Category: Books I Read and Reviewed!

Rafflesia: The Banished Princess – Book Review

Hello all!

Today I am back with a book review. Yes! Another one that I managed to end up recently.

The book up for review is titled Rafflesia: The Banished Princess by Gautam. The book is provided by Arudhaa Club in exchange for a genuine review.

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Blurb:

The curtains draw up. The lights are dimmed. The musical is about to begin. As the beautiful princess descends on stage, the mythical creatures from her kingdom come alive. Flickers of brilliant colours blaze across as mesmerizing music pulsates from one corner of the theatre to the other. A fairy tale is about to unfold…

As young children, we often come across things that stay in our hearts forever. For Appu, it is a fairy tale about the beautiful princess. He lives with her in a world filled with the magical creatures from her kingdom until the real world beckons. A reluctant Appu steps into it as a striking young man and struggles to find his place.

What follows is an evocative tale of love and loss, friendship and betrayal, as the story travels through the snow-peaked mountains of Arunachal to the golden deserts of Jaisalmer, the tulip gardens of Holland to the lush greens of Kerala. Does Appu find what he had set out for? The answer lies in Rafflesia – The Banished Princess . . . because in her story, lay his!

Review:

Well, honestly speaking ( or rather writing! ) it was the blurb and the cover that made me pick this book for reading. The cover and the blurb made me think that it was some Oriental-Indian linked story. With words like magic, kingdom and princess, I believed it would be a story of a common man and his muse, though fictitious. I guess it has to do with the kind of books I love, like ‘If you could see me now’ by Cecelia Ahern.

But that’s exactly what the book, isn’t!

Rafflesia: The Banished Princess is the story, the journey of life of Appu. The story moves along the incidents, the people, the ups and downs, the goods and bads that happen in Appu’s life. His home, his parents, his friendships with the neighbourhood children, his best friend Rahul, his work and his marriage – it is all about the life of a young man. His life which isn’t as simple as he is.

Appu isn’t one tall, dark, handsome and all manly kind of protagonist. He is a simple, soft spoken, caring, helping, supportive kind of a man. Someone who may not strike you with his looks but will leave an impact with his simplicity and his character. He is probably just another man we see struggling with his inner demons and the incessant demands of the society. And all he looks for is love and peace. A little happiness and companionship. Things seem to be all on the rocky side for Appu till he gets a job in Holland. Just when all seem good, he goes ahead and makes matters worse for himself – he gets married. The way he manages to come out of those things each and every time, the way he faces things silently but firmly forms the story.

The other very impressive character in the novel is Rahul. His life is so closely woven with Appu’s that you feel for both the characters. A moment comes when it becomes difficult to take sides and say who is right and who is wrong. His life hasn’t been as easy as he shows it to be. It’s just like ‘you never know what’s going on in the other person’s life unless you are in his shoes’. Rahul is the best friend Appu has, but both of them are so guarded about their pains and troubles that they don’t even share it with each other. It makes you know that even the best of friends have their own deeply hidden secrets which they wouldn’t share.

As the story moves ahead, you meet many different people, all those who have some role to play in Appu’s life. They come, they connect, they teach or share somethings and some moments with him and then they leave. They leave with a lasting impression on the reader as well as Appu.

Coming to the point of my opinion on this book. Though I was misguided by the blurb and the cover, I decided to read it till the end. Not that I was disappointed, but I wasn’t too pleased either. The innumerable characters that keep coming in and going, kind of distract you from the main story. The 396 pages of the novel actually might make you skeptical. I was overwhelmed in the beginning too. But to carry on with the story and follow the events, you’d have to skip through some pages which describe everything with too much detail. Sometimes the writer should leave a few things for the reader’s imagination.

I would give this book a 4/5.

The story line and the plot are major reason for the score. The language was smooth and impressive. The author has indeed done a commendable job in maintaining the tempo of the story. The fluctuating of time and events are well managed through the course of the story. On the whole, a good one time read if you have ample time at your disposal and want to read a simple story with a deep underlying message.

