April 26, 2017

Book Review: The Flame of Anahata by Saranya Umakanthan

The Flame of Anahata
Author: Saranya Umakanthan
Publisher: General Press
Rating: 3.5/5

With the second book of the series- Come back warrior Trilogy, Saranya has aced the test. Not only have her writing skills been appreciated but her prowess to present mythology fiction to the readers has been acknowledged too. ‘Anahata’- is a Sanskrit word that means "unhurt, unstruck, and unbeaten". Anahata is associated with a peaceful, calm and serene sound. The title of the book presents a contradiction, for the extreme nature of a flame is being given to the Anahata. This title not only evokes intrigue but also makes the readers understand the relation of Anahata with Hinduism and Yoga.

As said by Vilayanur S. Ramachandran, ‘A civilization without mythology is not really a civilization’, mythology books are loved by all readers. The only barrier in understanding this genre is not getting to read the prequels and sequels. ‘The Flame of Anahata’ is the second book in the series. Not having read the first book, I was skeptical to pick up this book but once I started, I never felt a gap. Coherent narration and intelligible plotting are what make this book good. With fine editing and good quality of print, General Press has made a mark in the field of literature too. But somewhere the monologues and the lengthy descriptive paragraph acted as the speed breakers.

Starting with a blend of past life and the present one, the author successfully balanced the personalities of the characters. The interesting prologue and the chronological order of the events helped in not baffling me. Another drawback is the cover of the book. With such a strong title, a more meaningful cover was expected. I presume that the image of the lady is being misunderstood by the readers like me. But we review what we see, isn’t it?

The two protagonists- Suraj and Diya, are no different than our very own Bollywood actors. But there is one thread that makes their love story more interesting. In the past life, when Suraj was a warrior of Shaktipur (Inderjeet), he lost his love owing to his cunning brother. And that is what makes him more determined to win his love in the present time. The story is about how Suraj finishes the unfinished of the past and gets on terms with his life in the present.

Doesn’t this sound familiar? Having recently watched the trailer of ‘Raabta’, I found a connection between the two. And that made me pose this question: Why in India majority of the movies are adapted from the books?

Coming back to the topic, ‘Flame of Anahata’ is a finely written mythological book. The author has done much research on the topic and that can be seen in the way the events (twists and turns) are placed in the story. With a good pace and an engaging plot, this book is worth a read.

Best wishes to the author!

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Review copy: Provided by Kalamos Literary Services

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