Monday, November 23, 2009

Book Review: Eldest by Christopher Paulini

One of the reasons why I bought this book was, the outstanding cover of a flaming Red Dragon with flaring nostrils and baleful eyes. Good thing it turned out to be, for I judged the book by its cover.

‘Eldest’ is a fantastic tale woven with all the elements of mystery, magic, moral values and myriad characters, and not unlike the Lord of the Rings. The book is well researched, and the Ancient Languages, dragons, elves, dwarves, humans, sinister creatures the Ra’zac, wizards with their powerful spells and swords, dangerous journeys, and wars makes this book a runaway hit with fantasy fans.

After the prodigious journey from a simple village boy to the responsibility of being a Rider, Eragon takes off from he leaves in the first book after killing the evil Durza and rescuing the elf Arya. Eragon and his dragon Saphira have miles to go before they can aim to defeat the wicked tyrant king Galbatorix. They traverse to Ellesmera, the elven forest city to be under the tutelage of Oromis to learn advanced magic and secrets of the Riders. Parallely, his cousin Roran, leads his entire village away from the rule of the Empire to the safety of the Varden, the rebel group dedicated to overthrowing Galbatorix. Roran travels with his cavalcade in a spine chilling journey as the sinister creatures, the Ra’zac continuously stalk them. War clouds loom large, and Eragon leaves his training unfinished as he rushes to the rescue of the Varden and its allies headed by Nasuada. A surprise is sprung in the middle of the battle, as Eragons’s old friend reemerges.

What I liked about the book was the amazing narration, and the strength of the characters crafted by the very young author who was only 21 when this book was published. Each of the characters, Eragon, Saphira, Arya, Nasuada, Roran, Oromis, Orik, Elva, Galbatorix, Murtagh and the others leave a lasting impression on the reader. Values and emotions are powerfully etched for each of the characters and they range from friendship, loyalty, love, courage and responsibility to everything evil, betrayal, tyranny and selfishness. I look forward to seeing the development of these characters and more action in next books Brisingr and the yet to be released book and await an exciting finish to this epic tale.


Wednesday, November 04, 2009

Book Review: 2 States by Chetan Bhagat

When I read the back cover of 2 States, there was no suspense left of course, about the theme or the story, but well, the book was certainly highly entertaining. Of the earlier books of Chetan Bhagat, I had enjoyed 5 Point Someone and had trashed the 3 mistakes of my life as well as 1 night @ the call center... I know this is digressing, but just happened to realise, that all his works have some number in them..ah well, he still has the number 4 before he finishes 5 books. :-)

Anyway, coming back to the book 2 states, its a hackneyed plot of a beautiful and smart girl Ananya and an obviously not so stupid guy, Krish. If you remember the 5 point some protagonist, well that’s him, now continuing at IIMA. They fall in love at IIM and decide to get married. Well, that’s where the fun starts. Ananya comes from a conservative Tamilian background and Krish is a Punjabi with a Mom having flamboyant ambitions for her prize son. Ananya's parents want her to marry the virtuous Tamilian geek from Cisco, whereas Krish's mom wants him to marry Pummy auntijis daughter who'll inherit 3 petrol pumps!

Of course, they brave all the odds, with Krish, making a his prospective Mother-in- law a singer in a public concert, helping Dad-in-law with MS PowerPoint, and Ananya saves Rajji Mamas daughter's wedding from getting wrecked by demanding samdhijis etc etc!  The wooing of the respective in-laws I guess, is more difficult than wooing the girl/guy itself in India!

Chetan Bhagat certainly has done well in his quest to be 'India's most loved writer'.. He certainly doesn’t write great literary works, but he definitely entertains.