Name of the Wind : Review

A pub/inn, a setting where many stories get told. A setting for new friendships are made, old friends to share stories of their lives, travellers to rest before continuing to script their life stories. An innkeeper named Kote. A red haired man who was part of stories, legends. The one who is wise and keeps his past hidden under this masquerade. A loyal servant who knows the past. A traveller/story teller who happens to know some of the stories and wants to get the complete version. The setting for this magnificent tale of the most famous son of the Edema Ruh is perfect.
The myth of the Chandrian, the seven. The foundation years under an arcanist and his parents. The stories told through music and performance of the troupe. The art of Sympathy, magic of the world, which relies on relationships between materials is one of the best scientifically explained magic that I’ve read. The myth of the Chandrian, the struggles of Kvothe to reach The University after his parents’ death all contribute fairly to develop the character brilliantly. The story telling during his first term at the University is fantastic and provide a backdrop for some of the best moments of the tale to happen during the siege of Trebon by the Draccus and its conquering by the E’lir Kvothe and his eventual return to become Re’lar, the speaker of names.
The ending of the story, back in the Inn with the Chronicler settling down at the end of the day was bone chilling in a good way. The revelation by Bast about his intentions makes the reader yearn for more in the next two books of the trilogy.
I should specifically call out Denna, the girl Kvothe desires, but keeps slipping away. She is a metaphor for what you pursue so much and yet slips away from you, while still giving you hope to catch it eventually.
This is the second time I read the book and picked up a lot more nuances of each character. This is a must read for most fantasy lovers.

The Harry Potter Experience

So 10 years after entering adulthood, I decided to take the plunge and read the series. While reading it, I ignored the teenage, angsty side of Harry and his friends, and instead focussed on the plot, their characters in the face of adversity etc. The world building from Rowling is top notch. The marriage of the real world with the magical works perfectly. The invention of new food, sports, means of communication are all approachable and believable, and not queer enough to be deemed ridiculous.

The relationships between the kids, friendships and romance, aren’t overbearing to the movement of the plot, which is rapid through each of the books, while not missing out on crucial details and being descriptive enough to let the readers form imagery in their heads.

The Boy Who Lived is a metaphor for the one who fights on, despite knowing the end is near. The hope he clings on to is the same hope that provides the shining light and sends signals to his head to plot the overthrow of darkness amidst the ill omen that happen around him.

Snape is such an outstanding character that words fail me while trying to describe him. Though driven by his love for Lily, he does everything in his power to folly the plans of the Dark Lord, while pretending to do his bidding.

Dumbledore is a benevolent one, but he has enough shades of grey to not be the perfect being.

This is a fantasy series I wish I’d read 10 years ago, as the story happened, as the rest of the world experienced it. To take part in the ride of joy and despair together, to laugh and cry together. I already know what one of the things I’ll be doing with my unborn kid is going to be!

Immortals of Meluha

Just done with this book. I had been hearing very rave reviews for a long time now and wanted to check out the book. However, I went on a pilgrimage to Middle Earth and returned only a couple of weeks back and finally laid my hands on this one.

When I was at Rishikesh earlier this year and clicked this, I had wondered whether the man/God people worshipped as the Mahadev, the destroyer of evil etc was indeed some tribal chief who lived in those regions a few millenia ago. This is almost the concept in the book as well. A man who is brought to the land by its rulers, blinded by faith, yet that faith helps them conquer what they perceived as evil. As also the portrayal of Ram as the king who ruled the masses so well, yet had shortcomings in the way some systems like the physically challenged being kept away, mating to produce offsprings of the society than one’s own etc.

What I liked about the book is that it is written in such a simple, yet elegant style that I found it hard to put the book down (although I had to keep off it for about a week due to a very hectic schedule). And the way mythology is combined so brilliantly with history.

And finally, the message that comes at the end of the book. We are all shades of gray. No one is good nor evil.

PS : Flickr page pimping done

PPS : I hope some internet Hindus stumble upon this post and cause an outrage. The traffic on this blog has been pretty low these days.

Catch 22

Right, I finally did it. After months of procrastinating, spending time on other books while this lay ignored, I finally completed a journey through the World War with a captain named Yossarian. This book is about the War. And makes us realize that we don’t really need to depict/write about tragedies in order to explain that wars are only about killing people. No one really gains anything from it.

Funny and thought provoking is how I would define the work. At least till the last 3-4 chapters, where there is some reality check and we are put through the misery in the real sense. Each Catch 22 situation is well presented and makes you laugh out loud.

Yossarian is what most of us are NOT. We simply go through the motions without really complaining. Believe in something called a destiny and that all that we do will take us there. There are times when we need to question the system, simply because the system might be wrong and no one really realizes that, because they are too busy thinking that the system is right. We all go through the system right from our birth. We are told that we need to clear high school with flying colours so that we can relax when in college. When we are in college, they just raise the bar and say that we need to graduate with flying colours so that we can relax while at work. When we start working, we work harder, so that we can have a peaceful life when retired. And when we are retired, it is almost time to die, that you don’t have time to live.

Yossarian may come off as an escapist, but he was questioning the system. He questioned the system because a few men up in the hierarchy were making him, among many others, a pawn in their selfish motive, which was to go up higher in the ladder. All in the name of country.

Let us take a look at another character, Milo. He is the man who is the symbol of the greed prevalent in society. He is selfish and drools when the term “profit” is mentioned. People who stoop down to any level to make money. He is the one who abuse the system for his needs. Rings any bells?(I am sure, most Indians know whom I meant.)

Then, there are the voices who do not stand a chance to be heard and are blamed for anything. Voices, who really wish that change comes to the system, but are too afraid to speak out or when they do, their voices are blanked out. Chaplain is one of them. He has no choice, but to stay within the system.However, such men find their voice, when someone else also shows the courage to do so.

Sorry for a few spoilers above. But they are not spoilers. If you can gather the patience to sit through the initial few pages, I highly recommend that you read this book, if you haven’t already. If you have read this book, I will highly recommend that you read this book again. Want to know why?