Goodreads blurb: The man who became a Brahmarishi…
The curse that banished him to the hell of hells…
And the revenge that threatens to destroy the three worlds…
When Lord Brahma, the God of Creation, banishes his star pupil from Swarglok in a fit of rage, he does not foresee that his decision will alter the fate of the three worlds. Mortally wounded, and anguished at Brahma’s unfair punishment, his pupil struggles to survive in Tamastamah Prabha, the hell of hells. In time, he becomes the Dark Lord, the most feared figure in Pataal Lok, who swears to destroy Brahma.
The power of the Dark Lord soon begins to make its presence felt in the mortal world. Vasudev, the brave prince of Bateshwar, becomes the hunter of Asura assassins; his closest friend, Kansa, almost dies while trying to save his sister from a group of deadly monsters; and the most valiant kings in Mrityulok turn over to the dark side, driven by forces beyond their control.
Only one person threatens the Dark Lord’s well-laid plans – Devki, the beautiful princess of Madhuvan, who is destined to give birth to the warrior Krishna.
Will the Dark Lord allow Krishna – the person who has been prophesied to destroy him – to be born?
I know that this is the nth time I am repeating this, but most readers of my blog will know the interest I have in Indian mythology and various retelling of some well-known stories from the same such as the Mahabharata, Ramayana and the Puranas. And therefore, when The Curse of Brahma by Jagmohan Bhanver was published, I immediately jumped out of my seat and requested for a review copy of the same, and man, was it the right decision or what?
Right from the ‘get-go’, the author takes us on a joyride of SwargLok, MrityuLok (quite a funny name for earth I must admit) and PataalLok, the celestials, the gods, and most importantly The Dark Lord (inspired by Lord Voldemort or Voldemor’, in my humble opinion).
As the blurb reads, trouble, big trouble, is brewing in the mortal world as The Dark Lord is well poised to unleash revenge against the injustice meted out to him by Brahma all of two hundred years ago. By planning to use the mortal world to launch an all-out attack on SwargLok, he seems well set to extract his revenge on his master. However, what he doesn’t quite account for is the fact that the celestial trilogy, or at least two of them, Shiva and Vishnu have surreptitiously been following his activities over the years and have plans of their own to prevent any unnecessary bloodshed in the mortal realm. Do The Dark Lord’s plans bear fruition or do Shiva and Vishnu manage to thwart them will be answered only in the next two books of this trilogy, but suffice to say that this book is a brilliant first book in what promises to be a lovely trilogy.
Where this book scores really high is in how the plot is formed and the shape the narrative takes. Rather than resort to the now popular method of shifting the action from one setting to another resulting in creating an unnecessary tension in the proceedings, the author takes his time in patiently setting up the surrounding, the characters, their back-stories, their motivations and gradually keeps the narrative moving forward. He is not in a hurry to move at a breakneck pace and is content letting the story gradually build on the readers. After all, given that he is retelling the story of the birth of Krishna (at least in this book), he uses all of the tact and adroitness that Krishna himself will go on to display later on in his life.
While the author has taken considerable liberties with the retelling, the fact that the narrative remains coherent and believable despite the significant deviations from what is usually told speaks volumes for the research that he has done on Krishna and his life, and also for the confidence in his story-telling abilities as well. Not once was I bored during the entire book and the pages kept turning themselves. This is because of the fact that the narrative itself is so well structured and juicy enough that the book pretty much reads itself.
A review copy of this book was provided to me by the publishers in return for an honest and unbiased review.