Book Review: Like the Radiant Sun

Like the Radiant Sun

Book: Like the Radiant Sun

Author: Anu Kay

Genre: Mythology, Magical Realism, Fiction

Review Copy: Himalayan Book Club

Available at: Amazon.in

Recommended: Must Read!

Anu Kay’s novel, Like the Radiant Sun, is an engaging tale spanning a plethora of themes. It is a thriller full of suspense with the mild aroma of a romance playing out in the foreground of a mystical, mythological drama. It has the feel of a Bollywood movie and the enticement of a well-researched and rendered novel. 

Is it destined or planned that a precious, ancient text lands in the hands of an archaeologist, Rohan Sharma? He is just the man to appreciate, interpret, and preserve the words, outlining a rare discipline of combat with esoteric origins. But is he also the man who embodies the physical and mental prowess to outsmart the baddies desperate to lay their hands on the Marma Kala, an ancient manuscript on martial arts?

In the background of this intellectual pursuit lurks a gruesome mystery of a dead priest and a woman in dreadlocks. On this premise, the writer builds a fascinating story oft intercepted by quotes and passages from ancient Indian texts. The book has a fast pace and yet finds space for some attractive imagery, such as, “With cracks of thunder, rain followed like a torrent, whipping up the angry waters of the river.”

Mysterious people across some significant places in India – Varanasi, New Delhi, Kerala, and the revered Mount Kailash – pursue the protagonist. The writer brings out the mesmerizing charm and history of these places. She calls Varanasi, “a magnificent amphitheater of a bygone era.” She draws up pictures with words. For example, there is a scene of a person draped in a red shawl, spurring his black horse through the hills of a spice plantation, as dark clouds loomed.

There is occult, bloodshed, suspicious characters, and a narrative that keeps you on the edge. References to mystical symbols, seals, ancient arts and medicine, and mythological tales embellish the story. When you are reading fiction but bookmark items for further research, the writer has successfully captured your attention.

The language is polished and carefully edited, which makes the reading smooth. The characters are well-fleshed out. Their backgrounds are well-enunciated to make it easier to grasp their intentions. The book cover art speaks to the theme of the book and outlines a significant character. I felt the book title could have been more imaginative and alluring. As a lover of historical and mystical stories, Anu Kay’s work provides me with a fine piece of fresh and engaging literature that truly brings out the charm of our Indian heritage.


Threshold

I thought I’d survive without you
But I couldn’t say goodbye
For the words lay tangled
At your doorstep
Afraid to cross the threshold
Into a life where you
Would not be waiting
At sundown, by the yellow lamp
A book in hand, the kettle whistling
Eager to tell and know
Of just another mundane day

Matters of the heart

Sequined dreams
In the sky
As I stitch every teardrop
Into the firmament
For you to see when
You gaze at the moon
In my memory

It was a strong heart
But feather-light it floated
Buoyed by dreams, hopes
Reaching the sky so blue;
Tie it firmly with icy strings
Till the cold permeates
Freezes that tender love
For warm and flush
It tends to bleed red
Staining all the world!

What colors do you see,
In this unfinished portrait?
It waits for blue
From the waves
To fill vacant eyes
A contrary wind
Reversed ocean
To bring you back

Gray

The glorious orb of life
Has disappeared behind
The smog of callous living
Heavy smoke stings the eyes
Blinding haze separates us,
A dying earth consumes much
As ashes rain, acids scald
Green is now breathless gray
Blue has long lost its blaze
Brown is the barren land
There are no pathless woods
Where one can escape
From gassed urban prisons;
We know not where to go
No cresting foliage of respite;
Just black gloom sneaking in
From the recesses of our minds

Book Release: Comeback, a collection of poems (coauthored)

Comeback is a compilation of poems on the theme of bouncing back from a dire circumstance to regain a former favorable condition. The book will be available on Amazon from November 15, 2021 and features some of my poems on the theme.

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