The Emperor’s Riddles – Satyarth Nayak – Book Review


TheEmperorsRiddles

Goodreads blurb: More terrifying than the savage murder of historian Ram Mathur on the ghats of Ganga, are the questions that follow. Desperate for answers, Sia turns to esoteric writer & friend Om Patnaik. But what begins as a hunt for the killer, becomes an extraordinary trail of riddles strewn across the country that must end at the gates of an enigma.

An ancient enigma so powerful that even gods would kill for it!!!

In another time and space, rules an Emperor who plays with phenomenal forces that make him supreme…who faces these very forces when they threaten the survival of the human race. An Emperor who must ultimately pay homage to the enigma…

As Patnaik and Sia race from one riddle to another, towards a royal secret that has remained alive for centuries….will the final truth, save them or destroy them forever?

The path beckons. Can you solve The Emperor’s Riddles?

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While the blurb of the book piqued my interest in reading it quite a bit I must confess that I wasn’t quite prepared for how interesting the book actually is and how obsessed I would get in finishing it. Travails of being a book lover, I guess. That being said, I have to admit this has to be among the better books I have read in recent times in terms of how the plot is constructed, the pace at which it unfolds and ultimately how it all ends up.

As the blurb states what starts off as a murder mystery soon metamorphoses into a treasure hunt (which seems like a ‘wild goose hunt’ at times to both the principal characters Om and Sia). As they keep solving riddles one after the other and move across the length and breadth of the country, the author segues into the Emperor’s life (yes, the eponymous Emperor whose riddles they are solving) and gives readers an insight into why he designed the riddles in the first place. Do Om and Sia succeed in their quest, what they gain at the end of it, what they lose at the end of their journey, these questions form the crux of the climax.

The one grouse, if I can call it that, would be the somewhat dragged out ending, especially the last five odd pages or so. While the ending is perfectly logical and all loose ends are tied up, somehow it seemed a little contrived to me, especially given the clarity with which the rest of the plot unraveled itself. However, it is not so bad that I would dissuade you from reading the book, in fact, I would strongly recommend the same, especially for any fans of Dan Brown and similar authors.

To me, this book would remain in my memory as one of the best books in which the plot manages to seamlessly combine fact, fiction, history, mythology and good old fashioned thrills into a coherent enjoyable story.

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A review copy of this book was provided to me by the publisher in return for an honest and unbiased review of the same.

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