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Sunday, April 17, 2016

Book Review: The Devil and the Deadly Peace-Tales of Khaga by Sindhura Chamala

Title: The Devil and the Deadly Peace-Tales of Khaga
Author: Sindhura Chamala
Publisher: Kiwi Books
Genre: Fiction
Date:  2016
Price: Rs.249
Pages: 196
This story begins with death of the king of Jalika, a strategic monarch who makes the best of the neutral , in between location of its kingdom from two rival nations  described as the first and the second nations , by encouraging trade over war. As the kingdoms benefit under his leadership and the war lasting for decades between them dies, courtesy his strategies there is peace. This is however just on the surface and needs to be constantly maintained, like the temperature of boiling lava beneath the earth. A peace event is therefore proposed to ensure prosperity but alas! just a few days before, the king passes away. Nobody in his family is a perfect heir to the throne or even keenly interested. 

On the other hand as his council and chief minister smell dirty in his death and the question hangs before the secret brotherhood the king formed, a devil comes into scene. The devil claims to have a pact with the king which should be carried out, no matter what. Nobody knows the identity of this unknown character, but like its name it exists only in shadows. There are many questions unanswered and complexities increase as one after another ministers and representatives from the two nations arrive at Jalika, to sign the treaty. The power center needs to be re-established and the peace maintained. Even a small event can reignite the demon of war between the two kingdoms and all could go in vain. Was the king killed? Who is the devil? Can the peace events happen in peace or at all? Will the war start again and who wants war?

As serpents of the past creep and crawl into the minds of the people wanting answers and peace, Jalika stands uncertain hoping for a maintained peace. The story moves into the attackers weaving an unravel-able web of code that is so difficult to detect, let alone decipher.

The Devil and the deadly peace is a story where all you can think of characters in fiction come to life. To begin with the book cover is attractive but given the story it could have been much better if it was a map or a creation of how the landscape setting of the story was. Surprisingly there is no map either in the book which is a huge set back as everything is set to the readers imagination and a lot of text which could never match the essence and speed of a visual map in creating the image.

The story has a lot of variables and that's how the author keeps the reader engaged and away from the real plot. The writing has a lot of narration for the smallest event happening and that should be cut down a little as most of it can be imagined by the reader. A crisper writing here would be helpful, particularly critical in this genre.

The storyline has some exceptional merits like the code being used but if the writer developed it at a depth to a level where stalwarts like Dan Brown write, this could have been easily one of the best books coming out from the country this year. 

Despite the short comings the story keeps you engaged and thinking till the last page. Sindhura's mind weaves great plots and I shall be waiting for more from her.

Rating: 3/5. Recommended.

About The Author: Sindhura has a bachelor's degree in Information Systems from BITS Pilani Goa Campus. She works as a Software Professional in Bangalore. Away from work, you can find her reading or writing with a cup of tea nearby. 

You can find more about her and her works on her website.

Grab a copy now!!!

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