Monday, May 27, 2013

Review: Trade Winds To Meluhha

I let a few days pass before I wrote my review - then re-read the book again to refresh my thoughts and found myself enjoying this book all over again.

I loved the concept of a novel being set in the ancient Indus Valley, long before "civilisation" came to Europe - it is a period I was greatly unfamiliar with (besides the basics taught in school) - so this afforded a welcome opportunity to immerse myself in this period (without all the scholarly research which the author has kindly done for us).

The author does take some liberties - as he clearly states - to provide the reader with some clarity and to enhance the storytelling. There is a much welcomed map and cast of characters to assist the reader - which I look forward to with any novel that may lead me slightly out of my comfort zone.

The novel follows the adventures of a young man, falsely accused of murder, as he struggles to escape from those who wish him harm. He leaves Babili (ancient Babylon) on a journey that ultimately ends in Meluhha. We are introduced to a number of protagonists who either aid or hamper young Sam, and just when the reader thinks there is some closure, off we are sent on another journey. 

Like all novels with a number of prominent characters, the chapters end with one and begin with the tale of another - all converging upon the same goal in Babili. Here all loose ends are finally tied up in the last few chapters - and all is revealed.

I found the story captivating and the characters (well, our hero and heroines) engaging and the villains suitable odious. The reader was not overly bogged down with too much detail (ie: landscapes, customs, etc) which kept the story flowing.

I am looking forward to more stories from this period of time and this region from the author, Vasant Dave, so I do hope there are more adventures to be read.

Note: after posting this review via Goodreads, I read the other reviews posted prior to mine (which I didn't read prior to reading and writing as I had no wish to be subconsciously influenced). Obviously, my edition of Trade Winds was a little different, and one can only presume re-edited based upon these comments. All in all, my edition was easy to read and the story flowed.

Highly recommended for those looking for something a little different from their historical fiction.

About the Author (in his own words):
Vasant Davé, an electrical engineer from the University of Bombay. Besides providing Industrial Market Research services in India, I have catered to corporate clients in Australia, China, Germany, Hong Kong, Israel, Singapore, the UK and the USA. My work called for extensive travelling throughout India. It helped me to address a deep interest in archaeology by visiting numerous ancient sites.

Trade winds to Meluhha was conceived and written after my retirement from business. It took three-and-a-half years. My technical background helped me to understand and apply historical, geographical, environmental and cultural nuances bearing upon the life during the 3rd millennium BC, the period in which the plot is set.

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