Book Review Treat: ANOTHER TALE OF TWO CITIES BY EZHUTH AANI

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The book is basically a historical treatise set up in the 15th century pertaining to twin cities of Combodia: Angor Wat and Ankor Thom.  The concern of preserving the culture and sovereignty of these kingdoms was predominant in the minds of the two dedicated princes Mahendra and Adithya who set up on an arduous journey from China, Srilanka, India and Middle East to seek Military support in the form of Arms  ammunition, army, modern technological method of warfare and also technology for management of drought and water resources.
The foreword by the author sets the tempo of the novel.  A great civilization of Khmer empire which lasted for more than 600 years faces annihilation due to ravages of war, religious intrusion and natural disorders due to disastrous climatic changes.  How much of these are pre-emptive? How much could have been avoided? And how much can be retrieved .  What is the impact of these happenings upon the life of the citizens?  HOw do they cope up?
The story starts with an interesting narrative of the travels of young Adithya the king’s envoy to meet Vajragnani, a mystic in order to save Angkor’s empire On the way he meets his daughter Mandagini. She arrests him and then takes him to Vajragnani, her father. He gives him knowledge and a statue of Buddha. Then he sends him on his way alongwith Mandagini. They both fall in love and part ways with heavy hearts. Adithya embarks on a journey to  Srilanka and India and meet the King and The Emperor and could also manage to get their promise of being helped at the time of need/requirement.
In another part of the story, Mahendra goes to China  and learns the technical knowhow of  technogical aspects of modern warfare,  He returns to Cambodia in the absence of Adithya and inadvertently wins the hands of Maddagini.  This development though upsets Adithya to the core, yet he does not fail to fulfil his duty towards his country.
The story is excellently woven with philosophical inputs by the author which are very apt in the given situations.  However, some historical facts have been repeated often which could have been avoided.
The author has also done  extensive research into the history of the these counties and kingdom, the rise and fall of empires, the rise and influence of Buddhism  on the political situation of these countries.
The cover  designed by Ajitabha Bose depicting a temple against the backdrop of red setting sun sets the tempo of the novel
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Book Review Treat: UNNS- The Captivation by Sapan Saxena

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A very good attempt of an emotional saga which was thrilling to the end.
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The journey of the protagonist, Atharva Rathod through the stages of love is akin to the journey of Philips in Somerset Maughan’s ‘ Of Human Bondage’.
Like Philips, Atharva’s conviction in his love towards Meher transcends the repeated betrayals by her.  However, the perseverance of Atharva brings out the reciprocative action on her part.
The early  romance  at the school level between Atharva and Rathod is quite commonplace and yet, that it could have been a sustainable factor in shaping up the plot in an espionage saga was wonderful,
Another interesting factor of the story was that even though the protagonists were of different religious background i.e., Atharva was Hindu and Meher was Muslim, yet the religious barrier was not the cause of their separation. In fact, there has been no role-play of Artharva’s parent in this matter.  The objection of Meher’s parents to the continuance of this relationship was more on ground of practical incompatibility as they wanted her to pursue her career rather than getting stuck up in an unproductive relationship. On these grounds even Meher’s short-lived romantic feelings got evaporated as she chose to write-off Atharva so completely.
The quick turn of events  sustained the interest in the story
AN OVERALL GOOD READ.
RATING 4/5