The Oath of the Vayuputras by Amish
The Oath of the Vayuputras is the third book in the series Shiva Trilogy by author Amish after The Immortals of Meluha and The Secrets of the Nagas. It was one of the most awaited books in India. With huge pre-orders, kind of setting records of sorts. I was also a part of the crowd that wanted to know how the story moves forward. And how it ends. Of course, the reviewer in me was also looking at how the author grows as he writes more and more. Gets all kinds of feedback and handles the tremendous pressure that the expectations of this stature can bring in.
The story moves swiftly from Panchavati, where it ended in Book 2, back to Meluha via two different routes. And this time involves all possible characters that were slowly added in first two books. This book introduces the tribe of Vayuputras settled somewhere in the west beyond Meluha. And the Egyptians who are brought in for their special war skills. A lot of loose ends are tied together with families reuniting, lost lovers finding each other and friends coming together. Ganesh and Kartik get established as warriors with incredible leadership skills. There is a geographical spread in the story. That covers the famous sacred geography of the Bharatvarsha, with its rivers, hills, forests, and cities. There are ancient ports like Lothal brought alive. There is the genesis of drying up of Saraswati and it being mythically present in the Yamuna that merges with Ganga at Prayag.
A very logical reasoning to the drying up of Saraswati is brought out. Though we would potentially never know what was the real reason for its drying up. Though the research does say that the Yamuna did merge into Saraswati before it changed its flow and started merging with Ganga. There is a lot of engineering terminology used to illustrate the technologies that existed then. Like shipbuilding, weapon research including the nuclear weapons, waterways through the rivers. The technology of Samaras that this book revolves around is interesting. Something that Shiva needs to decide if it is evil or good. There is an attempt to bring in the nuclear radiation angle also. And did see a glimpse of the research that was mentioned in Ashwin Sanghi’s Krishna Key as well.
This book can be easily classified as the book of war. As throughout it talks about the war strategies, philosophies, skills, weapons, and the war itself. There are many wars that are fought before, the ultimate war between evil and good will be fought. There are alliances made and broken. And there are strategies made and strategies evaluated, there are divided loyalties. There are famous warriors from the land and outside. Each of whom has their own specialized skills and rules of war. There are battlefields on land and water. And above all, there are motives for the war.
Editing is much better this time. Language is cohesive, English is easy and simple and does not use the colloquial language like the first book. Or the attempted refinement in the second. There is only one place where I found an error in counting the hours in a Pahar, but apart from that, I did not notice any other error. The book could have easily been crisper by 200 pages or so. The arguments to convey a simple point go in pages while they could have been made in sentences. There is quite a bit of repetition of say things like Meluhans do not break the law or they always follow the law, all of which could have been smartly avoided.
I liked the way he ended the book The Oath of the Vayuputras by talking about how great men eventually get treated as Gods because we fail to comprehend that they can exist as mere humans. He also hints that the next books may be either on Greek Mythologies or on Mahabharata, the probability of later being more.
If you have read the first two books, you will read The Oath of the Vayuputras as well.