I completed the final book in the Shiva trilogy yesterday. My very high expectations for this book were shattered in some ways, and I find there are simply too many loose ends which the author has left unexplored.
The first and second book was really good for me, I really enjoyed them to the core, and hence, and naturally, I expected an explosive finale in the trilogy. But sadly, this one is nowhere near that.
The author has tried his very best to tie up whatever loose ends there are to complete the trilogy, and in doing so, the plot seems to be very fast-paced in an immature way. Suddenly readers are choked down with a hurried version of explanation about the Evil, how Good and Evil can be like two sides of a coin and so on. Shiva’s childhood secret is also revealed; the reason his throat turns blue with the ingestion of Somras and all the conspiracy behind this doing is revealed, also in a hasty manner.
It is quite irritating to see the phrase “India’s future is at stake” on many occasions throughout the book; as if it serves as an excuse for the fast-forwarding of the entire plot towards the end of story. So, there is no room for love, goodbyes, and formal explanations, or even to stop for a break, because India’s future is at stake. Ugh!!
Sati’s death was uncalled for, and seems almost superficial with the planned assassination; the assassins are supposedly the best ones from Egypt, but don’t even seem to have the minimal brain capacity to identify the difference between the real target and a commoner. Worse still, he ends up killing a woman when the target was a MAN!!
After Sati’s death, the story just continues to spiral down with no sense of coherence. Miraculously, Maharishi Bhrigu declares an end to the war, with no further arguments made in support of the Evil (which is still considered Good by the Meluhan emperor and Maharishi Bhrigu by the way). Shiva’s anger is enormous, understandable, but the promise made to the Vayuputras’ chief Mithra is just ignored, worse still, the decision of using the Pashupatiashtra is debated by everyone in the court, except Shiva.
Sati’s two different requests to both her sons were also left undisturbed; the wise Ganesh was supposed to avenge her, meanwhile the hot-headed Karthik was requested to maintain level-headed and to uphold Dharma. That being said, their argument on whether to avenge her death –or-not lasted, or rather, concluded in a short, open-ended dialog.
The war actually ended without a beginning, the whole city of Devagiri is destroyed with the Pashupatiashtra, despite Shiva’s promise not to use it, and the rest of the characters use the little time they had while waiting for their death to clarify whatever flashbacks they might be carrying since the beginning of the story.
Fast forward thirsty years later, we see Shiva is his homeland, reminiscing the past and thinking of Sati. The crowd which has stayed with him throughout the entire ordeal has decided to follow him back to his land. Readers are given a brief narrative on the rest of the characters, what becomes of them eventually in the course of time, and how we perceive these characters in today’s world.
I repeat: the final book in this trilogy did not meet my expectation, the very title of the book was way too misleading (Oath of the Vayuputras, really? There were only four named characters in Pariha, and whatever the oath they may have taken up, they were irrelevant in this book!), and the only explosion I managed to find was the blow up of Devagiri by Shiva with the Pashupatiastra.