Wednesday, September 28, 2011

The Secret of the Nagas by Amish Tripathi – Book Review

This review of the second part of the Shiva trilogy follows my earlier blog where I have reviewed the first part 'The Immortals of Meluha'.

The second part 'The Secret of the Nagas' picked up where the author had left off with a skillful Naga targeting Shiva’s consort Sati after the attack of Mount Mandar and killing his friend Brahaspati. Shiva vows to hunt down the Nagas to avenge Brahaspati.  Along this quest, he searches for answers to understand what evil is and if the Nagas can lead him to this secret.  As promised by the very attractive book cover and the blurbs from other reviewers published on the book, this second part of the trilogy is action packed.  Perhaps a little too action packed.  Shiva battles the Nagas, the Nagas battle with others. There are also fights with the Brangas who support the Nagas. A mission to combat ‘bandit’ Parsuram is led by Shiva while Sati duels with tigers. A second love story apart from that of Shiva and Sati is also thrown in. Kartik is born to Shiva and Sati and long lost siblings are re-united in this second book. With so much happening, I honestly felt like I was watching a hindi television serial that had twists and turns and ample ‘dramebaazi’ on every page of the book. However, what irked me the most was the revelation of the secret of the Nagas, their identity and their delineation. The pleasure I had felt in reading familiar names in a fresh light evaporated when justice was not done to these very revered and familiar names. 

 For those who like racy books, possibly this book might be a treat. I have to admit, I was hooked to the book, but it gave me the impression, that the author had almost thrown away the opportunity of writing a classic thriller by merely being crisp in his writing.  I was hoping, the author would lend a little more color to Shiva’s character apart from his blue throat in this volume, but alas!, Shiva remained very one dimensional, almost to the point where, he became just a figure head for the legend that He was out to destroy Evil in the world.

On the positive side, this book is certainly very vivid in its descriptions and would make an eminently watchable movie.   The intense action in every battle and the internal turmoil that Shiva was undergoing has been expressed well. I could almost hear the drums in the war and see the blood shed. Shiva’s discovery of the deep underlying message that Evil is a matter of perspective was well narrated, and I could almost see him in the ancient temples and hear his conversations with the Vasudev Pandits who helped him in this discovery.

I would give this book a three star rating out of five for its racy plot and innovative story.  A crisper story, a different choice of words to replace commonly used Indian phrases such as ‘what rubbish’, better characterization and good editing will probably elevate this book to a much higher level. I do hope that while the author tones down what is not necessary, the high energy levels that are in the first two books continue in the third and final book of the trilogy, 'The Oath of the Vayuputras’. I look forwad to reading the final version and hope for a spectacular finish!

Read more on the triology on

This review is a part of the Book Reviews Program at Participate now to get free books!


  1. @Richa, I totally agree with all that you have written in both the reviews. Though I do think, the author might have been forced to make it 'crispier' considering the target audience. & yes, I guess it will make a great movie too.

    I hope third book is kinda magnum in its approach, so as to do justice to various characters and their stories. It would be a waste to hve such legendary characters & not let them evolve properly

    Ankush Singla

  2. @Ankush - Thanks for visiting my blog and your comment. After reading the first book, I had expected a better second book. I hope the quality does not deteriorate in the third atleast!

  3. A nice review!Should I wait for the last one to appear before I read ..

  4. Read A Piece of the Giant by Anupam Srivastava about India's march to freedom and the colonial legacies that still continue. It is unlike anything I have ever read.
    Amy White