You can order this book here on Amazon.in

So that’s it! I hope to be back soon. Maybe a poem. Maybe a short story. Or maybe just another review! 😉

Lots of love and best wishes for all!

Syeda

Calling for submissions for Anthology! #poetry #shortstories

Hello all! 

I am back after an unintended break. Some issues that cropped up regarding work and spouse health had kept me extremely busy. Soon will be up with a book review, but today I’m here to announce about an anthology!

This is open to all writers out there. Even international poets and authors can send in their entries. There are no hidden charges, for it is a genuine way to make dreams come true. 

Do send in your entries. Kindly spread the word so that all of us who dream and aspire to get published might just see it happen for real. 

P.S. Yours truly in involved in this, so friends let the entries come in abundantly!! 😉😍 Waiting to read your work!!

Lots of love and best wishes!

Syeda

Another Tale of Two Cities by Ezhuth Aani – Book Review

Hi all! 

I am back with another book review. So here it goes!

The book is provided by Arudhaa Club in exchange for a genuine review.

Blurb:

Fourteen thirty one is the year remembered for the martyrdom of Joan of Arc. But another landmark event was unfolding in a future French colony. Cambodia was a cultural cauldron of Hinduism, Mahayana Buddhism and Theravada Buddhism. The largest metropolis of the preindustrial era was also facing a climate change calamity.

The story unfolds in fifteenth century Cambodia and travels to China, Sri Lanka, India and the Middle East, as Princes Adithya and Mahendra set out to seek help for their beleaguered country. Will the splendid twin cities of Angkor Wat and Angkor Thom survive? Who wins the heart of Mandagini, the warrior princess?

Review:

The cover is really intriguing. The reflection of the city and the hues do pull the reader towards it. 

The reader is taken into a world centuries ago, and the turmoils of the two princes, Adithya and Mahendra. Their dedication and patriotism towards the country is what makes them do the unimaginable and unbelievable. They are ready to face the impossible for the welfare of their motherland. And that’s what makes the story go ahead.

The tasks and missions they undertake for the people, their kings and their countries involves the voyages, the quests and the revelations of many things. The story tries to describe everything in detail -a lot of imagery in place. 

The storyline is set in Cambodia yet all the regions and the happenings of the world over are discussed and narrated. The characters are strong and described in detail. There are many minor characters fulfilling the needs of the story. 

I would give the book a 3.75/5. 

On the whole, the story kept me involved. A good read if someone is interested in the historical fiction genre. The reason it fall 0.25 short from the 4 is the extreme detailed description of things. As a reader, I find it a little difficult to follow the story if too much information is there, for it makes me restless for the story to move ahead! Kind of deviates me from the main storyline.

You can order the book from here on Amazon.

So that’s about it!

Lots of love and best wishes!

Syeda

Unns – The Captivation – Book Review

Hi all!

I am back on the review track. This week I was busy in my assignments. Finally when I was done with them, I could take some time out to read. So, here comes the review!!
The book is provided by Arudhaa Club in exchange for a genuine review.


Blurb
:

“Of course you know about the seven stages of love – but have you ever lived them?”

Atharva Rathod and Meher Qasim.

Lovebirds since adolescence. Bonded by love, separated by circumstances. They part ways only to meet again. But this time, he is on a secret mission…

Are they in control of their own destiny, or is it destiny which is making them dance to its tunes? Only time would answer, as Atharva and Meher unwillingly and unknowingly transcend the seven stages of love.

A quintessential tale of love and romance marked beautifully by its own rustic old school charm.

About the author:

Sapan Saxena is a software engineer by profession and an author by choice. Born in the city of nawabs, Lucknow, he earned his Engineering degree from MNNIT Allahabad. Sapan started writing when he was coding for a complex algorithm and found that a fictional story would at least make some sense.

