The Simoqin Prophecies, first published in 2003 in India, was critically acclaimed and an instant bestseller. It marked the beginning of Indian fantasy writing in English.
Written with consummate ease and brimming with wit and allusion, it is at once classic sff and subtle spoof, featuring scantily clad centauresses, flying carpets, pink trolls, and homicidal rabbits.
Monty Python meets the Ramayana, Alice in Wonderland meets The Lord of the Rings and Robin Hood meets The Arabian Nights in this novel—a breathtaking ride through a world peopled by different races and cultures across mythology and history.
The Prophecies foretell the reawakening of the terrible rakshas, Danh-Gem, and the arrival of a hero to face him. But heroes do not appear magically out of nowhere; they have to be found and trained. And sometimes the makers of prophecies don’t know everything they need to know…
As the day of Danh-Gem’s rising draws closer and the chosen hero is sent on a quest, another young man learns of terrible things he must do in secret and the difficult choices he must make in order to save the world from the rakshas.
"... a cross-cultural extravaganza with a distinct Indian flavour, a dollop of Pratchett, and a hefty dose of Tolkien. There are also touches of Tarzan, Robin Hood, the Arabian Nights, Harry Potter, Star Wars, Greek myth, spy thrillers, Alice in Wonderland, martial arts films, Arthurian legend, roleplaying games, and much more... amusing fantasy, which is also pleasantly self-contained for the first book in a series." (Locu)"In Simoqin, first-time author Samit Basu has created a wonderfully detailed alternate world peopled with a dozen species from mythologies of different cultures… And then Basu has topped it by not taking that world too seriously." (Outlook)"Numerous delights, great and small... The Simoqin Prophecies is an intelligent, inventive delight. It marks the arrival of a fresh and very original voice." (The Indian ExpressMore
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This book may appeal to the younger reader - possibly a younger reader with very, very low standards.
On the other hand if you are an aspiring writer (of any age) you will doubtless be heartened by listening to this as it will demonstrate that the stumbling drafts you discarded on the grounds of being overly cumbersome and unsatisfying are at least not this bad.
This book tries very hard to be witty and clever in the fantasy style of Terry Pratchett... very, very hard.
However I (and I can only speak to my own experience) found it lumbering, disjointed, flatulent and characterless.
In short it was terrible!
While I haven't heard any other narrations by Ramon his performance was by far and away the best part of this listening experience.
I can at least say that this book evoked strong emotions in me. On occasion I ground my teeth in anger, at other times I found myself groaning at yet another clunky bit of dialogue, ham handed cultural reference or incoherent rambling plot point.
Now I seldom write reviews, let alone negative ones, but finding this book (audiobook at least) as a highly starred recommendation seemed somehow cruel and unjust.