The Firekeepers of Jwalapuram by Vamsee Juluri
Series: The Kishkindha Chronicles #2
Genre: Indian Mythology/ Historical Fiction
About the Book:
Ancient Kishkindha. A few years have passed since Hanuman and his people defeated the savage race of beings that threatened to invade their country. But there is no calm in the land—volcanic ash and toxic rain are causing havoc everywhere. So, Hanuman, Princess Vaishnavi and the rishis set out to lead Kishkindhans to the safety of the cave-temples.
Meanwhile, in Kishkindha, empress Riksharaja, Hanuman’s aunt, torments her son Sugreeva, blaming him for abandoning his brother Vali to usurp the throne. There’s also a refugee crisis looming, with thousands of villagers streaming into the rock city every day as plants and trees die across the kingdom. It is a situation that Riksharaja decides to exploit for her own devious ends.
With their land under siege from within and without, and their way of life threatened again, how will Kishkindha survive?
The second installment in the kishkintha chronicles, this book starts right where the first one ended with a cliffhanger. The aftermath of kishkintha war and the world is still reeling from the shock and bloodshed and damage to life. Hanuman and his people are all affected by the terrible damage created by the human race and the mighty leader has to emerge from the below and save his people and restore the lost balance.
What I liked about the book is the creativity with which the author mixes myth with the fact and stories we had learnt and cherished all the years. With ease, the story moves with consistent pace making the reader turn pages automatically until the end is revealed.
Although, the book would have done a lot better if the editor had his mind in the book and decided to make it crisp and character driven. There were thin layers that lacked depth, and were only saved by the fact that some if the characters were well known and hadn’t really needed an explanation.
I’d recommend it for those who look for a bingeable light read with Indian mythological stories in it.
Meet the Author
Vamsee Juluri is a professor of media studies at the University of San Francisco. He is the author of three books, the most recent of which is Rearming Hinduism: Nature, Hinduphobia and the Return of Indian Intelligence (Westland ebooks 2014). He blogs at the Huffington Post and is a regular contributor for the Indian Express.