Title: The Immortals of Meluha
Author: Amish Tripathi
Release Date: December 2, 2014
Publisher: Jo Fletcher Books
Genre: Historical Fantasy
Rating: 4 out of 5
The year is 1900 BC and the idyllic empire of Meluha, located in India, is under siege. The Suryavanshis, the rulers of the land, aren’t sure how they are going to survive and protect their people, until they find Shiva. He is the leader of a clan from the Himalayas, backwards by all Meluhan accounts, but he may just provide the key to Meluha’s survival through an ancient prophecy.
The Immortals of Meluha is the first book in the Shiva trilogy, a retelling of the myths about Hinduism’s Lord Shiva, in a sort of mix of historical fiction and fantasy. Tripathi clearly researched these myths fully. I grew up hearing about the deeds of Lord Shiva, and though I have not read about them recently, I was able to pick out many bits and pieces and see how Tripathi reinterpreted these stories. It really was well done.
Tripathi portrays Shiva as a lost young man, at home with his men, but still trying to escape his responsibilities. He’s uncomfortable with the way the Suryavanshis treat him, but he respects their achievements and what they have become. He also enjoys it when they underestimate him. This is not some humble man; Shiva is a prince among men, and he wants people to know it. He’s prideful, but he’s also endearing.
The story of The Immortals of Meluha goes through many different twists and turns; Tripathi writes them well, delivering a fascinating read that is quite entertaining. Even if you know nothing about Hindu mythology, this book makes for fun storytelling and has a creative narrative. If you are familiar with the stories of Shiva, then this novel provides a reinterpretation of those stories, turning them upside down to look at them anew. It’s very well done, and I look forward to getting to the next book in the series.