The Oath of the Vayuputras (Shiva Trilogy, #3)by Amish Tripathi Published 27 Feb 2013
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ONLY A GOD CAN STOP IT.
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 of 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?
Discover the answer to these mysteries in this concluding part of the bestselling Shiva Trilogy.
"The Oath of the Vayuputras (Shiva Trilogy, #3)" Reviews
I am sad. Mr. Tripathi... what happened?
After the first two books, I had high hopes. The writing was good, the plot was good; it had purpose - "Evil" had risen in Meluha, Shiva had to stop it. Simple, yes? Throughout the first two books, we were given the impression that evil, in the form of some not-so-nice people, was lurking in the shadows, ever-growing, ever-menacing, threatening to disrupt life as they knew it,and it must be stopped at all cost.
And then came the third book.
As soon as I started the book, I knew something was wrong. Instead of the story being about Shiva and his ultimate, glorious triumph over evil, we were being told that, suddenly, the balance between "Good" and "Evil" had been destroyed and that Shiva must rise to the occasion quickly and remove "Evil" and restore "Good" (All this was told over 50 or so pages with the words "Good" and "Evil" being thrown in my face about 20 times per page. It is safe to assume by the end of it, I was nursing murderous feelings towards the author/editor)
Only, turns out "Evil" is not a person, or even persons, but, in fact, is the Somras.
I know right? Ooooh, an elixir that gives you immortality and perfect health! SO EVIL!!!!
(EDIT : See what I mean?)
A vague and half-assed explanation was given about how that though the Somras is beneficial to some, it can cause side-effects among others (Nagas, Brangas) and so, even though it started out as "Good", it has now (out of nowhere) been declared as "Evil" and must be destroyed. Actually, no, let me correct myself. It wasn't declared "Evil" out of nowhere. It was declared "Evil" only when Shiva came to the conclusion (THIS was out of nowhere) that Somras was "Evil".
Don't even get me started on the contrivances in this book. Apparently, it was all planned from the beginning that Shiva was going to be the Neelkanth. His Uncle had given him some drink when Shiva was a kid (which Shiva conveniently remembered just now) that would ensure that his throat would turn blue when he drank the Somras, which would happen only if he drank it at the right time (Was his uncle psychic?) and that "Evil" would be recognised, or something would be accepted as "Evil", ONLY when Shiva decided it so (Does this mean, he could have pointed at a rock on the ground and declared it "Evil" and people would have accepted it blindly?!)
The good thing is, Amish has Shiva think like the readers and question the credibility of this whole shebang. The bad thing is, Amish tries to explain it away with a feeble "everything happened exactly the way it should because the universe conspired it so". Ugh.
Let's talk about Kartik, Shiva and Sati's son, a bit here. In this book, we find him as a superior warrior, defeating even the likes of Ganesh; leading vicious, bloody battles ending in victories; preaching and counseling even wise men like Maharishi Brighu. Which should sound perfectly fine - history is rife with brave, wise men like this. My problem? HE IS SIX F***ING YEARS OLD
Ultimately, what was most disappointing about this book (I had put it down for two days and completely forgot it pick it up again, I was that unenthusiastic) was the terrible ending. [spoilers removed]
I give up.
P.S - What oath? What Vayuputras? Holy misleading title, Batman!
A funky mix of pseudo-science, pseudo-history and pseudo-mythology, The Oath of the Vayuputras marks a new low for this trilogy. Amish ensures that anyone reading this book will emerge with a thoroughly muddled conception of Indian mythology and pre-history. This would be a valuable asset when the movie comes out.
I had criticized the plot mechanism in my previous review by comparing it to an Amar-Chitra Katha. I have to take that back. Amar-Chitra Kathas were really good, in fact. No I would venture to say that the plotting, the characterizations and the dialogues are in the time honored tradition of the beloved saas-bahu serials of India. You cannot go wrong with that.
I clenched my teeth and read through this one. And guess what, the book ends with a threat that Shiva willing, there might be more!
PS. I have so many rants, especially factual ones. But unless someone wants to contest me about the virtues of the book, I am not going to bother.
PPS. The Star Progression for the trilogy = 3,2,1.
An unfitting end to a wonderful series. What I intend to imply by an unfitting end is that the entire novel disappoints. Not just the end. It does not feel like a book from the same person who wrote the fantastic "Secret of the Nagas" or "The Immortals of Meluha" before that. Amish left the readers on such a high after the 2nd book that he had to hit a home run with this one or else, it was doomed to fail. And fail it does!
For starters, the book is way too long! It could have easily been brought down to about 300 pages. Would have made it much less painful to read! All the secrets are revealed in the first 100 pages itself! Makes you wonder what else is going to come ahead! Sets one to expect more twists and turns in the point. However, the only thing that did come ahead was page upon page of unnecessary details! Yawwwwwnnnnnn!!! It took me forever to get through the 200s (pages I mean).
