REALISTIC FANTASY

Be True…Re-View : Faith of the Nine by Sachin Dev

Mythology seems to be the most favoured topic for fiction writers these days. Everything from the Greeks to the Indus valley has been dug up in search of new perceptions of old gods and goddesses. However, creating a new mythology is neither easy, nor a simple process of neo-genesis. Ask Tolkien. Or Rowling. Or George RR Martin. It requires a level of imagination that beggars belief.

Sachin Dev aspires to similar ambitions with his new book ‘Faith of the Nine‘. An epic saga revolving around the myths of a power struggle between the gods, with three individuals from the Indus Valley caught in the maelstrom. The characters of general Fateh, young Ishan and the monk Abhaya are well fleshed out and make the novel interesting. The pace catches you by the neck and drags you through the rest of the novel.

Where the author falters in creating a world that adapts to his mythos. Certain actions of the characters can neither be attributed to reason, nor to a deux ex machina. The absolute control the Gods wield on the characters also makes one question the absence of will on the part of his protagonists. Maybe the coming sequels might furnish more information. All in all, Faith of the Nine is an interesting read that needs to be checked out for its innovative take on the Indus valley mythos.

Source :- http://houdini-aboutnothing.blogspot.in/p/be-truere-view_20.html

Book Review : Faith of Nine by Sachin Dev

Introduction

  • ISIN: 978-9352013937
  • Genre: Fantasy / fiction
  • Publishers:Frog Books
  • Price: Rs. 375/- (I got this book from the publisher for a review)
The Third Yuga is slowly drawing to a close. Nam – the greatest Empire on Janani – is going to face some fierce winds of change. Seers foresee omens of death and destruction in the return of the Banished One – A God who will claim the ashes of this world as revenge. While out in the streets, rumours abound – of older forgotten powers stirring. Caught in this maelstrom of a power struggle between Gods are three ordinary lives: General Fateh, the most celebrated soldier in Nam who starts to question his faith, Ishan – a gifted orphan who struggles to comprehend his destiny and Abhaya – a young monk in search of truths about this world. Their choices and actions will shape the destiny of this scarred world that becomes the playground for vindictive Gods. In a world where Rakshasas arise out of left-over traces of Maaya and twilight forms the portal to countless worlds around us for Daityas and Yakshis to dance through, a God is only as powerful as those who believe.And when Gods rise, faith of men will be tested…And broken.

Behind the book


About the author

Sachin discovered Tolkien in his teens, alternative rock as a new adult and digital marketing in pretty much his late twenties. These still form a large wedge in his circle of life. Travel, radio and theatre have also figured in that ever-expanding and diminishing circle.On perhaps a more prosaic note, he is an engineer from BITS Pilani and holds an MBA from Indian School of Business. Attribute the love for numbers and pie-charts to this. He is currently based in Bangalore and happily married to Harini. He spends an inordinately large amount of time chasing after his two dogs (who love the free life a bit too much) when he is not busy dreaming up fantasy worlds full of monsters. And beautiful Yakshis, of course. He can usually be found ranting on twitter under the handle @xenosach, or you can always stalk him online at www. sachindevt.com. 

Me thinks

This book comes across as a breath of fresh air as the story, the concept and the detailing speaks volumes about the amount of research that has gone behind this book. Truly commendable for an Indian author to have managed this feat that too so flawlessly!Author Sachin Dev manages to create an alternate universe, make you believe in it to be true and then proceeds to take you on one roller coaster ride where you have to hold on to the railing tightly for the fear of letting it all tumble over. But no the excitement just gets better with every page and the characters more interesting.What looks on the face of it like another fantasy fiction actually stands tall in its own strength once you are half down the book making you want to pause the world till you complete it. The language used by the author is very lucid and yet manages to create the desired effect on the reader. Such is the impact of his powerful story telling!I cannot wait for the next part in this series to come.The characters are equally powerful and they tend to grow over you as you read the book further. They make you a part of their journey and lead you along their adventures on their quest and make you feel triumphant in their victories.As a standalone book there are portions where you might find disconnect due to incomplete details but then what I have observed in series is that somewhere it all connects later on in the subsequent parts. And so I will wait like a patient reader who is curious to know what happens!

Recommended strongly for fantasy fiction lovers and for all those who love such adventurous reading that leaves them with a thrill in their body!

Foodie Verdict

This book is like Malai Chom Chom – perfect amalgamation of sweetness, softness, syrup and the melt-in-the-mouth delicacy.
Source :- http://www.privytrifles.co.in/2016/04/book-review-faith-of-nine-by-sachin-dev.html

