The Immortals of Meluha – 1900 BC. In what modern Indians mistakenly call the Indus Valley Civilisation. The inhabitants of that period called it the land of Meluha – a near perfect empire created many centuries earlier by Lord Ram, one of the greatest monarchs that ever lived.
This once proud empire and its Suryavanshi rulers face severe perils as its primary river, the revered Saraswati, is slowly drying to extinction. They also face devastating terrorist attacks from the east, the land of the Chandravanshis. To make matters worse, the Chandravanshis appear to have allied with the Nagas, an ostracised and sinister race of deformed humans with astonishing martial skills.
The only hope for the Suryavanshis is an ancient legend: ‘When evil reaches epic proportions, when all seems lost, when it appears that your enemies have triumphed, a hero will emerge.’
Is the rough-hewn Tibetan immigrant Shiva, really that hero? And does he want to be that hero at all?
Drawn suddenly to his destiny, by duty as well as by love, will Shiva lead the Suryavanshi vengeance and destroy evil? This is the first book in a trilogy on Shiva, the simple man whose karma re-cast him as our Mahadev, the god of gods.
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Book Review by Melanie D. Typaldos
This book is…different. I don’t even know what category to put it in. It was recommended to me by a friend in India as a popular Indian science fiction trilogy. However, I do not think it qualifies as science fiction, at least in this first book.
The novel is a pretty good read though and definitely a look at the world through a non-western lens. I am learning a lot about Hindu mythology, although I am not sure what is part of the standard mythology and what is the novel’s own invention.
In Immortals of Meluha, one of the main Hindu gods, Shiva, is actually a mortal human and chieftain of a small tribe in Tibet. He and his tribe are invited by the Meluhans to immigrate into their country, which is peaceful and prosperous, unlike the area where Shiva is from where his tribe is constantly waring with neighboring tribes and struggling for survival. Once they reach Meluha, each member of the tribe is given a medicine which rids them off all illness and confers virtual immortality. In addition, Shiva develops a blue throat indicating that he is of special importance to the Meluhans. A prophecy indicates that he will deliver them from their enemies.
At this point, Shiva is not a god, he’s just a regular guy trying to deal with a new culture that has huge expectations of him. The basic question facing him is what is the difference between good and evil?
There are some science fictiony aspects. The Meluhans, while just entering the bronze age, seem to have very sophisticated knowledge of medicine and chemistry. They understand anti-oxidants, for instance. They don’t have gun powder or even crossbows, but there is some reference to divine weapons that could even be nuclear.
I’m going to read the next book. I’m interested in where this is going.
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About the Author
IIM-Kolkata educated financial services professional, fascinated by history, philosophy and the future of human civilisation. The inspiration for this story came from years of reading mythological stories, historical books and invigorating discussions with his family about the destiny of the human body, mind and soul. Amish lives in Mumbai with his wife Preeti. He is presently writing book two of this trilogy.