The Historian and the Hunter by Zeenat Mahal

the_historian_and_the_hunter__new_.jpgThe Historian and the Hunter by Zeenat Mahal is the latest book by the author. I was fortunate enough to receive a review copy from her.  When I read the name of the story, I felt that the male lead would be the hunter and the female lead, the historian. But what I did not know that both  would be girls and twin sisters.

The Blurb:

Laila and Shirin are ordinary girls living in the old city of Lahore just like millions of others…except they live in the red-light district area, and they’re identical twins. Also they hunt monsters no-one knows exist…okay so, maybe not quite like millions of other girls…

The story:

They have telepathy, or the twin thing.

They are opposites. But, they are identical twins, born into a family that kills monsters.

Laila and Shirin lost their parents when they were young and all they have as family is Emir pehalwan, Madam Ara and the Begum. Their parents were the first Hunters to have been killed in centuries, 15 years ago and their great aunt, the Begum says that the monsters have been showing up since then. Emir is their foster father in everyway except a formal declaration. They had been practically raised by Madam Ara, who was their solace and escape from Council duties. Begum, the Supreme Seat of the Secret Council of Lahore, which had thirteen members, men and women of different ages and backgrounds to maintain a balance.

Shirin Mirza never took Laila’s work seriously nor did she respect the work of the historian. Laila knows Shirin loves her and fears losing her. Shirin had her Saiban and Laila had her books.

Shirin is outdoorsy and physical and Laila, a scholar and a recluse. One is a historian, a bookworm, reads diaries and spends most of her time in a library. Shirin is Saiyyad, the Hunter of the Secret Council- an organization sworn to protect the vulnerable, hunts for Nau-Guzzahs, churails, jinns, demons and monsters. She is the hunter. She calls Emir, her Saiban.

Laila isn’t brave, she prefers books and solitude. She is afraid of people and that is the reason she stayed with books in underground rooms. She reads about werewolves, shamanism and alchemy. She loves stories, books are her world and that is how she learned about the Words of Power. Her curiosity and devotion had led to much discovery. By the time she was 10, Laila knew all the secret passageways of the city. She has been dreaming of the wolf for the past three years.

Nothing trumps the Historian, her twin sister is the Hunter. Her foster father is her Saiban and her foster mother is the madam who manages the eyes and ears of the Council.

A new Council member, an archeologist, Shahmeer Sikander is surprised that he has been selected though he lacks the ancestry and pedigree the Council usually look for.

Sardar Rustam Ali Khan, nephew of an old friend of Emir, is the leader of his clan. He is introduced by the Begum as one of the secret weapons of The Council.

My take:

I have usually associated Zeenat Mahal with romantic stories but this one is different. The story is interesting, and begins with Saiyyad hunting for a Nau-Guzzah. And then there are council meetings and secret passage ways. There are doors and keys. There are some diaries hidden by Lockwood from the Council. And then there is also the story of Ranjeet Singh.

There is a story within the story, which moves in parallel to the main story and both the stories are linked. But neither story overshadows the other.

The language is simple, it would have been more meaningful if the author had given the meanings of terms like saiban, Nau-guzzah and other terms which are not so commonly used.

Though the story moves slowly in the beginning, it gains momentum as it progresses and then the book becomes unputdownable.

The characters of Laila and Shirin have been developed very well. But I found myself wanting to know more about Shahmeer and Rustam.

Enjoyed reading the story.

DISCLAIMER: I received the book as a review copy from the author in exchange for an honest review. I have not received any monetary compensation for the same.

 

 

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Cover reveal: Corridors of time by Vinay Krishnan

~ Cover Reveal ~
Corridors of Time by Vinay Krishnan

Blurb:

Corridors of Time tracks the story of a sensitive young man who grows from carefree childhood to eventful manhood – one who stumbles before learning to stride through those dark and dense passages.

Set in Bangalore – a city of paradoxes. of gardens and garbage heaps. of technology and traffic snarls. of friendly people and failing infrastructure. when bungalows had gardens and pavements were meant for pedestrians. this is a narrative of the human spirit.

Rohan, an idealistic young sports lover experiences rejection, dark dejection and isolation and hurtles down the path to self destruction.

Shyla, attractive and successful is everything his heart yearns for and his body desires, except, she is married!

Chandrika, simple and devoted fails to understand the man she loves.

The shuklas long for justice denied by the system.

And khalid fears nothing and no one …anymore.

About the Author:

Vinay Krishnan describes himself as a ‘complete Bangalorean’. A student of Clarence High School, he graduated in Humanities from St Joseph’s College. Earning a diploma in Business Administration, he began his career at Usha International Ltd and rose to a position of Senior Sales manager. Vinay has now set up a construction firm of his own. He also writes and devotes his time to an NGO assisting people with disability. The city of his dreams, Bangalore, where he stays with his wife and daughter, continues to inspire and exasperate him. He can be reached at – vinaykrshnn@yahoo.com.

