Author: Ashok Banker
Part of a Series: Yes, Book#1 of the Burnt Empire Saga
Publishers: Simon & Schuster India
Source: Review copy provided by the Publishers as part of the blog tour
In a world where demigods and demons walk among mortals, the Emperor of the vast Burnt Empire has died, leaving a turbulent realm without an emperor. Two young princes, Adri and Shvate, are in line to rule, but birthright does not guarantee inheritance: For any successor must sit upon the legendary Burning Throne and pass The Test of Fire. Imbued with dark sorceries, the throne is a crucible—one that incinerates the unworthy.
Adri and Shvate pass The Test and are declared heirs to the empire… but there is another with a claim to power, another who also survives: a girl from an outlying kingdom. When this girl, whose father is the powerful demonlord Jarsun, is denied her claim by the interim leaders, Jarsun declares war, vowing to tear the Burnt Empire apart—leaving the young princes Adri and Shvate to rule a shattered realm embroiled in rebellion and chaos….
Welcome to the Burnt Empire Saga..
This huge book is a retelling of the Epic Mahabaratha and is also pitched as the Indian Game of Thrones.
Let me start by saying, its right in one way with the comparison to GoT – the paperback has 343 pages but can easily be 600+pages of words fit into it. Its huge, I mean to cover 20 pages it took me an hour!! And the characters – so many names to remember and the world, oh my god!! Incredibly built, for sure but a lot of information dump that it takes a little time to process everything. As this is the first book in the series, the author has taken time to get the reader acquainted with its world and characters. Its both an advantage and a disadvantage.
I should also mention that I haven’t read the original Epic , just bits and pieces from the television drama. I’m not completely aware of the story or the characters so it was a little fun for me to guess which character is who and already figuring out how or what his/her destiny would be. I was initially impressed with Vrath, the mighty Demi-god and Jilana the dowager queen, but then the story started moving around Shvate and Adri, Jilana’s grandsons.
There were disoriented timelapse events that confused me, maybe its just me because I read the book in intervals because of my full-time job.
Despite the heavy world building, slower pace in the beginning, the book is bound to keep you hooked with its action sequences and that cliffhanger towards the end. With the promise of an even better sequel, the book finishes off in glory!.
A 3.5 stars from me.
P.S I’m a tad late in posting my review, this was supposed to be up by 28th July.