Sunday, July 28, 2013

Shiva Trilogy - Oath of The Vayuputras : A Less than Fitting Conclusion

"Shiva is gathering his forces. He reaches the Naga capital, Panchavati, and Evil is finally revealed. The Neelkanth prepares for a holy war against his true enemy, a man whose name instils dread in the fiercest warriors.  
India convulses under the onslaught of a series of brutal battles. It’s a war for the very soul of the nation. Many will die. But Shiva must not fail, no matter what the cost. In his desperation, he reaches out to the ones who have never offered any help to him: the Vayuputras.
Will he succeed? And what will be the real cost of battling Evil? To India? And to Shiva’s soul?"

After ‘The Immortals of Meluha’ and ‘The Secret of the Nagas’, book lovers across the country have eagerly awaited Amish Tripathi’s ‘The Oath of The Vayuputras’. On reading the two books, many questions have been formulated in our minds. Decisions are yet to be taken and some paths are yet to be trotted upon. Amish Tripathi has promised to tie a knot to all loose ends in this book that completes the trilogy. Does he deliver as he says?

The Neelkanth is in search of the evil bothering the nation. In his quest, he joins hands with the Meluhans, the Swadeepans and the Nagas. These three races, which are known for their rivalry and enmity, put all differences aside and accept the different ways of life. The uptight and ‘true to their word’ Suryavanshis, and the passionate and follow their free will’ Chandravanshis mingle with each other and exchange their ideas to strengthen Shiva’s troop. The out casted Nagas also get accepted as mere humans who are good in intentions but left bitter by their own flaws. The Vasudevs lead Shiva in the quest of true evil, an evil that shocks everyone.

An evil which has always been there among them, unrecognized. An evil which has divided the races and caused hostility among people from the same mother land. It stirs chaos among families and loyalties are questioned. Love comes in between the goal, causing more complications and making it simpler. Some courageous characters fight still the last drop of blood, to protect their people and eradicate evil. Some give in to their cowardly vices and betray their cause. As a well-planned and organized war goes wrong, Shiva is left with just one option – The Vayuputras.

Amish Tripathi writes for the mind and the soul. While the philosophies stir the minds, the emotions touch the soul. He has portrayed different relations between characters well. Though Daksha wants to destroy Shiva, his protectiveness for his daughter Sati stops him from attacking the group. Bhagirath is constantly worried about his sister, Anandmayi and ensures that no harm falls upon her. Parvateshwar’s respect for Shiva is reciprocated well, though they choose different sides. Ganesh places trust on his younger brother, Karthik, to lead a fight.

Tripathi is an ace when it comes to description. The picturistic words used to describe intricate designs and architecture shows that he not only cares about the details, but savours it. The dialogues used are so powerful and thought incepting. He has given a scientific angle to many symbols and practices, which has some truth to it. Mythological elements are present in a different light. The parallelism drawn to the stories we have grown listening to is fascinating. One example I find very astonishing is how he explains about the plague in Branga, which could be related to a concentration of cancer cases in Bengal in a modern day world.

First of all, let's give credit where it's due. Amish has successfully created a great universe of Ancient India and has tied it quite nicely with all of our mythology. From that perspective, the buildup of the last two books, as far as the story goes, was also quite good. 

But, in the end, that's where the brilliance of the trilogy ends. 

I hate it when a book or a movie ends badly. I don't mean tragically, or in a way that is different than I expected. I simply mean a bad ending. Where you get a sense that the author did not really know how to conclude so he or she just wrapped it up somehow. In this book, you get a sense that the author always knew what the epilogue was going to be, and that is not bad. But the conclusion is what should have been thought out better. Far better. What happens more or less negates everything else that the book was leading up to. And plus the whole climax hinged on the stupidity of one single character. When that happens, you know that the ending is forced.
The other big problem I had with the book is that Shiva really doesn't do much in this book at all. He is simply roaming around India and is a part of only one battle where the enemies were anyways vastly outnumbered. So the premise of the trilogy - a mortal human becoming a God for the people due to his deeds - is in the end just lip service.

Besides these two big problems, there were several smaller problems throughout the book. Karthik, who was born in the second book is a brilliant strategist, warrior and leader in this book. It's very difficult to follow the time that has passed in the book. A f
ew people are randomly righteous, moral, idiotic, brilliant at the switch of the author's buttons. The author gets too fixated trying to explain engineering and scientific marvels. The title is totally redundant - the so-called oath of vayuputras plays a very small role in the book. Several events in the book are forced. Especially things that drive war events. Language of the book is really terrible. English itself is fine. But contemporary colloquial English did nothing to set the mood of the period.

So, all in all, not that great a trilogy. The details were too much; a little air of mystery could have been maintained. A story like this deserved a better ending than it got. I am not discouraging anyone from reading the book; you should read it anyway, especially if you have been bombarded with bed time stories on Shiva, Devi and Ganpati.


  1. You know, I started reading Immortals of Meluha but it somehow just didn't keep me involved. So I'd put it on hold, you know, to read when I had the patience. But now, after reading you the-trilogy-end-disappointingly review, I don't think I'm going to trudge through two books to reach an okay-ish ending. Or do you think I still should read the first two?

    1. You should read the two as they are really good but i cant say the same about the ending though but you know how it goes you have to complete the series if you start on it :P

  2. I liked the Oath of Vayuputras, mixed with suspense, tragedy, and chaos. Of course, we could almost predict the climax at around 80% reading from the start, but the title of the book is misleading. i wonder why Amish picked up such a title. And certainly, i wouldnt know everyone want to consider Shiva as a god, even though what he did at the end. It was nothing special, really,, all killing and violence doesnt make anyone a god.

    From the real mythological stories, Shiva was a profound meditator and Yogi, and Sita herself grew up hearing the legend of Shiva and in deep love with him since childhood. I wonder why the author decided to completely twist the timeline and chronological events of the story, perhaps to put a little more punch into the novel, similar to how Dan Brown depicts fiction in his novels.
    In the end the story remains a fiction, with science blend into it.

    I hope Amishji can release the " Mahabharatha " also. It would be a cult novel of this time and age for sure!

    1. Hoping the very same!!

      Thanks for stopping by :)