Title: Hiranyakashyap – The Mahavatar Trilogy Book 2
Author: Kevin Missal
Genre: Mythological Fiction
Publisher: HarperCollins India
Published On: 15th July 2020
The destiny child or the evil father… Who is right?
The book, Hiranyakashyap caters to the evil king – Hiranya, his son Prahlad, and his sister Holika. Just like the traditional Holi folk tale, this book talks extensively about the war of faith between the son and the father, and how Holika is determined to destroy her nephew. Narasimha is on his hunt to find Prahlad as it is his duty to protect the loyal and devoted ‘bhakt’ of Lord Vishnu. On his way, he meets a friend and comes across a poison that makes his hunt off track. In the meantime, while building a plan to kill her nephew Holika comes across ground-breaking thoughts and facts via Prahlad’s journal.
The story is not a typical holi tale that our grandmothers must have narrated. Keeping the characters and references as intact as possible, the writer has managed to create a new tale out of the old existing one. Unlike the first book that strictly catered to the title of Narasimha; this book deals with a variety of characters and personality development. Where on one side we see a vengeful king, his biggest enemy and opponent turns out to his own son. The two characters that made a new life in a single tale are Holika and Chenchen. One discovers the truth whereas the other identifies the need of being a fighter and helps Parvati find her son.
The whole book is a piece of writing that spellbound the reader to the fiction editor of the much-heard story. The characters, drawn in the form of the evil king (Hiranyakashyap), Prahlad, Narasimha, and Holika are stunning and symbolic. The ego of a proud king goes down the gutter when his own son fights against his evil deeds. Narasimha turns out to be the reason his death turns towards him. The role of the king is portrayed with surreal brilliance and Prahlad is showcased as an innocent child who stays by the beliefs he has learnt in this tender age.
For me a twist and turn, here and there, didn’t really change the course of writing or reading. Rather I can say it was a pleasant style of reading an ancient tale being told since ages to us. Whereas this was inspired, the ultimate goal of the writer to create a deeply thoughtful literature piece is aptly done.
The main highlight of the book for me is how it didn’t really leave the reader hanging. It is rightly placed in sync with the first book. The characters do not overpower each other and the intensity of book 2 remains in-tact.
Overall a reader who enjoys mythological work should try reading it. The two books make it all worth. It is a decent work to create an interest in this genre. Kevin Missal has built an edgy and elevated work here with these two books.
Please Note: A mythological/fantasy fiction is as the term suggests, is a pure work of imagination and creativity. It doesn’t mean that the stories we are told earlier or even till now are false or incorrect. In such texts, authors get the creative liberty to reinterpret or recreate their own version of the local tales.
About the Author
Wrote his first book at the age of 14, Kevin Missal is the St Stephens graduate who wrote the bestselling author and a full-time writer, with the first two books in his Kalki series being a big-time success. The Kalki Series was a full house sold out with 1Lakh copies under the roof! Kevin loves fantasy fiction and has always been a fan of mythology. His books have been featured in publications like The Sunday Guardian, The New Indian Express and Millennium Post.