The author's writing skills are reflected in the latter half of the book (say page 300+), but by then the damage has already been inflicted. I could not be convinced beyond that point. It sure gets interesting, making you want to read further. But that's it. It was not enough to make me get over the trauma of the 200s.
The end is too filmy to say the least! I am really disappointed with the way the story has ended, after being shaped up so beautifully (with the previous 2 books).
It has all the elements of a typical Bollywood climax scene. A death, a fight scene, hero escaping unscathed, family scene, hero running off to find peace, follow the hero X years later. How typical! How predictable! I was expecting something new. Something else.
I would like to add that Amish is a skilled writer. I cannot allow one failed book to change that fact. His play of words and easy-breezy style of writing is still wonderful to read. There are some statements in the book that instantly captures one's attention. It is simple things written in a simple yet striking manner. My favorite line - "There is no wrong way to do the right thing". Wonderful!
The book is an abysmal end to a wonderful series. Some amazing characters, superb plots, great writing, fast paced – that is how I would like to remember the Shiva Trilogy. For those who have read and loved the first 2 books, this book would not change much. But yes, it surely leaves one wanting for something far better than what has been dished to us.
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A satisfying ending to a great saga
Let me be honest. When I heard that Amish was writing his third and final novel to the Shiva Trilogy, I was kinda relieved. Thinking that we would finally get some closure to Shiva's life, I greedily picked up the book and went through with it. Now as I have turned the final page of India's most successful series in recent times, I sincerely wish it had gone on just a bit longer.
The first 200 pages or so were quite boring and honest to God, I was planning to shut this book and place it in an already overcrowded bookshelf in a section I have called I wish I hadn't. Had this been a single book with no books before or after it, I would have done so without a second thought. But, due to the fun I had reading the previous novels, I knew I just had to get through with it, just hoping for the best. And so, I went on.
And, I haven't regretted doing so one bit, the story actually picked up, the moment I thought it had become bland and I was hooked. Lots of emotion, drama, action, war etc filled the 300+ pages. Saying any further will only act as a spoiler since there are a lot of twists and turns each linked to each other in some way or another.
Amish has definitely done a great job bringing closure to all the major characters in the trilogy. Couldn't have asked for anything less or anything more.
I would definitely love for Amish to continue writing such novels and entertaining us all the more. Amish, Best of Luck in advance for your future works, if any.
For the Indian reader, you can grab this book from Flipkart at a discounted rate of Rs.245 over the cover price of Rs.350.
Within the first 100 pages, I was haunted by the feeling that Amish Tripathi probably had the following written on a post-it that he stuck prominently to his screen when writing this book:
1) Tie up all loose ends!
2) Rationalize the legend and all actions around him! Everything must be given a scientific reason, nothing can be attributed to supernatural/superhuman possibilities.
3) Complete the story! Since you promised a trilogy, discovering that there is enough material for a fourth book is a no-no!
4) Retain the realism and passion of the first two books! The Secret of the Nagas (Shiva Trilogy, #2) slipped a little bit from the high standards that The Immortals of Meluha set, so compensate... compensate!
I think the author prioritized #1 so much, that he traded off some of the other priorities, with the end-result being that the book ended up a little flatter than the first two, and the overall effect was just a little disappointing. However, to the author's credit, to pull off a story of this quality is in itself a huge achievement, and the Shiva series raises the bar higher than any Indian fiction has achieved in the fantasy/mythology space in a long time.
Part of the disappointment for me, is due to my background as a science fiction fan. The distinction between quality sci-fi and pulp sci-fi is the plausibility of the fantastic science described in various situations. I appreciate Amish Tripathi's commitment towards rationalizing the fantastic, but to the average scientific, some of the scientific stuff is even more far-fetched and implausible than the super-hero stuff he seeks to avoid at all costs. [spoilers removed]
Some of the sub-plot twists were simply weird, I thought this came from trying to tell too many stories simultaneously. Some stories, or sub-stories - if there is such a thing, have a life of their own, and tend to hijack the plot if you succumb to the temptation of letting them take themselves to a "logical end". A good example of how this can be handled, is The Lord of the Rings, where the author simply reduces the character-count to a much more manageable list. The Dune series also suffered from the same over-characterization that this book suffers from, with similar results.
There were brilliant moments in the story, moments where I felt the pace was as gripping as in the previous books, and these parts hold the book together for the sometimes heavy 535 pages. But the ratio of "number of pages read per brilliant moment", is simply lower as compared to the previous two books. This is probably an example of the predecessors leaving too high a bar for the last instalment to leap over!
All in all, this will go down as one of the best book series I have consumed, and I look forward to reading the three books back-to-back. I look forward to what Amish will come up with next, considering the clear hint he drops about the "Mahabaratha". Bring it on...