The Emperor’s Riddles
Title: The Emperor’s Riddles
Author: Satyarth Nayak
Number of Pages: 398
Price [INR] : 299
More terrifying than the savage murder of historian Ram Mathur on the ghats of Ganga, are the questions that follow. Desperate for answers, Sia turns to esoteric writer & friend Om Patnaik. But what begins as a hunt for the killer, becomes an extraordinary trail of riddles strewn across the country, that must end at the gates of an enigma.
An ancient enigma so powerful that even gods would kill for it!!!
In another time and space, rules an Emperor who plays with phenomenal forces that make him supreme…who faces these very forces when they threaten the survival of the human race. An Emperor who must ultimately pay homage to the enigma…
As Patnaik and Sia race from one riddle to another, towards a royal secret that has remained alive for centuries….will the final truth, save them or destroy them forever?
The path beckons. Can you solve The Emperor’s Riddles?
Apart from a very interesting and creative visual, three things on the cover page of The Emperor’s Riddles held my attention:
- National Bestseller
- Quote by Ashwin Sanghi (whose books The Chanakya’s Chant and The Krishna Key, I had thoroughly enjoyed) : “Intelligent, Intriguing, Imaginative, Intense”
- Quote by Amish Tripathi, : “A fantastic blend of myth, imagination and mystery… a great read!”.
After reading this, my expectations were set for the book. The story started with a bang and kept going that way for quite a while. With each turning page mystery, legends, historical events and mythology gave me company. The story brings to the fore the ancient scientific advancements and the deepest mysteries and secrets buried in our past and how they are connected with the present.
An eminent historian is murdered on the banks of Ganga. What causes a stir is that the pattern of the murder is similar to deaths in the past months. But what is strange is that there’s a symbol scrawled on his face that adds to the mystery and intrigue.
The historian’s daughter, Sia, a writer friend, Patnaik and a film-maker Jasodhara, together go on a treasure hunt that takes them from Mysore to Chidambaram temple in Tamil Nadu to Haridwar, Kongka La near Ladakh to Kolkata… Since, they are on a quest for an enigma so powerful that even the Gods would kill for it, they are hounded by a super smart and slippery murderer and a police officer.
A parallel plot which has some mysterious conversations and glimpses from the life of Buddha, Chandragupta Maurya and Ashoka are interwoven with the murder mystery and the quest for an enigma. I found this parallel plot a bit of a distraction to the main plot.
All this was ok but as I reached halfway, I felt the book lost its steam. I felt that the riddles were solved way too easily and that too without the use of internet (shocking!) And they were way too many. Also, I felt that the dialogues when solving the riddles were a bit forced. While the significance of number 9 fascinated me but showing its importance in every other thing was a bit too contrived. There’s a mix-up between the 2 lady characters Alia and Sia in Chapter 47, which I guess can be rectified in subsequent prints.
The end came as a big surprise which is the hallmark of a thriller though it was pretty rushed. The research done by the author is remarkable with a lot of fascinating and interesting details.
Overall, despite the minor irritants, The Emperor’s Riddles is an intriguing and a gripping read.
Rating : [usr 3.5 text=”false” size=20]
This book review is a part of The Readers Cosmos Book Review Program. To get free books log on to thereaderscosmos.blogspot.com
June 21, 2014 2:35 pm|
A good review. I love thrillers. How do you manage to read so many books?
June 21, 2014 4:03 pm|
I love thrillers too 🙂 Aah, I have so many books to read and so little time, but yes, I am reading better (I mean, more) than before and loving every moment of it! 🙂 Thanks Rachna!
June 21, 2014 3:39 pm|
Yet another thrilling review Shilpa. Now, I know where to refer for my TBR:)
June 21, 2014 4:12 pm|
Thanks Vishal. You are too generous! 🙂
June 21, 2014 6:31 pm|
Without the use of internet 😀 I guess we are so addicted to it that cant think beyond it 😀
June 21, 2014 9:20 pm|
I know 😛
June 21, 2014 7:41 pm|
This story-line sounds somewhat similar to The Krishna Key? I have not read this book, but I see some similarities. The issue with taking up big mythological concepts and questions is, it needs a convincing resolution/explanation at the end.
June 21, 2014 10:23 pm|
Whoa! Sounds like an effective formula for a great novel!
June 21, 2014 10:58 pm|
I have the same question as Rachna! How do you manage so many books? I am able to do one a week ,for now, especially for reviews. 😯
Nice review, Shilpa. The USP of a thriller is the suspense, so I hope this one does justice to it.
June 21, 2014 11:59 pm|
Fabulous review. I had been hearing really good things about this book and finally finished it yesterday. Absolutely loved it. I have always been unhappy that so few Indian authors explore the thriller genre and I am glad we have a grand new addition. The riddles are really cryptic & intelligent, though I agree the dialogues at some places are a bit forced. I love the use of history and the Emperor’s legend and the climax is fantastic. Very well done for a debut mystery thriller and good to see it’s already become a bestseller.
June 22, 2014 8:02 am|
NIce review…this one seems pretty thrilling!
June 22, 2014 9:57 pm|
right I will ask what Rachna asked how do you manage to read so many books .. and hey you give a different answer because I read what you replied to her 🙂
I too love thrillers 🙂
June 22, 2014 10:44 pm|
Very good review. Thanks.
June 22, 2014 10:49 pm|
Awesome review. I like that you tell it just how it is and don’t sugar coat anything. You tell what you like and what you don’t.
June 23, 2014 11:12 am|
I love stories based on symbols and history. Wonderful and an honest review.
June 23, 2014 4:38 pm|
Is it like the krishna key shilpa? sounds similar for me.
June 23, 2014 11:50 pm|
This sounds like a book that would be on Masterpiece Theatre (a program from England), which is from where I got a lot of my early knowledge of classic literature. And you’re right. The cover ROCKS!
June 24, 2014 11:44 am|
You make this book look so good, must read it now 🙂 I enjoyed Ashwin Sanghi’s books, so if he too has good thing to say about it, that is another plus too. Really Shilpa, you are doing a great job with your reading and review writing…keep it up, girl!
June 24, 2014 12:21 pm|
nice review…. i must have read so many books after your recommendation Shilpa!! and the reviews u give match with my views too!
June 25, 2014 8:54 pm|
Interesting review.. thank you Shilpa! My list just keeps growing thanks to you 🙂
June 27, 2014 5:17 am|
Another book enters my list thanks to your review Shilpa 🙂 A good thriller is hard to stay away from…
June 27, 2014 9:21 am|
The review was very well done! I admire the fact that you can read so much and write such good reviews, Shilpa:)