My Rating - 3 out of 5 starsPublisher - Simon & Schuster
Genre - Mythological Fiction
Publishing year - 2022
Language - English
ISBN - 978-93-92099-24-3
Pages - 250
Book Review -
Durga is the first book in the Devi duology written by Kevin Missal. Set in the kingdom of Jambudvipa, ruled by a demon-king Mahisha, the story unravels with a gripping tale of crime, sin, and the indomitable spirit of women seeking justice and retribution.
Mahisha is a fearsome ruler whose cruelty and violence cast a dark shadow over Jambudvipa. Despite his prosperity, the city and its people suffer from the rot that permeates its underbelly. The story takes a dramatic turn when Durga, an assassin, is sent by the Devas to kill Mahisha in nine days. Durga's thirst for revenge catalyzes a much larger fight against Mahisha's tyranny.
Mahisha is surrounded by loyal courtiers, and Durga's first task is to infiltrate them, but she is not alone. The story portrays solid, diverse female characters that help the plot move steadily. From a princess' loyal companion to a brave maid, a skilled mercenary, and a pirate, these women come together, bound by a shared purpose and their individual stories of resilience.
But will they be able to get their revenge? Will they be able to fight against Shukr, Seksh, and Tamar alongside Mahisha?
The narrative unfolds over nine nights, representing a crucial stage in Durga's journey. Kevin Missal's writing style is engaging, painting vivid imagery of the kingdom's opulence and decay, and evoking a sense of urgency and suspense throughout the story. The pacing keeps readers on the edge of their seats, eager to uncover the fate of these captivating characters and witness the ultimate showdown between good and evil.
The novel explores themes of power, gender dynamics, and the innate strength found within women. It challenges the traditional notions of heroism, showcasing how a group of determined and resourceful women can shape their destinies and bring about meaningful changes in a ruthless world.
Nonetheless, one aspect where the narrative fell short was in its character development. With a multitude of characters introduced throughout the story, the author made attempts to provide them with individual significance. Still, I longed for more comprehensive insights into their backgrounds to foster a stronger sense of familiarity and empathy toward these individuals. It is my second read by the author, and I felt the same after reading Narasimha.
Overall, it is a captivating page-turner combining Hindu myths, adventure, and female empowerment elements. It serves as a reminder that even the seemingly insurmountable challenges can be overcome when united. If you enjoy reading about Indian mythological stories or seeking narratives celebrating women's strength, then this book is for you, and I can't wait to read the next novel, Kali.
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