Currently based in Nashua, New Hampshire, he is the author of the highly acclaimed FINDERS KEEPERS. Unns – The Captivation is his 2nd attempt at writing fiction.

Review:

A cover that makes you gear up as though you are plunging into a love story. Just my thoughts when I saw the cover of the book. 

Atharva is a simple, decent guy who has a different perspective towards everything in life. Meher is an ambitious and confused girl. She had an adamant personality while he is the patient one. Two contrasting people and as they say, opposites attract each other. So we have Unns – The Captivation.

The story starts slowly with the school days of Atharva and Meher, their meeting and falling in love. Little snippets of love, talks of romance and promises made, only to be broken later, are what follow as their love grows. The turn comes when Meher makes a decision and the world turns over for the male protagonist. 

Years pass by and Meher comes walking into Atharva’s life again. Is life giving their love another chance? Is the love he has kept in him, his power or his weakness? Why after so many years? 

The second half of the book, the part after he has grown up into a man, that’s where the story got me hooked and after that there was no way I could keep it down again. The story moved from here on as a thriller. 

Unbelievable and unexpected! 

Though I found it a little slow in the beginning, the latter part kept me intrigued with each turning page. What you don’t think could happen, happens! What you won’t believe, happens! What you weren’t ready for, happens! On the whole a well written story, woven well with the real world crisis we countrymen face. While Atharva is a well crafted character, after all he is the protagonist, the character of Meher is left like a mystery! Meher comes and goes. She appears and vanishes. A totally mysterious persona! Her character is left to the reader’s imagination and thoughts.

Rating: I would give it 4 stars …. for keeping me intrigued and lost in the enigma of Atharva! 😄

So that’s about it! The book is really one to pick if you are looking for a thriller+romance+suspense+drama package! Order it here on Amazon.

Keep reading! Keep sharing! Keep smiling!

Lots of love!

Syeda

Because Every Raindrop is a Hope by Mansi Sharma and Sankalp Kohli – Book Review!

Hi all! How is everyone doing? Missed me? 😄😂

Well have had some busy busy days, with school work dominating my schedule. Haven’t been able to write or read much these days! Life sometimes goes for a toss.😮

Anyway, me back here with a new review. Do check it out.

The book I will be reviewing here for you all is ‘Because Every Raindrop is a Hope’ by Mansi Sharma and Sankalp Kohli

The book is provided by Arudha Club in exchange for a genuine review.


Blurb: 

Caught in the turmoil of Underrated Love and an Overrated Infatuation, Raj today is at the cross road of life, where every road ahead leads to nothing but a Dead-end.

A thwarted soul with the guilt of not having been forgiven by Mahek, his frustration leads him to seclusion.

With no ray of hope, just when Raj is about to give up on life, a note, ‘Never give up Raj. . . Because. . . Every Raindrop is a Hope’ brings Raj face to face with his own self.

Why Love that makes Life beautiful, turns into Satan? Why friendship one fine say loses all its meaning? Why on the crowded roads of Mumbai city, Raj finds himself walking all alone?

Will Raj challenge life and fight back with the sword  of Hope or will he take the easy way out by succumbing to arduous tests of time.

Review:

The story talks about Raj and the ups and downs in his life. The misconception that most people have, when they think they know love. The story is about the man who is blessed with true love but does he recognize it? 

Does true love really exist? If so, how do we know when it happens? The story does try to cater to these questions. It is about a protagonist who is not all positive or goody-good man. It is about a man who has real life issues, regrets, heartbreak, friends, rivalry, distrust, and ego. Neither is he all bad. He is just human. That’s what I liked in the story!

The characters well written and the narration is also smooth. Yet I feel the character of Mahek could have been treated better. On the whole a good simple story for the young adults.

I would give it a 3.5/5.

You can order it here Amazon

Take care my dear friends!

Lots of love and best wishes!

Syeda 😘😘