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.
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!
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!