Tag Archives: guwahatibooktagrammers

A Magical New Fantasy Series!

Crown of Oblivion is a brand new fantasy series set in a dystopian world! Also compared to The Hunger Games, this is one new fantasy series I’m very excited to read.

Crown of Oblivion is a brand new fantasy series set in a dystopian world! Also compared to The Hunger Games, this is one book I'm excited to read through.
Crown of Oblivion is a brand new fantasy series set in a dystopian world! Also compared to The Hunger Games, this is one book I’m excited to read through.

Fantastic cover:

Can you imagine a bolder book cover than this? I personally love this cover for what it invokes in me – to go on despite whatever! I’ve also attached this picture of the wonderful merch that comes along with the preorder!

Pre-order goodies:

A signed bookplate, a beautiful enamel pin, an Astrid bookmark, and a quote graphic!

Crown of Oblivion is a brand new fantasy series set in a dystopian world! Also compared to The Hunger Games, this is one book I'm excited to read through.
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Synopsis of this fantasy book:

Astrid is the surrogate for Princess Renya, which means she bears the physical punishment if Renya steps out of line. Astrid has no choice—she and her family are Outsiders, the lower class of people without magic and without citizenship.

But there is a way out of this life—competing in the deadly Race of Oblivion. To enter the race, an Outsider is administered the drug Oblivion, which wipes their memory clear of their past as they enter a new world with nothing to help them but a slip of paper bearing their name and the first clue. It’s not as simple as solving a puzzle, however—for a majority of the contestants, the race ends in death. But winning would mean not only freedom for Astrid, but citizenship and health care for her entire family. With a dying father to think of, Astrid is desperate to prevail.

From the beginning, the race is filled with twists and turns. One of them is Darius, a fellow racer Astrid meets but isn’t sure she can trust. Though they team up in the race, as Astrid’s memories begin to resurface, she remembers just who he was to her—a scorned foe who may want revenge. Astrid also starts to notice she has powers no Outsider should—which could help her win the race, but also make her a target if anyone finds out. With stakes that couldn’t be higher, Astrid must decide what is more important: risking her life to remember the mysteries of the past, or playing a cutthroat game in order to win her—and her family’s—freedom.

Guess who is loving this fantasy!

So I am just a couple chapters in and I’m loving it. The beginning itself was so dramatic and wonderful, that I am curious to see how the story unfolds.

Crown of Oblivion is a brand new fantasy series set in a dystopian world! Also compared to The Hunger Games, this is one book I'm excited to read through.

Amazon Goodreads

Check out my other fantasy recommendations: The Raven’s Tale, The Shrike and the Shadows, After the Flood, Aurora Rising, etc

I have also uploaded a couple of YouTube videos and I’d love it if you could check those out: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UC-bW-YE_AC5r8voOIioyG3Q

The Far Field, by Madhuri Vijay, 2019

The far Field

The Far Field by Madhuri Vijay is a debut novel and it is included in the short-list of the prestigious JCB Literary Awards, 2019. It is a beautiful story from what I could make out from the synopsis.

Gorgeously tactile and sweeping in historical and socio-political scope, Pushcart Prize-winner Madhuri Vijay’s The Far Field follows a complicated flaneuse across the Indian subcontinent as she reckons with her past, her desires, and the tumultuous present. With rare acumen and evocative prose, in The Far Field Madhuri Vijay masterfully examines Indian politics, class prejudice, and sexuality through the lens of an outsider, offering a profound meditation on grief, guilt, and the limits of compassion.

The fact that it had a beautiful cover was a great attractor for me as well. I have been thoroughly loving the book so far. Although it begins on a note of grief, the writing is beautiful. There is a sort of whimsical and nostalgic about the book, from the very first pages itself and I am in love with the writing style. I hope the author brings out more books so that I can get my hands on it soon.

