Agnibaan – the Guardians of Fire Chamber (TreeShade Books, 336 pages), by S Venkatesh, as the name indicates promises a thrilling experience – from the front cover to the back, the book keeps you on an edge with its sharp twists and turns.
Spanning between 535CE to the present day, the coherently written story unpacks slowly and steadily, but without a single jerk – if you know what I mean – it’s a smoothly written tale that revolves around an agnibaan (fire arrow) that needs to be shifted from Egypt as the Dark Order wants to get hold of it.
Written in different timelines, the story has a slew of characters but despite that it flows flawlessly, keeping its connectivity alive between the past and the present, and between different characters alive. Definitively etched, each character is important to the plot, and holds its own.
Though pure fiction, the author has drawn upon both, the historical facts and science, and presented it in his inimitable style of lucid English, which makes it a convincing read.
But what takes the cake for me is the protagonist – a badass woman, but no damsel-in-distress, rather someone who has the ability to hold her own amid a bevy of super-talented men. Having a sharp mind and a strong will to “save the world”, she is nothing you expect a “normal heroine” to be.
What is remarkable about the book is how its author S. Venkatesh compels one to do some introspection on individual actions that affect society and world at large, driving home the point that each cog in the wheel is as important as the whole wheel itself. And that each one of us must do what one can to conserve Mother Earth that has a lot of patience and love for her children, but we, human beings, must not test her patience, lest it will strike back with vengeance.
All in all, a must-read for fiction-lovers who dig suspense and adventure, with mythology and science thrown in it, like me!