Sitharaam Jayakumar’s The Himadripuram Adventure is a fantasy-based thriller. It is set in the fictional peninsular kingdom of Himadripuram. The book is reminiscent of a Desi Game of Thrones, with scheming courtiers, political vendettas, and revenge-filled agendas.
The erstwhile ruler of Himadripuram, King Devdutt, worries that the heir apparent, Prince Veer Narayan is not a worthy successor as he wiles his time away with women and wine. Adding to the King’s woes, not all is well within the royal court; there are whispers of an upcoming coup. There is a traitor rumoured to be in their midst, and it is up to a loyal few to discover who he is before it is too late. Sensing the political instability, the neighbouring kingdoms are gearing up for revolts. The future of Himadripuram hangs in a delicate balance as these factions come together and hunger for power in an action-packed adventure. Who will win? What is the Kingdom’s fate?
The central characters include the astute Jagan Mohan, a Chankaya-like character who leads the Kingdom’s secret service. An unexplained murder and ominous warnings from a friend set him on a trail. Accompanying him is his pupil, royal guard Vishnu Sarma. They embark on an adventure to unravel the mystery and discover who the mastermind behind this conspiracy is. Of all the characters, Lathika made the most impact. She doesn’t have a major role to play, but in her limited time, she leaves an impression as a feisty, courageous girl who is not scared to speak up. Her developing romance with Vishnu is also another high point of the book.
The writing style is simple and blends in shades of contemporary into historical fiction. This story is a heady combination of adventure, fantasy, politics, and romance. The different points of view of different protagonists are expressed well, and the reader gets insights into their backstories. There are twists and turns leading up to the final revelation at the end. Since the description of the kingdom is done in detail, it would have been nice to have a map at the beginning, to familiarize the reader with the geography of the terrain. There are many characters involved, so at times it gets confusing, but the author does a good job of bringing it all together and tying all loose ends.
The stage is even set up for a sequel. Hope to read more of Vishnu Sarma’s adventures in the upcoming book. Overall, an interesting historical drama with some powerful characters!
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