Saturday, 26 November 2016

The Eleventh Commandment .. By Jeffrey Archer

I love reading Jeffrey Archer books. He is the kind of an author who brings us closer to how a politician’s mind works during a crisis and take us through a tingling experience of non-stop action. As a politician, he was one of the notorious minds who experienced almost everything, from bankruptcy to conviction, with subsequent imprisonment. Having encountered the biggest controversies himself and in the midst of this climacteric, I am guessing he was inspired to create such novels. Whatever be the reason, he gave us the extensive collection of adventures to experience our delight of super-thrillers.
This is one such book, that tells us how an agency like CIA in the United States, have the power to bring down the President himself. The story revolves around a CIA agent Conner Fitzgerald, who was assigned a final task of killing a Presidential candidate of Russia, an anarchist, who poses a threat to the US to bring about another Cold War era. But sadly, he is unaware of the fact that this assignment has not come from the President, but the ambitious Director of the agency, Helen Dexter, who is intentionally saving her own skin, by putting him under fire.
What follows is the most exciting political controversy and double-crossing moves between the White House, CIA and Russian Mafya Gangs, with a nasty whiny Russian President, Zerimski, who brings in interesting ploys to bring down the US President’s credibility in his own country.
And by the way, if you are wondering what The Eleventh Commandment means, it was a phrase used by former US President, Ronald Reagan during his 1966 election campaign ie.
"Thou shalt not speak ill of any fellow Republican."
In this book, it refers to the rule for an assassin, if ever they get caught, they shall not under any circumstances, speak from where he got the order to go for the kill.
Anyway, what an interesting read and that too with a happy ending!  A very well-written espionage thriller drama which is guaranteed to keep you occupied until the end. Hope you guys pick up this fast-paced action soon.

Happy Reading!!!

Tuesday, 22 November 2016

The Hunger Games # 1 .. By Suzanne Collins

This is an epic adventure Sci-Fi series that I am absolutely fond of. I started reading this way back during my college days and was totally thrilled to learn that they are adapting it to a film, which too was very entertaining.
The story revolves around the series' rebel heroine, Katniss Everdeen, who lives in the post-apocalyptic nation of Panem, formerly known as North America. In Panem, the “Hunger Games” are an annual event in which young boys and girls fight to death in a televised battle.
This nation consist of a wealthy capitol controlling and dominating 12 other districts and it conducts this event as a punishment for the past rebellion, during which District 13 was destroyed. It selects a boy and a girl each, from the remaining districts through a lottery system and those who are picked must fight to death in a man-made open arena, until one person survives, who will be declared as the winner and be showered with riches. So, basically, the novel deals with the struggle for self-preservation that the poor people of Panem face in their districts and the Hunger Games in which they must participate.  
You will find this book exceptionally exciting and brutally entertaining to read. It consists blood baths, lovers’ quarrels, sacrifices and rebellious game contenders, which is going to keep you way past your bedtime. Trust Me!
You all must have heard many a times, that books are always better to read than watching their corresponding films. However, I am totally gonna disagree with this belief, with respect to this particular book, because they could not have made the film better than it already is. They have totally justified the characters. I mean, who else could have played this role better than Jennifer Lawrence. They have showed each and every incident, character and places of this book in the most appropriate way possible. Especially the arena, which was superbly reincarnated in the movie; it was like reading it all over again.
I personally would like to endorse this book to all the book lovers who likes adventure, action and emotion all at the same time, with a classic sense of entertainment. And I am certainly going to bring the review on its sequel as well. Keep watching this BlogSpace for more.
Happy Reading!!! 

Wednesday, 16 November 2016

Empire of the Moghul # 3.. Ruler Of The World .. By Alex Rutherford

This is my review on the third book of the Empire of the Moghul Series.
The name of this book itself will give an idea, who the subject is; the ultimate Moghul champion, Akbar! 
At a the age of 12, when his father Humayan died by falling down the stairs in Agra Fort, his mother, Hamida made sure that he succeed his father as the third Mughal Emperor immediately before the enemies snoop in to take away his birthright.
At a very young age itself, he proved his strength by commanding his forces, during which his warriors fought  and won the second battle of Panipat against a Hindu general, Hemu, that gave him a strong foothold in Hindustan.
While growing up, Akbar not only won various battles and conquered a major number of empires in India to his name; he also married Rajput princesses to forge an alliance with significant sovereign states of this country, like Amber, Mewar, Ranthambore etc.
After reading this book, I gathered that Akbar was indeed charismatic, he influenced millions of his subjects, whether be a hindu or a muslim, he regarded all of them with respect. He even introduced a new religion, Din-i-Illahi, a syncretic creed derived from Islam, Hinduism, Zoroastrianism, and Christianity to bring about religious unity.
Even though an illiterate, he loved poetry, sufi songs and he also had a thirst to learn about administration, economics and social norms, using these knowledge to bring about inspiring new policies into his rule, all according to the Ain-i-Akbari (Manuscript of his rule). He was also into architectures and designs. He administered the construction of the great city of Fatehpur Sikri and Humayun’s Tomb in Delhi, which are still, regarded for its magnificence and grandeur. 
FatehPur Sikri - Agra