Book Review – Faith of the Nine, by Sachin Dev

Publisher: Leadstart Publishing

Buying Link:
It might be China that is infamous for making cheap knock-offs of branded goods, but India is decidedly not too far behind. From leather purses (made, no doubt, from the skin of cows who did not qualify to be gau mata) to shirts to automotive parts, we can find the uniquely Indian ‘branded hai, boss’ goods in any popular market.
This imitative tendency extends to writing as well. So Chetan Bhagat’s success with romantic comedies has led to a profusion of romance novels by Indian authors that flood the bookstores like the Mumbai rains – and are as unwelcome as the floods they bring. And Amish Tripathi’s runaway success with mythological fantasy has meant a vast number of imitators in that genre as well, giving us a combination of Sanskrit, old Indian legends and a variety of fantasy tropes derived from the works of Tolkein, Sanderson and GRR Martin. I had written at length about this phenomenon in an earlier post, available here.
In this midst of this, Faith of the Nine comes across as a distinct attempt to break away from the crowd. For one thing, the author does not take the easy way out by setting his novel in Vedic times. The period that Faith takes place in is closer in terms of society and technological state to India during the early days of the first Delhi sultanate. The language used is also of a higher quality than one is used to reading of late – indeed, much higher – from Mr Dev’s contemporaries.
Plot
Faith of the Nine follows an overall theme of the monotheistic ‘Nam’ Empire where the older, polytheistic religion (the titular Faith of the Nine, an origin myth that is reminiscent of Tolkein’s Ainulindale which in turn draws upon the Bible) has been systematically stamped out. As conspiracies and murders erupt around the capital city, the three main characters – General Fateh, a battle-weary soldier, Abhaya, a young acolyte of the old faith and Ishan, an orphan boy of eleven years being raised in the priesthood, find themselves thrust headlong towards an apocalypse.
The past is fleshed out gradually over the course of the book, through flashbacks and story-telling, as each of the three main character meets or reminisces on their own mentors.
The pace is high throughout, with very limited letting up – something is always happening to the characters, and people, places and concepts are always bubbling over, sometimes more quickly than the mind can grasp.
Characters
Of the main characters, the first glimpse we have is of General Fateh as a young soldier in his first battle, his hero-worship of his father and later of his own development into one of the Empire’s top military commanders. Mr Dev does a good job of portraying Fateh as a dedicated soldier unused to deception, focussed on his military expeditions, who is later brought to a role at court. Once there, he finds himself quickly drawn into the machinations and dirty tricks of the other courtiers, including the de facto ruler of the Nam Empire, Jehangir and the mysterious third member of the ruling triumvirate, Tamanjin Nasri. As Fateh tries to extract some semblance of truth out of the many versions of the story of an assault on an outlying village, he finds himself confronting apparitions and shadow-warriors he had not thought existed, and challenging the basic tenets of his own faith.
Abhaya is a ‘Kwah-Seer’ monk, ordinarily residing outside of the Empire, in the desert, who is drawn by a thoughtless prank into the capital of the Nam Empire and forced to witness the hanging of two of his boon companions. During his own escape, he meets Ishan the acolyte of the new faith. Later, Abhaya realises that his order are not just seekers of a lost religion, and that his own role in the crisis of his time will be more than that of a witness. Battles against long-extinct creatures in the sand ensue and Abhaya finds himself once again searching for the boy who will be the redemption of the Faith of the Nine.
Ishan is a boy born in the dead of night in the midst of blood and chaos, watched over by nine spirits, even as his mother commits suicide. Raised by his nanny, Bajah, Ishan grows up a precocious child, learned in the faith of the great Pruksa (the God of the new, monotheistic faith) but ever-curious about the truth and the origins of the world. A chance encounter with Abhaya the heathen monk leads Ishan on a path that ends in a daring escape from the virtual prison that has been his abode since birth.
While Fateh is a complex enough character, we do not see enough of Abhaya over the course of the book. Hopefully, the next instalments will show us more of this interesting character. Ishan, thus far, is a well fleshed-out but does not break the mould of the ‘boy-hero’ of other fantasy stories, his development over the next few instalments will be interesting to see.
Writing
As I have mentioned before, Mr Dev’s writing is of a higher quality than most of his contemporaries. A sincere effort is made to give distinct voices to each of the characters as well as to differentiate between the social classes on the basis of how they speak – which is more than you will see in most places.
There are places where a phrase or word struck me as incongruous – ‘salt thrown in a soda drink’ certainly does not seem appropriate for a book of this nature – but for the most part, the tone if Faith is more consistent than in Amish’s works, if one must compare the two. At times the language gets almost too heavy-handed, as the author seems to revel in showcasing his powers at the expense of readability, but this is, of course, a personal opinion and quite possibly reflective of the reviewer’s limited reading capability than anything else. A smoother flow would have helped in making the book more accessible, but it is upto the author to decide how he wants to pitch his language, I suppose.
Conclusion
There are many things to like about Faith of the Nine. On the balance though, the writing can get over-wrought at times. Besides, though this is the first instalment of a trilogy, a bigger payoff – some sort of conclusiveness at the end – would have helped. Still, fans of genre fiction might find this an interesting and different experience.
Disclaimer
The book has been received as a review copy. The reviewer is not acquainted with anybody involved with writing the book.

