Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Review: Pyre of Queens

David Hair’s book Pyre of Queens is an extremely interesting and riveting book. A book which will keep you hooked to the very end with its various twists and turns. Hair has managed to pack horror, reincarnation, mythology, ritual of Sati, history all in one book!

The book alternates between two periods one is in 769 AD in Mandore, Rajasthan and the other is current day Jodhpur, Rajasthan. When you have a horror, mystery, intrigues set in a place like Rajasthan you have a sure winner in your hands. So is this book.

The story starts with Ravindra-Raj, the evil sorcerer-king of Mandore in Rajasthan, devises a
deadly secret ritual, where he and his seven queens will burn on his pyre, and he will rise again with the powers of Ravana, demon-king of the epic Ramayana. But things go wrong when one queen, the beautiful, spirited Darya, escapes with the help of Aram Dhoop, the court poet. Aram Dhoop loves Darya but she is in love with Shastri, the commander of king’s soldiers. Theirs is an unfulfilled love story and they are to be re born till the time they do not put their demons to rest.

So  after many re-incarnations they meet again in Jodhpur, Rajasthan in 2010. At the site of ancient Mandore, teenagers Vikram, Amanjit,  Deepika and Rasita meet and realize that the deathless king and his ghostly brides are hunting them down. As vicious forces from the past come alive, they need to unlock truths that have been hidden for centuries, and
fight an ancient battle . . . one more time.

The book falters in its plot at times. It also gets a bit confusing when the teenagers fight with their past life demons.  The love story between Shastri and Darya is a bit unconvincing.

Some characters that stand out are Ravindra Raj, the man is particularly evil and gory. Aram Dhoop the poet is also an endearing character but the decision he takes in the end will make him suffer till his death.

Will they manage to set all things right and go back to live a life more normal without being haunted by their past lives? What happens to Ravindra Raj and his brides? Read the book to know more.

Very fascinating read. Look forward to his next!

About the author :

David Hair is a New Zealander, who has worked primarily in financial services. He has a degree in History and Classical Studies. He has lived from 2007 to 2010 in New Delhi, India, but usually resides in Wellington, New Zealand. Apart from writing, he is interested in folklore, history and has a passion for football.

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