Prime Edition

An impressive collage of mythologies

21st Dec 2013

The Bones of Stars

Giti Chandra

Hachette India

Pages: 266 Rs. 350

It's refreshing to come across a fantasy series which doesn't really depend on the Otherness of western mythologies. In Giti Chandra's Book of Guardians series, the backbone of the plot is an age-old story in Indian mythology – that of Raja Harish Chandra, the legendarily truthful king. As with most modern fantasy novels, the magic is derived from a smart juxtaposition of modern settings with ancient concepts. For Chandra's super-powered children (it would be the ultimate crossover, for them to grow up into the X-Men, or the characters from Heroes), this means that they get to show off their battle chops in a diplomatic enclave — giggle-worthy, if you live in Delhi. (Of course, this is not a problem once the action shifts to Yellowstone Park.) But these are minor quibbles. Chandra is a quietly efficient writer, whose science fiction leanings are very visible. There are even breaks in the book, full of links to background reading, to help you understand the plot better. To get away with that without spoiling the flow is just one of Chandra's achievements. —Aditya Mani Jha

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