- See more at: http://percytheslacker.blogspot.in/2016/02/book-review-faith-of-nine-by-sachin-dev.html#sthash.iAISxTyD.dpuf

Source :-  http://percytheslacker.blogspot.in/2016/02/book-review-faith-of-nine-by-sachin-dev.html

The Sanguinarian

Review- Faith of the Nine by Sachin Dev

Blurb: “The Third Yuga is slowly drawing to a close. Nam – the greatest Empire on Janani – is going to face some fierce winds of change. Seers foresee omens of death and destruction in the return of the Banished One – A God who will claim the ashes of this world as revenge. While out in the streets, rumours abound – of older forgotten powers stirring.
Caught in this maelstrom of a power struggle between Gods are three ordinary lives: General Fateh, the most celebrated soldier in Nam who starts to question his faith, Ishan – a gifted orphan who struggles to comprehend his destiny and Abhaya – a young monk in search of truths about this world. Their choices and actions will shape the destiny of this scarred world that becomes the playground for vindictive Gods. In a world where Rakshasas arise out of left-over traces of Maaya and twilight forms the portal to countless worlds around us for Daityas and Yakshis to dance through, a God is only as powerful as those who believe.And when Gods rise, faith of men will be tested…And broken.”It is hard to come across well-written books these days…especially from a debut author. Therefore, Sachin Dev is a breath of fresh air in this scenario.
For a debutante in fantasy fiction, a genre still not understood by many in India or chosen by budding authors as a genre to write in, Dev has done a fantastic job.The world-building, starting from the Nam empire itself, is amazing in both the imagination and the detailing. Namakaal, Nam-Ehrilitaan, Nam-Ching…and all other places described in the book- capture the imagination.The prologue details a well written fight scene, coupled with a gruesome death in Sumeria, capital of Namakaal. This draws the reader in immediately, making them want to proceed.From there on, the plot moves at a steady pace, and the author maintains the intrigue very well. Three stories- that of the boy Ishaan, the child prodigy, Seer Abhaya and General Fateh- move parallel to each other to come to a jaw-dropping conclusion. The central city of Nam is under an insidious threat from the old Gods, who were overthrown by the ruling empire. Anyone who worships the old Gods or follows the old ways gets hanged.The protagonists are very well-written. The author doesn’t shy away from  putting his darlings through a lot of struggle and torture- but their ordeal and the way they fight adversity makes the character arc interesting, and the characters multi-dimensional and rich and memorable.What I liked most, apart from the scintillating plot, is the way the author has mixed elements from various mythologies of various faiths to formulate a unique blend of his own world, the Nam empire. He uses references from Hindu, Christian and Assyrian mythology which lend an aura of refreshing multi-culturism to the story. I also liked the sub-text of social evils and prejudice embedded in the plot and characters.He also adds a lot of horror to the fantasy- supernatural entities bleeding from realm into realm, ancient Gods coming in the protagonists’ dreams and also murdering enemies, Yakshis which look like the local version of a succubus ( and are very frightening, BTW), Rakshasaas and an Enchanted Garden which flowers on the bodies of humans and animals it consumes . The horror adds a dash of intrigue and suspense to the mystery of the plot.On top of everything- the author writes very well. It shows how much work he put in before jumping into publication. There are a few errors in spelling and sentence structure- but otherwise, the writing is original, refreshing and inspiring. The language is excellent- readable without being pedestrian, high-quality without being flowery.To summarize, the great imagination, the brilliant characterization and world-building, the multicultural references, the fascinating mix of mystery, horror, supernatural and fantasy make Faith of the Nine an excellent read.Full marks to the author for being so good. I wish the author all the best for his future books and eagerly await his next book in the series.
Source :- http://thecrimocopoiea.blogspot.in/2015/12/review-faith-of-nine-by-sachin-dev.html

faith

BOOK REVIEW: FAITH OF THE NINE

The Indian fiction scene is seeing some changes with more and more writers coming up with ideas that are hitherto commercially nonviable. Indian Fantasy ranks right up there. Apart from the much talked about Meluha series and a few others,  there haven’t been many Indian fantasy books that became famous. And here’s the book review of Faith of the Nine, a Indian high fantasy book by Sachin Dev.

Sachin Dev has the gift of creating flowery prose – that is established in the very beginning of the book. He also comes from the old school of the likes of Puzo, Archer, etc., who want their readers to stand and smell the roses – or feel the thorns – whatever fate they have decided for their audience.

Faith of the Nine begins with excruciating detailed introductions to not one but three characters whose lives take a tumultuous turn when war breaks out in their region. One is a young warrior, another a woman whose fate has something else in mind for her and a monk who decides to find out what life has in store for him.

Next up are several other characters – too many characters – who cloud the basic premise of the book, something that makes Faith of the Nine a lengthier read than it could have been.

While the book is ambitious it once again suffers from what many other Indian books have – apart from the part that the characters play in the story,we know nothing about the characteristics.

In fact, the author hasn’t even given a physical description of any of the characters, making it extremely difficult to relate to any of the characters or the story.

Also missing is a physical description of the world in which the book is set, along with the enemies that are the bane of existence for everyone who’s in the book.

The story too, moves at an ‘epic’ speed, creating a restless reader who just wants to skim through the action sequences to reach the next turn of the plot – which is far too away to be reached in a jiffy.

Source :- http://popchutney.in/reviews/book-review-fate-of-the-nine/

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