India has a new young adult fantasy series – Inkredia!
Talking about books is a serious affair for me, but it has been long since I truly felt like penning down my thoughts about a book just after I read it. Really long. Years, perhaps.
In this post, I am going to talk about this young adult fantasy novel written by an Indian author – Inkredia: Luwan of Brida. Written by Sarang Mahajan, a screen-writer and a novelist, who is currently working on this four-book Inkredia series and a science fiction series, this book happens to be the first one in Inkredia series. Woah! That was quite a mouthful. Wasn’t it?
Inkredia: The Story
A young boy of seventeen, Luwan, has nothing but his elder sister, Meg, and his dear friend, Narjo. He makes a meagre living in the poverty stricken town of Brida, where people are oppressed by the heavy taxes imposed by Lord Gruwak. Nobody dares to defy Lord Gruwak, and yet, on a self destructive streak, Luwan does just that and that’s when hell breaks lose for him.
He’s on the run, chased by strong beings that, according to Luwan, existed only in tales until then. The trio sets out of their town for the first time to make a long journey, just to survive from the wrath of Lord Gruwak only to be hunted by much dangerous things, coming to consume them.
I mean, I could go on and on and talk about what happens in the book but let’s just stop here to avoid any spoilers.
Inkredia Book Review!
My heart is currently playing a tug of war – like or dislike? What do I feel about the book? Both, maybe.
There are so many good things and yet, there are a few that I couldn’t appreciate. Writing fantasy is hard, you see. Creating an entirely different world with different creatures and making it seem real to a reader? That’s tough.
As much as I wish the world building was perfect in the book, it’s not. There are some things that are just not explained well, keeping aside the many things the author saves to be revealed in the end of the book. My personal opinion is that the world building could have used more space in the book… just a few more passages to make the reader feel at ease with this new world.
Now, even if it’s just one thing, it does make a huge difference to the reading experience. How? Listen to this!
The writing in this book is highlight-worthy. There are metaphors and phrases the author uses, that truly take a talent. I read a lot of books and most of the books don’t have this. That kind of skill comes from the innate talent of writing and when it’s there, you find it hard to not get impressed by it. It’s so powerful that you’ll end up liking the book even when you could find many things to dislike.
Even though I feel the weak world building made a great hit to the plot, I still couldn’t keep my heart from racing as the plot paced forward. New characters and creatures are introduced, and you wish you could imagine them better while you rush to see what happens.
The closing of the book is just extraordinary, revealing so much and yet leaving you with a lot of anticipation. It’s quite unlikely of an Indian author, known for leaving books midway just to get their next book out. I would say it’s the best closing I have seen in an Indian book, from all the genres and 100+ Indian books I have read in my life.
The characters in the book, the normal ones, are impressive. The magical beings, however, again get crushed beneath the weakness of the world building. And yet, some character descriptions made me go wow for the way of describing was so different than what I’ve read before.
‘His hairless skin was the grey of the ash that remains of a cremated corpse and his green eyes glinted like a distant torch under his leather hood.’
While you notice some inconsistency due to the world-building, you don’t forget to express your happiness for some very subtle observations captured in the book – like, how you walk when you have had a long ride!
Now, do you see why that tug of war is hard?
There’s so much to be liked about this book, so much of extraordinary talent and yet, that one thing cloaks everything with its shadow. But who’s on the winning side? Well, the like side is certainly more excited and passionate, it has more anticipation and it has more strength… so odds are in its favor.
Inkredia: Luwan of Brida is a very promising beginning to an entirely new world with magical and dark creatures, and it brings you great excitement, anticipation and joy to read this book, despite a major miss that I am hoping the author catches up on in the next book in the series.
My overall rating for the book is 3.8/5 stars.