Monday, 22 June 2015

Review: The Pyre by David Hair

Publication Date: June 4th 2015

Publisher: Jo Fletcher Books, imprint of Quercus

Source: Received from publisher for a full and honest review

Series:  1st in the series, "The Return Of The Ravana" 

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Mandore, Rajasthan, 769 AD: Ravindra-Raj, the evil sorcerer-king, devises a deadly secret ritual, where he and his seven queens will burn on his pyre, and he will rise again with the powers of Ravana, demon-king of the epic Ramayana. But things go wrong when one queen, the beautiful, spirited Darya, escapes with the help of Aram Dhoop, the court poet.

Jodhpur, Rajasthan, 2010: At the site of ancient Mandore, teenagers Vikram, Amanjit, Deepika and Rasita meet and realize that the deathless king and his ghostly brides are hunting them down. As vicious forces from the past come alive, they need to unlock truths that have been hidden for centuries, and fight an ancient battle . . . one more time.

I was really interested in reading this novel when I first read the blurb. It sounded like an awesome YA fantasy with a cool setting and a group of protagonists that are friends.  I decided to bring this novel on my holiday with me as I was going to have a lot of time to read. 

Unfortunately, this book did not live up to any of my expectations. I really dislike writing reviews of books that I did not enjoy but I have to state my opinion. 

The book started off with the reader being introduced to the characters, both from the past and the present. I enjoyed meeting the characters and gaining an insight into their personalities. As the book progressed, I found myself falling out of love with the characters, especially those of present day.

 I felt that Vikram and Deepika became very two dimensional and predictable characters and Amanjit's character was the most interesting of the trio. The only character that I could honestly say I enjoyed of the present day characters was Amanjit's sister Ras, her home life and illness kept me interested and I found myself looking forward to scenes with her as I read the novel. 

Although I much preferred the story line of the characters in Mandore 769 AD, I did find my interest waining after a time. Their story started off very interesting with the mad king, insights into the traditions of the time and politics of the city all kept my interest going but as the story went on and I felt myself becoming slightly bored. My favourite character of the past story was Shastri, but I began to find him becoming predictable after a time.

 Similar to the present story, even when reading the action scenes, I felt myself skim reading parts as I felt the overly descriptive writing style was slowing down what should be a fast paced action scene. 

Overall, I did not enjoy this book or connect to any of the characters. The writing style was not my cup of tea, although I did enjoy reading a novel set in India . 

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