by Shon Mehta
Who is the hero of a story? The one who is brave and honourable, or the one who survives to tell the story?
Which is the more powerful weapon? The one that wins battles, or the one that wins the minds of people?
Set in the ancient land of Jivavarta, ‘The Timingila’ is the story of Trishala, a weak kingdom at the mercy of its neighbours, and Tasvak, the unwanted child of its king.
When a series of unexpected events put Trishala under a tyrant’s control, Tasvak is forced into a web of deception as he struggles to resurrect Trishala’s lost glory. Along the way, he has to deal with fanatics, assassins, victims, and reformers. Facing manipulation and betrayal at every step, will Tasvak succeed?
‘The Timingila’ is a fast-paced thriller written as a series of short chapters.
I was kindly given an e-ARC of the book by NetGalley in return for an honest review.
I have been meaning to post this review for a long time now but life got in the way.
I read this book in almost a single sitting and it’s such a fresh take on fantasy. I am not saying it’s never been done before but to read it in today’s time is a good thing, you know. It is a fantasy, and it’s fast moving. The characters are all varied and with their own voices. I loved the way the main character grew as the time passed. From a shunned young man to the heights of glory and his journey there.
If there’s one thing I have against it, it’s the lack of connection with some of the characters that were supposedly close to the main character. I never really saw the relationship develop between Tasvak and his wife, yes, they fell in love as the time passed but where were the important moments, the ones that make a relationship worthwhile? Those tender moments were sorely missed and I wish there had been at least a few of them.
The author’s writing is good, I think with the way the characters acted in their lives and the way the plot evolved, it could be directed at a younger audience than I? Or maybe that’s just my feeling of the book, in general. However, all of this does not negate the fact that it is a really good book to read, something new in a way. For one, it is not a typical high fantasy, it’s not set in an eerily similar ‘Western-minded’ world. For once, the set up and the people seemed familiar and I loved that. The lack of magic made it even more tempting to me, if I am being honest. I love reading about magic, trust me but sometimes, it’s also such a pleasure to read something without it.
I loved the fact that the main character wasn’t a proper, traditional hero. He might have started out that way but during the journey of life, some things happened and the character wasn’t all glowy and righteous. He was flawed and was manipulated and manipulative. He grew and maybe not for the best but he wasn’t the worst either. I really liked that. The supporting characters were all equally awesome, some that seemed good were good and some weren’t quite there yet.
Overall, a lovely book that should appeal to those who want to read something different, something that has a fast pace and at times, odd developments that leave you wondering.