Many readers may argue that the protagonist is problematic – she comes off as self-centered and living in a bubble that essentially separates her from the world around her. Her actions seem immature and the fact that they are repeatedly done is a factor that irked me at times. The overall arch of the book, however, was worth enjoying and I loved every bit of it except the times I was frustrated because of the decisions Shalini took, which were her own. She has an individualistic streak and I am not sure if everyone will enjoy it. It certainly proved problematic for me at some points.  I rate this book a 3.75/5 stars.

Thanks a lot to Harpercollins for providing me with a copy of this amazing book. I am also hoping to pick up Milk Teeth and Perumal Murugan’s One Part Woman followed by Trial by Silence and A Lonely Harvest. I have been following the Award this year and these are the books I intend to read from here.

Do you follow such literary awards? Are you picking up any award-winning books in the near future? If yes, which ones do you plan to?

Invisible Ties, Nadya A. R., 2017

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Title: Invisible Ties
Author: Nadya A. R.
Publisher: Rupa Publications
Format: Paperback
Language: English
Pages: 266
Synopsis:
As Karachi burned in the 1990s, the painfully shy Noor Kamal found refuge in an antique jade mirror stolen from Daisy, her social butterfly mother. One fateful day, the violence hits home as a motley crew of burglars storm the Kamal residence, killing Joseph, the faithful driver who tried to shield Noor and kidnapping Daisy in the process.
Traumatized by the turn of events and succumbing to familial pressure, Noor reluctantly agrees to start life afresh in Singapore as the wife of Meekaal Kalim, an investment banker. Trapped in a loveless marriage, Noor finds succour in studying psychotherapy.
Her attempt to heal others brings her close to Ella, her neighbour and Jake, a handsome American who is struggling to deal with his emotional breakdown. As she tries to exorcise ghosts from the past and break free from the shackles, where will Noor’s longing for love take her? Would she be able to liberate herself from her strong cultural values and ties?
A saga of love and trials, against a rich contrasting background, Invisible Ties is sure to appeal to the readers.
My review:
Invisible Ties, in one word, is a masterpiece. A work of utter beauty and the complexities of human life expressed in poetical language, it is one of the best books I have read this year. And one which shall always be with me.
The writing firstly is something that will strike you as soon as you start reading it. There is a graceful fluidity in the lines which makes you feel like you are indulging in poetry- so beautiful and calm. As a reader I felt as it was I was flowing in its waters. And in the end, this is one quality which really mesmerized me. I took intervals in reading this book – three days to be exact – and I am so glad that I did. Apart from being an aesthetically pleasing book, it was an intense emotional read too. There are, of course, many who will not agree to that, but let me state that it was so for me. In the same vein, the language was well-edited; I found no bumps in the reading. Rupa Publications has done an impeccable job as always.
I shall not tell much about what happens in the story- the synopsis does that well enough- so well enough that it made me immediately accept the author’s offer to review the book. The plot was well made and I found the change in scenery very well-paced. The entire story was well-paced for that matter. In one way I consider this a bildungsroman- Noor grows from a young impressionable girl to a wise woman. The events are realistic yet all the while there is the magic that weaved throughout the entire story. The use of the mirror really brought in a tiny amount of magical realism into the narrative.
The themes of displacement, loss, religion, individuality, growth etc. really brings in a diversity to the book yet binds the narrative into one single work that would not work in the absence of any one of these themes. The ever-present imagery used by the author was a delight to my heart and my grey cells. Imagining all those beautiful things had a beautiful exquisiteness to them.
The characters are all well-made and have a lot of depth to all of them, even excluding the protagonist. I shall wrap up my review by reiterating that Invisible Ties was a superb masterpiece and I hope to pick up Nadya A. R’s other book as well.
Verdict:
I rate this book a solid 4.5/5 stars. It was a simply a very amazing read. If you are looking for something magical without the explicit presence of magic, something you know will be impactful and shall stay with you forever, without further ado, simply pick up this book.