than finish the story in a tight climax, the author drags the story to fill empty pages.
The Immortals of Meluha and the Secret of the Nagas succeed in their narration due to the unfolding of what evil really is. Once it is out in the open, the Oath of the Vayuputras fails to capture the essence of the books that made the reader want more of Shiva’s story.
I would definitely recommend this trilogy. But if you find your interest waning, I wouldn’t blame you. To each his own. Read it and judge for yourself.