And we come to a fantastic finish
Fantasy fiction fans have a thing for a series. The Lord of the Rings included, fantasy thrives in epic sequences. In the near virginal field of the genre in India, Samit Basu’s GameWorld trilogy has left its eight-toed webbed feet mark. With The Unwaba Revelations (Penguin, Rs 295) comes the closure to what started with the excellent The Simoqin Prophesies and the less delightful sequel, The Manticore’s Secret.
Epic battles between the gods and the bad guys (demons, in this case) scorch the pages of this 500-page-plus book. Basu’s strength lies in his tending-towards-Terry Brooks humour. Added to that is the usual heavy ingredient of fantasy fiction: a proper noundriven no-holds-barred imagination. Case in point, the opening line: “The first rays of the morning sun skimmed the western most tree tops of Vrihataranya and ran smiling up the jagged eastern spur of Mount Batenbals, the tallest of the Grey Mountains east of Imokoi, pausing in astonishment for a moment as they beheld the slender, graceful body of Aishwarya the Duck (Viaduci olwezasc) crouched over a rude-shaped boulder in a perfectly executed Reverse Banana.” Oh, how clever!
Power to chill
In the seventies, this would have been the title of a unsubtle feminist tract. But now, especially with the blooming flower on its cover, we know from a mile that Ajay Poddar’s Empower Yourself (Penguin, Rs 295) had to have the subtitle, ‘New Life solutions for health and well-being’. It looks into the ancient sciences as well as modern research to tell the reader how to relax and lead a less stressful life. Don’t fret. Buy the book.
The World of international affairs has its fair share of specialised journals and magazines. But there is very little of quality literature under one roof to come by that deals specifically with the region we live in — South Asia. IGA: India & Global Affairs (Rs 350, Sakaal) fills that gap. The inaugural issue focuses on Pakistan, coming as it does after the assassination of Benazir Bhutto. The excellent production of IGA Vol 1 comes with big weight specialists, including Manmohan Singh (on India’s growing needs) and Hillary Clinton (on efforts to restore America’s global leadership).