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Monday, 4 May 2015

Book Review: Warrior By Olivier Lafont

About the book:

The novel ‘Warrior’ is a high octane, action-packed story that travels all over India and beyond. The hero, Saam, is an immortal warrior who is forced to come out of hiding in today’s Mumbai to pick up arms again and take to the road. His epic journey spans three days across an India torn by unnatural cataclysms, and even stranger lands. To bring back peace Saam must stoke his consuming hunger for war - but at what cost to himself? 
 The book was shortlisted for the Tibor Jones South Asia prize. 

Olivier at Bahrisons Booksellers, Delhi

Book Blurb:

In Mumbai, driven to its knees by a merciless blizzard, Saam the watchmender is cornered into an intolerable position. As Shiva's only earthly demigod child, it falls upon him to stop his indomitable father. Bred to war, son of destruction, Saam rides with six extraordinary companions into the horror of a crumbling world to face Shiva. He is forced to join hands with Ara, his half-brother he can never fully trust and take with him his own mortal beloved, Maya, on this desperate attempt to stop the End of Days. But his path is littered with death, danger and betrayal. Interweaving mythology, epic adventure and vintage heroism, this enthralling novel will change the way you see gods, heroes and demons. 

About the author:

Lafont is a multitalented and versatile personality who writes fiction, feature film screenplays, and editorial pieces, but also acts in feature films, endorses some of India’s most popular brands on television, and lends his voice to many media in many languages. A French polyglot, Lafont pursues his eclectic interests at the highest standards having worked with some of India’s most acclaimed directors on films like 3 IDIOTS, Guzaarish and two HOLLYWOOD films, and continuing in the same vein with his new novel coming out with Penguin India. He is a familiar face due to his work in over 70 adverts on television.

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My Review:

What we are looking at? We are looking at an action-packed, mythological fiction. The story begins with a catastrophic event. It seems the End of Days is near. For Demigods, this is the time to reveal their true identities and to try and save the world. Saam is the son of the Destroyer. Ara is his half-brother. Maya is Saam's girlfriend. Dhuan is the horse. Lalbaal is the son of Vayu, so he is also a part of the Demigod contingent. On their way, they are joined by others, either deliberately with an ulterior motive or by a quirk of fate.
The narration is good. The author goes under the skin of some characters and speaks their minds. The plot is intriguing when seen separate from all other things. It is such a creative fiction, and so conducive to our Indian mythology, it feels real.
But for the character's sake, I think even more details  could be meticulously given away, it would have intrigued me as a reader more and more. This is the only reason that the characters, although epic in how they had been sketched, failed to endear themselves to me.

I loved how the book was full of witty and sarcastic remarks. the dialogues were spot-on and added to the flavor of the respective characters. For example, Ara has some of the most thought-provoking dialogues which found relevance in the plot in mysterious ways, "A funny thing, family. The basis of mortal society. the building block of community, the bastion of human emotion. Yet no one knows better how to destroy you."

The pace of the book was never disappointing: in the beginning when we as a reader need time to take in the enormous fiction, the author gracefully stretched the plot and only slowly unravels it. On the other hand, when we needed pace for the last 200 pages, the author grants our wish.

Now, coming to how it unfolded and ended, I certainly think the author could have employed the use of dramatic at its best in some crucial earth-shattering scenes, only they were not earth-shattering because well, dramatics was conspicuous by its absence. Had this been the case, my attention wouldn't have deviated from this book even once.
Towards the end, the book does manage to take our breath away. One revelation after another, sets the pace just right for us to digest the facts and go ahead with another dose of mystery and revelations.

If you're a fan of mythological fiction, you cannot afford to miss this masterpiece woven around demons and demigods.
Even if this is the first time you'd choose to read this genre, you are in for a good read!

Book Trailer:


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