I finally started reading the graphic novel from 2019 and it honestly has been a great journey so far. In my 5th semester, I decided to pursue a Visual Studies elective. I was lucky enough to have a great teacher under whom I explored this genre and saw what fun it is!
Graphic novel: Pumpkinheads
I recently picked up Pumpkin Heads by Rainbow Rowell and Faith Erin Hicks and it was my first graphic novel of the year. To be very honest, I was suffering from a terrible reading slump and so I wanted to read something fun and not very intense. That is the reason why I decided to pick up Pumpkinheads, about which my bestie Gayatri had been raving about from the time she read it. and I really enjoyed it. It certainly helped me get over my slump.
However, on that very note, it span over the time period of just a few hours. It is not a book with a lot of depth, so if that is what you are expecting it to be, you might be disappointed. I found it be a fun and flirty read. Moreover, it has great LGBT representation and it definitely broke free of the generic stereotypes of boys and girls. Lastly, I was blown away by the amazing art. The predominant colours were that of orange, burnt ochre, and all the autumn colours, which made the book an art piece to feast on. I certainly enjoyed every bit of it. It was a 3.75 star read for me.
Graphic novel: Vyasa
After that I was so in love with pictures that can take over your imagination, that I decided to go after another graphic novel and this time, I picked up Vyasa. This book is on the Indian epic Mahabharata, a personal favourite. The story is by Sibaji Bandyopadhyay and the art is by Sankha Banerjee. The way this book was written was amazing. I loved the recurrent jumps in time and the overall framing structure that combined the stories within the story. However, it was only the first part and I was left dangling.
Now I am eagerly waiting for the sequel to Vyasa: The Beginning. The art in this book is stunning as well and I was spellbound throughout. The fact that I finally have pictures that can accompany the stories I, and we all, grew up with, was a wonder in itself. I absolutely loved this book and I rated it 4.5 star read for me.
A Wonder Book for Girls and Boys is a retelling of 6 popular stories from Greek mythology. The author lends his humourous spirit to this collection!
Greek Mythology: Stunning art pieces
First off, I want to just spend a moment to rest my eyes on the stunning cover! I love the yellows and the browns and it is just so aesthetic! The warm tones provide the perfect spot of colour in this dismal weather.
A Wonder Books for Girls and Boys
A Wonder Book for Girls and Boys is basically a retelling of 6 popular Greek stories – The Gorgon’s Head, The Golden Touch, The Paradise of Children, The Three Golden Apples, The Miraculous Pitcher and The Chimaera. Most of us have already heard of Medusa and Midas in some morality play or moral stories, in one way or the other. This, Hawthorne’s method, too, proved to be a hearty experience.
The stories are written in the story-within-a-story format and in this way, the author has involved a brilliant framing device. ‘Cousin Eustace’ a bright lad of 18, is telling these stories to his younger cousins, adding his own flavours to the curry, so to speak. Hawthorne’s blend of humour abounds this collection.
The stories are not truly ‘faithful’ to the actual Greek legends, but instead, Hawthorne has added his own spirit and essence to these. He has rewritten these stories in a gothic or a romantic style. Although essentially the same, there are many funny instances that will make you laugh out loud at times. Each of these stories provides an exceptional experience to the reader and makes for one hell of a time!
Although there are also morals clearly thrust forward, it is not overbearingly so. Thus, it proved to be an interesting read and not preachy at all! I rate this book 4/5 stars and recommend it to you all. It is quite short and you can read it in an hour. You could also read it out to your children or siblings and I am sure that they will love them as well.
Title: Upon A Burning
Throne (Part 1 of The Burnt Empire Saga)
Author: Ashok K
Publisher: Simon &
Mythology, Historical fiction
No. of pages: 350
you are a fan of mythology and fantasy, as well as fiction, this is definitely
a book you need to pick up ASAP!
From international sensation Ashok K. Banker,
pioneer of the fantasy genre in India, comes the first book in a
ground-breaking, epic fantasy series inspired by the ancient Indian
classic, The Mahabharata
In a world where demigods and demons walk among mortals, the
Emperor of the vast Burnt Empire has died, leaving a turbulent realm without an
emperor. Two young princes, Adri and Shvate, are in line to rule, but
birthright does not guarantee inheritance: For any successor must sit upon the
legendary Burning Throne and pass The Test of Fire. Imbued with dark sorceries,
the throne is a crucible—one that incinerates the unworthy.
Adri and Shvate pass The Test and are declared heirs to the
empire… but there is another with a claim to power, another who also survives:
a girl from an outlying kingdom. When this girl, whose father is the powerful
demonlord Jarsun, is denied her claim by the interim leaders, Jarsun declares
war, vowing to tear the Burnt Empire apart—leaving the young princes Adri and
Shvate to rule a shattered realm embroiled in rebellion and chaos….
Welcome to the Burnt Empire Saga.
a review copy from the publishers in return for an honest review. Opinions
expressed in this review are completely my own.
me begin by saying that this is a wonderful book inspired by just as wonderful
an epic. Banker’s writing style is mesmerizing and having already read and
loved a book of him, I was excited to see how this would turn out. And believe me,
my expectations were set, but Bakeer flew way above those.
talk about the world-building first. Banker is meticulous with his description
of the world in the book – Arthaloka. His attention to detail is uniquely reflected
in the plotline and the reader’s imagination’s eye. I believe that in any
fantasy, one of the most important things is the world building and Banker has
done it exceptionally well. It ensnares you completely and without any possible
exit. He makes sure that the reader is always intrigued and just cannot help
but flip the page and continue reading, despite the fact that its way past
their bedtime. The foreshadowing one understands when one finishes reading the
book will definitely give you a huge realization moment – your own anagnorisis!
characters again are all modeled after the famous mythical characters in the
Mahabharata, but with their own special Banker seasoning. Throughout the novel,
the character arc develop and at the end (which ends in a cliffhanger that has
me kind of despondent until the next book comes out), these characters have gone
on their journeys, whether physically, mentally, emotionally or spiritually, and
they reflect in them. We lose some dear characters but in fantasy, that is
expected I suppose. I personally think that Jilana is a misunderstood character
but that is a personal perception. Drawing parallels between Banker’s characters
and the ones from the epic most of us already heard from our elders when we
were children, was fascinating to say the least.
themes of survival, war, human resilience in the face of decisions, the
position of women, societal pressure, Divine Providence, etc are all covered
and seen affecting the stories of all the characters. What I also love is that
there is no longer any binary – a strict division between what is solely good
and what is evil. Everyone is drawn to a point where they have to or have already
made decisions that were not truly evil but not right, either. The moral
conundrum that we humans face is on point in this book – it is dubious, the
decisions we personally make sometimes as well as the ones made by the
characters in this book.
are so many storylines that are interconnected that it a veritable atlas of
fascinating stories that will offer you a maelstrom of different emotions as
you read through.
cover is just as vivid and really emulates the story, I think.
enjoyed reading this thrilling ride of a book and I rate it a 4/5 stars.
About the author:
Author. Over 70 books 3 million copies 21
languages 62 countries.
About the reviewer:
Saikia, is one of the foremost book reviewers from the North-east and Assam,
and is also an admin for the official India bookstagram page on Instagram. She
publishes her own reviews and recommendations for poetry, fiction, non-fiction
etc. on her bookstagram account @pretty_little_bibliophile which won the
NorthEast Creator Awards 2018, as well as in daily newspapers, online magazines
etc. She can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org .