Praises for the Book:

The book is simple in style and content, for often it is this simplicity that bewilders and rouses

Interest.

~ Shri S . Rajendra Babu, Former Chief Justice of India

The book has excellent literary craftsmanship, passion humour and adventure. Highly recommended.

~ Mr. Namboodiri, former Asst. Editor, Deccan Herald

This charming book about old Bangalore is written in a racy easy-to-read style.

~ Deccan Herald, Bangalore.

This Cover Reveal is brought to you by Author’s Channel in association with b00k r3vi3ws
 
 

 

The Santa’s Gift by Paromita Goswami

51C+oNNZVgL.jpgI borrowed The Santa’s Gift by Paromita Goswami from the Kindle Unlimited Library. It is a short story.

The blurb:

What is the pursuit of happiness in the journey of parenting?
Toby takes things for granted.
Mamta is having tough time coping up with it.
Can Santa’s arrival really change their life?

The story:

Mamta, a freelance editor, lives with her son, Toby, 11 and her husband, Amit. Her son takes things for granted. Mamta is trying to teach him a lesson. But he learns a better lesson.

My take:

The author has used the story to leave the reader thanking for all that we have. The language is simple and the story just flows.

I will definitely make my children read this one

This short story is a must read for everyone, big and small.

Finding Her Way: An Indian Girl’s Dilemma by Ruchi Vasudeva

417kAKsfbKLI received the short story Finding Her Way: An Indian Girl’s Dilemma by  Ruchi Vasudeva as a review copy from the author. I am thankful to her for the book. This book talks about an Indian girl from a conservative family has to face post her marriage.

The blurb:

What does marriage mean for an Indian girl? Whether she marries for love or by arrangement, she’s forced to obey unreasonable demands. But she also wants to live her life on her own terms.

Avni is such a girl. When the man she loves and cares for wholeheartedly, throws her a curve ball, she chooses to walk away. What comes next for Avni?

The story:

Avni, a girl from a viilage in Punjab, is attracted to Hitansh, a boy from rural Maharashtra, in Chandigarh University. They become friends and are serious about each other. She tells her parents about her decision and they flow into a rage. She runs away on the day of her marriage with her boyfriend. And her younger sister has to get married in her place to save the family name.

Now she is back home after three years, will she be accepted by her family?

My take:

The cover is beautiful and depicts the essence of the story.

The author has written the book from the point of view of both the main protagonists. The name of the character is written just before his or her point of view is written. This actually made me understand their actions and their motives.

The writing is crisp and to the point. The language is simple and some terms have been written in the local dialects, Punjabi and Marathi and that gives a nice feel to the story.

I loved the story and am waiting for more such stories from the author.

DISCLAIMER: I received a free ebook from the author in exchange for an honest review. I have not received any  monetary compensation for the same.

Spotlight: CARTHICK’S UNFAIRY TALES by T.F. Carthick

Blog Tour by The Book Club of CARTHICK'S UNFAIRY TALES by T.F. Carthick

 

 
CARTHICK’S UNFAIRY TALES
by
T.F. Carthick
 
Blog Tour by The Book Club of CARTHICK'S UNFAIRY TALES by T.F. Carthick
Blurb

A damsel in distress. An evil dragon. A concerned father seeking a savior to rescue his daughter. A hero galloping off to the rescue – a knight in shining armor. Now THAT is stuff of fairy tales.

But what if the father’s real concern is for the dragon’s hoard; What if the damsel’s reason of distress is the marriage proposal by her pompous and vicious savior; and what if the story is told by the horse who bears not only the overweight knight but also his heavy, shining armor all the way to the dragon’s lair and back, facing certain death in the process?


What if there was more – much more – to all your favourite fairy tales than met the eye?


This book chronicles not one but seven such unfairy tales – tales told by undead horsemen and living cities. Tales of mistreated hobgoblins and misunderstood magicians. Tales of disagreeable frogs and distressed rats and bears baring their souls. Once you read these stories, you will never be able to look at a fairy tale the same way ever again.

 
Read an excerpt


This was wrong at many levels. The mayor’s despair and eagerness to solve the problem was understandable. But from what I have seen, no human problems come with quick fixes. Haste seldom helps. One requires patience to get to the depth of a problem and attack it at its root. A holistic solution does take a lot of time and effort but the benefits are long-lasting. Quick fixes, on the other hand, end up aggravating the situation. Take this situation of the rats itself, for instance. While the mayor may not have realized it, the fact was that the people of the town had brought this upon themselves. A few years earlier, people had complained of snakes. There were just a few of these reptiles, but still the people had complained incessantly. So, snake-catchers had been summoned to exterminate the snakes. Then, a few months’ later, stray dogs had become the object of the people’s ire.

