Book Reviews

RAKSHASAS – Book Review

  • Author: Rajiv G Menon
  • Genre: Fantasy
  • Paperback: 447 pages
  • Publisher: Westland (15 June 2018)
  • Language: English


The world is in turmoil. Naraka and his formidable Asura war machine march unhindered across it bringing once great nations to their knees. They have now set their eyes on the ultimate prize — Bharata, the land of the seven rivers. Indra and his Devas struggle to contain this threat, even as they battle their own differences and the temptations of Swarga. Would they be able to save their motherland?

In this second installment of his Vedic Trilogy, Rajiv G. Menon weaves a rich and vibrant tapestry of the epic struggle between earth-worshipping feminine cultures that live in harmony with nature, and the patriarchal forces that seek to tame her.

My Review

A hell lot of gore, violence, political gimmicks, longing for superiority with a little bit of love is what Rakshasas is all about. The book primarily deals with the rise and destruction and re-rise of humanity. There are plenty of characters in the whole book that it would be hard to retain the facts you’ll come across. But once you’ll be immersed in the story, the whole new world with its spellbinding denizens will intrigue you. Trust me, this book has got the ability to make you sit for long hours to grasp each and every incident happening in it.

The realism spread across the book will shake you. The sorcerers and the bloodthirsty beasts along with the ‘admirable’ Aryas together cooked up this broth. And what’s more, even after so many cooks the broth isn’t spoilt at all. The variety of characters have enriched the narrative with their individual insecurities, ambitions, hatred, affection and their will to acquire supremacy over others. The book talks clearly about how the Aryas and Asuras came into being and who are the Rakshasas? What is their prime motive? The whole web of conspiracies intertwined with different scenarios has got to bewilder you. It would be an enlightening mental exercise for the readers to savor this fantastic masterpiece.

There is an elaborate discussion on the Varnas(we identify them as castes today), the roles defined for male and female, the good men Devas and the condemned spirits asuras. Have you heard of the three great sarpas – Takshaka, Vasuki and the wisest of them, Ananta? Well, I didn’t and this revelation took me by surprise. Takshaka wanted to establish the Bharata and in his pursuit of power, he exploits the humanity. Initially, the imminent war in the book appears to be against the different classes but in reality, it is a brilliant idea of the serpent to cast a dark spell over the Earth. He divided human beings to serve his sinister ends.

It was a war that had begun with the rise of humanity, a war that was seemingly without end. At stake was humanity’s collective soul. 

The one thing that absolutely elated me was the point Goddess Sachi made when she says that There’s no role in society men can adopt that women can’t. This brings us to the reality where the patriarchal society has taken a toll over the very existence of females. They are made to bow in front of men and taught to sere their husbands. This is how we humans generated a gender gap.

Towards the end of the book, Manu, the Lawgiver trembles in front of the Blue One speaking about what has become of their great human race. And the mighty one says that the Brahman lies dormant within the human beings. This is how the human race has been designed, with godly characteristics, but with the time we had committed us to the monstrous needs and deeds. And the best one was

It’s the law that must adapt to the needs of society.

In all, the book is incredible with the sharp turn of events. There are too many plotlines within a book with numerous characters. The author has handled all of them very well. The touch of mythology and history is interesting. It renders the book to be an unputdownable read. The language is amazing to complement the fast pace of the author’s flow of thoughts. Moreover, just look at the cover. It is so attractive that you would be instantly pushed towards having it in your hands!

If you are a fan of mytho-fiction or if you are keen to dwell deeper in the realms of your existence or if you are interested to get to the roots of the world or if you are an ardent lover of pure fantasy peppered with a wonderful story, do head for this book!

My Rating: 5/ 5

Book your copy here: RAKSHASAS – The Shadow Warriors


18 thoughts on “RAKSHASAS – Book Review

  1. You have reviewed the book in an honest manner by pointing on evil patriarchy, schism and power. I like the style of assessing the characters and surely the book makes for an interesting read.

    Liked by 1 person

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