Hi there, read anything new? Please recommend, I love to pick up new reads on the basis of recommendations and this year has been really good so far in terms of new genres and authors.
We just celebrated Diwali and all the festivities around me are one of the reasons for this delayed review. I finished reading this book before Diwali but gathering my thought process and how I really felt about this book took a bit longer than expected to pen down the review.
The book got delivered when I was in the office and my husband took the delivery. He called and asked, “When did you write a book?” to which I knew another punch line was waiting. He was referencing the title of the book towards me and my sister. My sister and I have been announced as a “Wild-duo” of the family by our relatives and I wear it as a feather in my cap (pun intended). So many stories to tell but some other day because today we will be focusing on the book that had my attention from the day it arrived at my doorstep.
Book Name: Mad sisters of Esi Genre: Fantasy, Science-Fiction Author: Tashan Mehta
This is the first time that I have struggled so much to write a review for a book. Let me begin by saying that fantasy as a genre is a new world for me, I haven’t explored much and have been a bit picky with it too. To be honest, I read the review of Helen Marshall and knew that I was in for a wonderful storyline. The book cover had my attention and it said a lot about the story. Readers like me often pick their next read only when the cover page looks pleasing to our eyes.
While writing a book review I usually follow a pattern. I write about what worked for me in a book in terms of characters and plot or the story narration but with this one, the book left me confused and tested my patience in the first about 100-odd pages.
Blurb from the book
Myung and Laleh are keepers of the whale of Babel. They roam within its cosmic chambers, speak folktales of themselves, and pray to an enigmatic figure they know only as ‘Great Wisa’. To Laleh, this is everything. For Myung, it is not enough. When Myung flees the whale, she stumbles into a new universe where shapeshifting islands and ancient maps hold sway. There, she sets off on an adventure that is both tragic and transformative, for her and Laleh. For at the heart of her quest lies a mystery that has confounded scholars for generations: the truth about the mad sisters of Esi.
Fables, dreams, and myths come together in this masterful work of fantasy by acclaimed author Tashan Mehta, sweeping across three landscapes, and featuring a museum of collective memory and a festival of madness. At its core, it asks: In the devastating chaos of this world, where all is in flux and the truth ever-changing, what will you choose to hold on to?
The world that the author has created in the book is beautiful only when you let your imagination go and immerse your world with the words of the author. The story starts with two sisters, Myung and Laleh, and later on, we get introduced to another pair of sisters, Wisa and Magli. Initially, the plot was a bit confusing for me. The story kept going back and forth, and at some point, it started to get a bit tedious to read through the story.
For me, what worked in the story was the back story of Magli and her connection with Wisa. The emotions are beautifully sewn in the plot, layers of feelings of loneliness, anger, sisterhood, love, and belongingness require a strong hand at writing from the author’s end. I also loved the subtlety of mentioning the patriarchy and social system prevalent in India.
All in all, it is a good book if you are a beginner in the fantasy genre and love reading stories that run high with emotions.
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