“They keep barking all night. They just don’t let us sleep,” they had complained.

And they began to make a big fuss of how dogs were a public menace and exaggerated stories of dogs attacking humans started spreading, till finally the town council had to yield. Dog-catchers were commissioned and the dogs were done away with. With the elimination of their natural predators, wasn’t it natural that rats should multiply? But people just don’t realize these kinds of things. That is how people have been all the time. They wanted quick-fix solutions to all their problems then, and they want quick-fix solutions to all their problems now. They never learn.

Also, I suppose the mayor probably thought he would never be called upon to follow through upon his promise. So, he promised a grand reward just to appear to be doing something. That is another folly of humans, especially the leaders. They care more about perception than actually getting things done. And often initiatives undertaken to manage perceptions end up doing more harm than good.


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Paperback





About the author

 


 

T F Carthick is a Bangalore-based writer and blogger who has been blogging since 2008. He is an avid reader of Children’s Fiction, Science-fiction and Fantasy. Enid Blyton, J K Rowling, Isaac Asimov, Frank Herbert, Neil Gaiman and Douglas Adams are some of his favorite authors. His paranormal thriller ‘Bellary’ was one of the three stories in the book Sirens Spell Danger, published in 2013. Six of his stories have featured in multi-author anthologies and literary magazines. He has written over 50 short stories, many of which can be read for free on www.karthikl.com.

 


He is an Engineer and MBA from India’s premier institutes IIT, Madras and IIM, Ahmedabad and currently works as an Analytics and Artificial Intelligence Consultant at one of the world’s leading Consulting Firms.

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Untangled by Jazz Singh

51WwyVQqlbL.jpgNot all books are like this one, the readers are definitely in for three love stories, some brewing, some ready and some …..

Untangled is the latest book by Jazz Singh. It is the sequel to A Tangled Legacy by the author and takes off where the previous one ended. The previous book talked about the romance of Karan and Jahanvi and in this book, we talk about Karan’s parents.

The blurb:

Supriya is married to Ashok; Ashok loves Anahita; Anahita is married to Krishan; Krishan loves Prema,

And just why are they all so interested in Karan?

The story:

Karan has started accepting the presence of Krishan in his mother, Prema’s home. Krishan wants to make his relationship with Prema work. To the extent that he even plan’s to divorce Anahita.

Anahita is now having an affair with Ashok, her old flame, right before Krishan’s eyes.

But where does that leave Supriya, Ashoks’s wife and the mother of his children, who has also seen Ashok with Anahita.

My take:

I loved how the author took off from where she had left off in the previous book. The characters are almost the same whom we had met in the previous book, the difference being, the supporting characters and the main ones have switched. All the characters, main and supporting have important roles to play in the story.

Loved the parent-child relationship depicted in the book, be it Prema and Karan; Jahanvi and her father or Supriya and her children. The conversations are realistic.

The language is simple and the story just flows.

I absolutely loved this one. It made me realize that relationships should not be based on jealousy and revenge.

I am actually waiting for the next one in the series, which I feel would be some romance between Supriya and Ashok and maybe wedding bells for their children.

Spotlight: THE WOMAN WHO SAW THE FUTURE by Amit Sharma

Blog Tour: THE WOMAN WHO SAW THE FUTURE by Amit Sharma

 

 
THE WOMAN WHO SAW THE FUTURE
by
Amit Sharma
 
Blog Tour: THE WOMAN WHO SAW THE FUTURE by Amit Sharma
Blurb
 
Sapna Vaid has lived with a unique power for a decade; a power that turned her from a timid, wide-eyed, college-going girl into the most influential and powerful Goddess on Earth. Sapna can see the future and saves thousands of people around the world every year through her record-breaking, popular show ‘Lucky People’. The show had given Sapna’s life a meaning and gives her the courage to sleep every night, where death and blood await her in her dreams. 
 
Even though the world is at her feet, the power costs Sapna her personal life. Thousands of prayers that come her way every year are her only solace, her only reason to live. 
 
When a blinding hatred leads to a desperate act of revenge, a single misuse of her great power triggers a reversal of her fortunes. Now she must decide the path she has to take to preserve her unique gift and her fame, even if it turns her into a murderer on the brink of insanity.
 
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About the author

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Amit Sharma’s first fiction book titled False Ceilings has been published by Lifi Publications in 2016. 

 

 

 

His second novel titled ‘The Woman Who Saw The Future‘ was published by Readomania in Nov 2017. 

 

 

 

Amit has been working in a Software Firm for the last twelve years. His hobbies include reading (but of course), watching world cinema, traveling, digging into various cuisines, cooking, listening to music, painting, blogging, making his daughter laugh and helping his wife with her unnecessary and prolonged shopping.  

 

 

 

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