Part of this book also featured the story of Salim, Akbar’s son, which showed his bitter feelings for his father. According to him, Akbar was as ruthless a father to him as was a great ruler. His version of events proved that Akbar tried and failed to acknowledge his son’s abilities to prove himself as a worthy heir. Akbar in fact considered to make his grandson, Khusron (Salim’s eldest son) as his successor, developing ill feelings not only between himself and Salim, but also between his son and grandsons. He particularly showed interest in his third grandson Khurram (Later known as Shah Jahan), taking him away from his birth mother and overseeing his education himself, which all increased Salim’s spite towards Akbar even more.
This book also told us the story about the infamous incident of love between Salim and the beautiful Persian dancer, Anarkali, his father’s favorite concubine, which I found very interesting.
I would say, this series is getting more and more fascinating and I can’t wait to share my views on the next in line “The Tainted Throne”, which I already finished reading a few days ago and will soon be posting my reviews on it.
Till then, if you haven’t already, then please go ahead with this super sequel epic adventurous drama which spills the dirty secrets of Moghuls in detail.
Happy Reading!!!

Sunday, 13 November 2016

By the River Piedra I Sat Down and Wept .. By Paulo Coelho

It is Coelho’s one of the finest books. It was like reading a holy book in the most poetic version which will move you from the innermost corners of your heart.
The story is about a young woman, Pilar, who meets her childhood sweetheart after a long time, who has now turned to a spiritual teacher and a miracle healer and believes that its God’s wish that granted him this power.
Pilar is very surprised when he reveals his great love for her and is torn between the desire to be finally in a path to achieve true love and the realization that the man she loves is being called upon to choose between her and his spiritual calling. As the suffering lovers travel through sacred sites in the French Pyrenees, the difficult choice they face offers a startling revelation about the divine and the redemptive power of love.
This book is nothing like the gooey love stories that you usually stumble upon. It is a very mature creation of an author whom I generally regard as the one who will leave you stupefied with his flow of words that is always so magical and leaves you all to ponder over your life.
I would like to quote one of the best sayings from this novel:
“Love is an untamed force. When we try to control it, it destroys us. When we try to imprison it, it enslaves us. When we try to understand it, it leaves us feeling lost and confused.”
I am sure, many of the readers will find this book boring, but I guarantee you, if you try to really feel and understand this book, it is going to leave a prominent impact on your way of thinking. 
I will recommend this book to all of you who appreciates the beauty of classic reading and I really consider this book to be one of that kind.

Happy Reading!!!

Thursday, 10 November 2016

Stranger In The Mirror...By Sidney Sheldon

One of the very old works of the author, this novel was published in 1976. Lt. Mr. Sidney Sheldon was a kind of a writer who used to create Crime Novels and Thrillers, but this one is neither.
It is a life story of two famous Hollywood stars, Groucho Marx and Erin Fleming, fictitiously represented as Toby Temple and Jill Castle in the book. The story starts with the childhood scenes of both the characters. Toby belonging to a German immigrant middle-class family in the US, whose mother has big dreams for him, encourages him to run away to Hollywood to make it huge. But, as always it was not easy for him at first, but with some help and luck, soon he found his way to success as a famous comedian.
Meanwhile, a Polish immigrant family had a daughter, who was born dead but was alive by some miracle. Because of this trauma, she has constant headaches throughout her life, which her mother, a devoted Catholic, believes a demon has possessed her daughter and wants her to a devoted God-fearing person as well. But, she being extremely beautiful, is socialized with higher society people. After constant insults and insecurities and a heart-broken relationship with a childhood crush, she also leaves for Hollywood to try her luck there.
What follows is the story of how Jill struggles through this toil, how she ends up meeting Toby, how their life follows and ends in an extreme tragedy. It was hard to believe it is a representation of a true story and how much a person can endure throughout their life and still stand up and smile for the sake of the world. 
I found this book engrossing but not the best work of Sidney. It was like sitting through a catastrophe, afraid of letting it go. You hope throughout that it will all end up on a happier note, but no, this book promises you to give the most depressing vibes till the end. It also tells us, how much Hollywood seems flashier from the outside, is that much trashy in the inside.
On that note, I promise to bring my views on other more captivating works of Sidney soon.
Happy Reading!!!

