Indian writers creating the word of fantasy is rare. Mostly are busy writing of what happened in past, but Shweta Taneja’s Cult of Chaos— a fantasy sprinkled with the touches of dystopia is indeed an attraction to a reader.
Since the time I received the book, the cover meticulously designed, I knew this book will be a good one to read. To arouse my interest, I read first few pages and was amazed by the amount of humour used.
The story is set in Delhi and surroundings, which has been taken in upon by a different society. A society with humans as well as devas, asuras and more importantly Tantriks of different clans. They have their own council, police and justice systems. Each clan has its own set of followers but Anantya, a bright young Tantrist is taken in by the road to independence. She is powerful and lives life by her own strict moral code. Her glory lies in the help of humans and her own from where a new enemy has arisen. Incidentally, hell and chaos is just where the world is headed.
In Delhi, little girls are being sacrificed in a tantrik ritual. A desperate daeva is trying to blackmail Anantya. Someone is trying to call up the God of Chaos. A three-headed giant cobra turns up in old Delhi. The White and Red tantriks are facing off, and there is one or more Black tantric brewing some dangerous shakti (power). As Anantya struggles to stop the madness, the supernatural underworld – peopled with creatures humanoid, barely human and inhuman, comes alive in all its bloody, gory glory. If humour is not enough, the supernatural stuff touch might do the work for you.
The downside of the story is the Bollywood touch that author has experimented with, which after a point becomes platitudinise. Moreover, the momentum of the plot is lost somewhere in between at times because of it.
The setting of the story is what I liked the most. The reader who is familiar with city of Delhi will find it quite fantastic as much as the one who is not much familiar. Author has done her readers justice by keeping the language comfortable and inducing characters in the plot with the constant build-up.
3.5 out of 5!
Author’s Bio: Shweta Taneja is an author with a weakness for the occult, the eccentric and the oral traditions of Indian mythology. Her latest book Cult of Chaos is a tantrik detective fantasy based in Delhi. Find more of her at www.shwetawrites.com or @shwetawrites
Check out the Guest Post she wrote for Confessions of a Readaholic: Five procrastinations in writing and how to strike them down