Goodreads blurb: Is one born with his destiny or does he forge it?
In the mystical land of Gaya, two prophecies bind the fate of men and empires alike. The Destroyer born from the royal seed on the Land of the Setting Sun shall bring the empires down, or so has been foretold.
In between the Destroyer and the world stand the Seven Guardians of Gaya, guarding the realm of man. A king, a father, defies the Seven and fate itself to save the last drop of his blood and prince Agni grows in the Land of the Rising Sun, exiled from his own people, unaware of his past.
Losing the woman he loved most to the shadows in the dark, Agni is thrown into a whirlpool of events that he neither knows, nor understands. His quest for vengeance brings him to the doorstep of a secret that will shatter the very foundation of beliefs of a world.
Can Agni avert his destiny? Can he uncover the truth about the Seven and the prophecies, now hidden behind a veil of ignorance?
The secrets of the dark are sometimes so terrible that they are better left unsaid.
In this first book of what promises to be a good series, The Saga of Agni, the author Arka Chakrabarti takes all the ingredients of a fantasy fiction novel, a prophecy (actually more than one, three in fact), a chosen one, warring kingdoms, brave princes and princesses, troubled kings, conniving politicians, a mythical land, magical creatures wielding awesome powers; puts them all together and brews a nice concoction called The Secrets of the Dark.
Agni, the main protagonist is quite happy with his life as the ward of Prince Yani of Himadri in the Land of the Rising Sun. He is content being the friend of Vrish and the sweetheart of Malini when his life is turned upside down by the explosion that kills Vrish and Malini’s father and more so when it is discovered that the explosion was not accidental but was intentional. This sets in motion a chain of events where Agni and Vrish set off on a journey to avenge the death of the people they loved the most.
What Agni and Vrish don’t know is that this journey serves a bigger purpose; that of fulfilling Agni’s eventual destiny which even he himself is not made aware of yet.
On the other side of Gaya, in the Land of the Setting Sun, the Kingdom of Leu is attacked by marauders and the army of the guardians who had earlier sent an ultimatum to King Crixus asking him to abdicate the throne in their favor. Princess Lysandra leads an army towards the port city of Alexandria which has been overrun by the invaders. What happens of her exploits on the battlefield forms another portion of the narrative.
What I particularly liked about the book was the scale on which the events were dealt with; large. The author clearly doesn’t believe in half measures and has gone all out to create a world with multiple kingdoms, the relations between all of them, major and minor cities and maps even. He tackles multiple threads of the narrative with ease while ensuring that all of them keep moving at a brisk pace without slacking up even a little bit. Even the small portions involving the Guardians of Gaya are dealt with using a good amount of caution and mystery so that the over-arching plot of the series is not revealed in great detail, while revealing just enough to keep the readers interested in the overall series. For a first book, this is truly a lovely attempt and for sure, will keep readers interested in how the rest of the Saga of Agni eventually pans out.
Disclaimer: A review copy of this book was provided to me as part of the Book Review Tour for the series of books conducted by b00k r3vi3ws, a book blogger whose work I immensely enjoy.