Book Review: Luwan of Brida
A Debut book. An Indian. A fantasy fiction series!
I have always been a lover of a bit of magic in life, books and all around. And so it is no surprise that Harry potter series, Lord of the Rings or The Narnia Chronicles features amongst my most loved books. But just like Indian cinema has not been too successful in the superhero genre (barring Krrish), fantasy fiction is another genre where there hasn’t been much of a foray successfully by Indians. Most Indian writers seem too besotted with emotions and opt for different shades of humane emotions in an open market rather than gamble with a yet to be opened market of fantasy and adventure. So when Sarang Mahajan wanted me to read his debut work for The Tales Pensieve, the apprehension was very much equal to watching Abhishek Bacchan in Drona. But one thing locked it for me – the cover. The cover, as you see it above, is enigmatic and with the right colors all over it. The answer to the question as to what is it, comes very early in the book and that later on you realize is one of the factors that keeps the excitement going then the end. It is a shown but never fully visible kind of a ride all through.
Luwan of Brida quite presumably is the adventure of Luwan – a normal Teenage boy who lives outside the village of Brida in a lone hut on a hilltop. Brida is a small descript village in the farthest corner of Inkredia, located at the foot of the indominatable Malingo Mountains. Brida nearly doesn’t exist for the capital of Inkredia, Tushkrum but is hugely exploited and a pot brewing with troubles since years. Luwan’s parents had fought against the irksome forces and now it was his turn; though he doesn’t know the real deal yet, he doesn’t know what lies in store for him next and has no clue about the real power of the Talisim he holds dear. But destiny intervenes and he pricks the trouble forces where he should not have. Luwan must leave Brida to stay alive but he knows he cannot just walk out of the village; he will not be allowed to. With his sister in tow, a wanderer friend’s help and a heritage gift from his mother being his only supernatural help he sets out – on a perilous journey – battling odds, unknown terrains, enemies known and unknown, forces natural and supernatural and inching towards a legacy which possibly is about him; but the situations don’t suggest so. But his heritage gift does. Or does it? Luwan’s story and by extension the Inkredia series is the proverbial good vs evil fight and the writer does well by creating strong evil power/s and a vulnerable protector of good who doesn’t realize his position in the larger scheme of things.
Sarang Mahajan makes a laudable debut with the first book of the Inkredia series. He narrates well, his writing has a visual quality to it and his metaphors are so very original. Kudos to Periwinkle for their high levels of production standards in an age where typos, grammatical and spelling errors have become the acceptable norm amongst a lot of new Indian publishing houses. The only thing I would have loved more in the book would have been some Indian sounding names though it is not a deterrent in enjoying a story well told.
A must read for its narration, twists and magic!
Thank you for getting me to Luwan, Sarang. Can’t wait for the next part ‘The Castle of Tushkrum’.
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