Language of Dying by Sarah Pinborough

So I admit, Language of dying is the first book by Sarah Pinborough that I read. And by Gods, am I hooked.

Language of dying by Sarah refuses to be pigeon-holed into a specific category of fiction - And by far, this one definitely is a literary knock-out punch. A gut-wrenching, soul-rending song of a book which attempts to unravel the something called the language of dying - Yup it exists. How much ever we deny the same, this is a language defies definition or capture but is indeed something that all of us have had to deal with one time or the other. It is not just the fact that she chose to write about something as morbid and shocking as death. In fact, it is Sarah's treatment of the subject. Honest, unflinching and just plain brave.

The story is that of a father wracked by lung cancer, lying painfully in his death bed while the nameless narrator, the daughter is waiting on him to die, a hauntingly disturbing vigil as this drama play out against the backdrop of grey memories tha…

The Tiger's Daughter by K Arsenault Rivera

The Tiger’s Daughter was one of the hottest anticipated debuts of the year – The premise of an East Asian inspired fantasy – steeped in beautiful folklore, bringing to life an epic love story between two female leads, destined for greatness, for ‘Godliness’ right from their birth – is just too good a premise to be missed out on. And after having bulldozed through the 500-odd pages in a scramble to get to the finish, I am not disappointed. Not at all! Definitely one of the standout works for 2017.

In fact, this is a wonderfully intimate yet epic work of fantasy featuring two of the unlikeliest heroines you would encounter in the genre. A spoiled, cocky princess of the Hokkoran Empire (closely resembling Japan) O-Shizuka who believes in her divinity from get-go and dismisses the world around her, openly flouting rules and tradition. And her best friend cum lover, Barsalayaa Shefali, the future Kharsa (like a tribe or clan leader) of the Quorin (A horse loving tribal nomadic folk who lov…

Waiting on Wednesday

Continuing on with our regular feature on books that are highly anticipated this year, this week I would like to throw the light on the upcoming Time of Dread, by John Gwynne set in the same universe as his first series - Faithful and the Fallen. I unfortunately haven't read his first series but wish to make full amends with this one: Of Blood and Bone.

Go on, spin me a yarn full of demons, angels and blood-bath!

Set in the same world as the Faithful and the Fallen quartet, the first novel in John Gwynne's Of Blood and Bone series, A Time of Dread, takes place one hundred years after the end of Wrath. The Ben-Elim, a race of warrior angels, once vanquished a mighty demon horde. Now they rule the Banished lands. But their dominion is brutally enforced and their ancient enemy may not be as crushed as they thought. In the snowbound north, Drem, a trapper, finds mutilated corpses in the forests - a sign of demonic black magic. In the south, Riv, a young, tempestuous soldier, disc…

Movie Review: Njandukalude Naattil Oridavela (Malayalam)

Nivin Pauly is definitely the star of today in the Kerala film industry–having cemented his place in the hearts of malayalis world over with that love-story of his that came a year back, a movie called Premam that went on to break all sorts of records. He went on to do different interesting movies post that, many of them out and out blockbuster superhits. His choice of roles have been fascinating, to say the least. And now he turns his hands to production: the man’s legacy is growing and he is determined to leave his mark on our moviedom.

Njandukalude Naatil Oridavela, that literally translates to Interval in the land of crabs, is a quirky and ingenious title, in my opinion. There’s a beautiful sound to it – and Hell, it’s such an evocative term. The land of crabs? I have to watch this one, I thought. For me the trigger was just a song – I know I’ve got it wrong before going to watch a movie, purely on basis of the songs. [Jacobinte Swargarajyam had three amazing songs that had no corr…

Court of Broken Knives by Anna Smith Spark

Anna Smith Spark's debut has been hailed as the new grimdark blockbuster - and for good reasons. The book definitely has its share of darkness, seething madness, the blood, grit and the gore aplenty. But it would be a shame - and an injustice to possibly just highlight this aspect of well narrated, epic story set in a beautifully realized vast world. And hey - it features dragons!

Did that pique your curiosity? It should. Because Anna Smith has the gift of language - and of storytelling, albeit wrapped and twisted in layers of grime and shiny darkness that possibly retracts a bit from the overall heft that the story and narrative aims for. Court of Broken Knives - well, what a lyrical name. The quality of writing is far above debuts we have seen in the recent past and yet, the book is not without its flaws. The pacing falters and certain characters are under utilized but this apparently is just the opening salvo in  a series called Empires of Dust, so we will wait. Because Anna de…

Movie Review: Dark Tower

Dark Tower by Stephen King still remains my all-time favorite fantasy novels that is accessible and still remains intriguing, is a running social diatribe and blends in elements of western, horror and fantasy skilfully. It’s obviously the story-telling capabilities of the master that sells the story to you – of Roland the lone Gunslinger fighting for what is left of everything good in this world – connected to the Mid-World through the Beams of power. It is a spellbinding narrative and it held me rapt for several years in my younger days – my favorite of course is, Book Four: Wizard and Glass, which take us back to Roland’s younger days. The kinship, the reckless love-story, the daring adventures – all of this crafted in King’s supremely non-parallel voice. In fact, this seven book series was one of the chief reasons I started writing, in the first place.

And okay now that I’ve established how much I love love love these books, let’s talk about the movie ...that ruined it all. In fact,…

Waiting on Wednesday

Elizabeth Bear is one of the most prolific, award-winning authors today - writing across genres whom sadly I haven't yet read. I have been yearning to get my hands on the World of the Eternal Sky series - a lush eastern-world fantasy. So when Tor announced a new book set in the same world, I knew this was high time!

The Stone in the Skull reads like a taut, tense thrilling fantasy set against the backdrop of cruel cold mountain slopes and features a brass-robot and a dead man fighting to stay alive and finish their mission. Intriguing, yes? Exotic, hell yes!  And the cover looks sooo beautiful!!

Book one in the Lotus Kingdoms trilogy, The Stone in the Skull publishes October 10th with Tor Books. From the catalog copy:

The Gage is a brass automaton created by a wizard of Messaline around the core of a human being. His wizard is long dead, and he works as a mercenary. He is carrying a message from a the most powerful sorcerer of Messaline to the Rajni of the Lotus Kingdom. With him…