Monday, 7 November 2016

Empire of the Moghul # 2 .. Brothers at War .. By Alex Rutherford

I just finished the second installment of this series, which is based on Humayun’s life and struggle to live up to his father’s expectations of ruling Hindustan and extending their powers beyond Delhi or Agra. 
Babur chose Humayan, as his successor as the next Moghul Emperor, when he died because not only he was the eldest, but was much more capable than his other three sons, which led to a feud between him and his brothers, who started plotting to kill Humayan right after their father’s funeral.
This book was way more interesting than the first because not only it contained 90% of facts according to the author’s historical notes, but also Humayun’s life story was quite interesting compared to Babur’s. His character in the book turned out to be very brawny and passionate and an interesting thing that stuck me most about him was his star gazing, dream interpretation abilities and his astronomical skills.
Although successful in his first campaign as an Emperor, to seize Gujarat, Humayun suffered a number of setbacks, mainly because as a ruler he was very dissolute, prone to rash judgement and easily manipulated. It was not long when he had to abandon his empire in Agra and travel to Lahore, which didn’t end there. He had to wait a long time to recapture Hindustan from a Bengal ruler, Sher Shah, because of his brothers, Kamran and Askari, who kept plotting behind his back, worst of which was they kidnapped his infant son Akbar and threatened to kill him, which forced Humayun to give up his conquest and exile to Persia. After which his life took interesting turns that you will have to find out after reading the book.
All-in-all, it was a compelling tale that left me in a trance. I feel like reading it again, not only because it was an interesting read, but because to stumble upon some new facts (This book had many by the way!) that I might have missed in the first reading. It is indeed a kind of book that you would like to keep for multiple diggings. I can’t wait to read the next installment of the series, which who knows might turn out to be more exciting than the previous two. 
Keep your eyes peeled for my review on the third book - “Ruler of the World".
Happy Reading!!!

Thursday, 3 November 2016

A Game Of Thrones .. By George R. R. Martin

Most of you are already familiar with the HBO TV Series that goes by the same name and are already in love with it. But, not many of you might have read these epic fantasies introduced into the world by a great mind.
This is the first book of George R.R. Martin’s  series of A Song of Ice and Fire and is truly a wonderment. This part of the saga covers the entire first season of the GOT series. And before I give my review on the book, I would like to share what is it all about for those who all are GOT virgins. 
The story is about the seven kingdoms, known as Westeros, ruled by the king who sits on the Iron Throne, in the capital city called King’s Landing. The Seven Kingdoms includes:
  • Stark of Winterfell, rulers of The North
  • Tully of Riverrun, rulers of The Riverlands
  • Arryn of the Eyrie, rulers of The Vale
  • Lannister of Casterly Rock, rulers of The Westernlands
  • Baratheon of Storm's End, rulers of The Stormlands
  • Tyrell of Highgarden, rulers of The Reach
  • Martell of Sunspear, rulers of Dorne
Currently, it is ruled by Robert Baratheon, married to Cersei Lannister and assisted by an able administrator, known as the “Hand of the King”.

Now, our story starts with the Starks of Winterfell finding out about the murder of Jon Arryn, ‘The Hand’ and Lannisters' involvement in it. Meanwhile, Robert comes to visit Winterfell, with a proposal for Ned Stark(Ruler of the North) to be the next Hand of the king and his daughter for marriage to Robert’s son, for an alliance.
Ned must travel to King’s Landing to help Robert and find out who killed the previous Hand of the King, while his bastard son, Jon Snow chose to travel North to the Wall to join the elite brotherhood of the Night Watchers who protects the kingdom against supernatural forces called the Whitewalkers.
When Ned finds out the dark secrets of Lannisters, it sets an epic tragedy into motion, after which there is no turning back for him and this is where he faces a dilemma whether to protect his family or expose the Lannisters.
This story also focuses on the life of the exiled princess, Daenerys Targaryen, far off from Westeros and in hiding with her brother, who sells her to the wild tribal leader, Khal Drogo in exchange for an army to sail across the Narrow Sea back to Westeros and take back the Iron Throne. However, her life drastically changes after marriage, with her new found confidence and her will to survive, which also presents her with surprising facts about her powers.
This was a skimpy fact on the story, which does not do justice to a grand and extraordinary tale that George Martin came up with. It is a mind-boggling drama of so many characters living and fighting for their own selfish means, which depicts the grayness of each character in its own style.
It is so amazing as to how Martin has illustrated the magnificence of the places and grandeur of the cities in words, which can be regarded as a work of a genius. No wonder a hell lot of money was spent to create the sets of the television series.
This first season of the TV series is not much altered compared to the book, however, you will still be able to find a lot of facts not given in the HBO version. 
I would recommend this book to all the fantasy lovers, as this is definitely gonna set your bar of imagination wonderfully high.
Happy Reading!!!