The Cover Page: The cover design appealed to me. The deadly combination of Red and black triumphed at the cover page. Black signifies cruelty, misery, disgust and dark while red signifies revenge, and definitely not without the splashes of blood. The dagger/knife strikes a similarity with Jesus’s cross. (just my opinion)
The Title: Revenge of the Naked Princess sounds very intriguing and It conveys about its genre well. The word ‘revenge’ promises chill and thrill.
The Blurb: It craftily puts across the theme and successfully creates the much needed impact. It makes the reader curious to read and be lost in the magnanimity of the subject so intense.
One Sentence: A freshly baked, compelling read, taking its readers on a fascinating ride through the dark pages of history.
It Begins: The story takes you to the times of 1560. It puts across the tale of dark truths of forced conversions. In fact the beginning itself is so enthralling, saddening, brutal that I found myself much too engrossed in it. The Princess, Darshana Kamya Kathodi is a eighteen year old girl who has the royal reins of the Kathodi tribals, Yehoorwada in her hands. Before she can realize the meaning of her life, the beautiful, naive girl is raped a multiple times and forced to die in cold blood. This happens because she refuses to accept the new religion and its ways, and because Govind alias Joseph Uncle betrays. This man declares his servility to the new religion because his greed has no limits.
The Book Wrap: The Portuguese were on a spree of religious conversions. They had bent down to their meanest levels adopting ways of cruelty, violence, massacre and human exploitation to uproot the existing religious beliefs. The team was led by Brigadier Braganca and Bishop Francisco.
The Princess, the never dying spirit comes back, and I bet this is going to take your heart away, read to know more. The story gets truly adventurous at this point. It really made me sit back and keep moving forward, contemplating many more surprises in the coming chapters. She gets successful in taking her revenge and that is what makes the whole story so tight-packed and wonderful. We know how reality is! Its sordid and more complex than this, which is why it turns out immensely satisfying to read about the revenge. The human turned animals were served the right end, but not all.
How I wish If Nirbhaya (Delhi rape victim) and others who are forced to untimely death should come back to take the revenge. I am not suggesting ‘Ghost returns’ series or calling on spirits but once in a while the dead one should be sent by God to avenge the wrong done because the system fails to deal with them fairly many a times.
Writer-Journalist Oswald Pereira tells his story with great conviction. He helps us wade through the pages of history with ease. The coming of the Portuguese in India and their ways of spreading the religions to earn the favors from their men has never been told so powerfully. In fact from times immemorial, greed and lust has been dominant, it made me sad to know this.
USP: I absolutely loved the descend of the princess from the cloud 1777333999. It would give me immense joy. The story is a pack of unannounced twists and turns, especially the last few chapters keep us on our toes. The author holds on to the thrill till the last page, till you feel the urge to read a sequel. The description of atrocities is soul- touching and takes us close to the pain and misery. The writing elements have been put to their best and creative use.
Thumps Up: It is a brilliant take on history, deeply researched. The play with the character of Bishop Francisco Pascal is very interesting as the dark side of him challenges the imaginations of the readers. The description of murder and mayhem has been dealt maturely while the comeback of the princess is played along superbly. The thrill and the pace never cease to excel through the pages.
Thumps Down: This one has been an interesting one from the first page but at times I felt the story line meandered a little too much across the character of Joseph alias Govind. In fact, I would have loved to know more about the local people and their ways of coping up with the brutal ways of the foreigners. The lost family of the princess arrives back suddenly without anything being told about them before.
Last but not the least: It makes us introspective, a little more thoughtful raising a question on our religious beliefs or the theories and practices that we have been following. It lends us the insight to realize the essence of any religion and then adopt its righteousness. There are meaningful ways of connecting to God and being his favorite one.
Waiting for the sequel, for my big and the satisfying laugh.
Don’t forget to check what the Author – Mr. Oswald Pereira had to talk about when M interviewed him.