It’s 14th century CE. Bharatvarsh’s political landscape is in turmoil. The Northern Sultanate has moved its capital back to Delhi from Daulatabad and is bleeding from economic losses. The southern states, coming together as the Sujaynagar Empire, have pushed back the Northern Sultanate. Amidst this chaos, Jazeera, a fort island on Bharatvasrh’s west coast and a vassal state under the Sultanate, is tormented by a mysterious Shadow, who is kidnapping Jazeera’s children. Whispers suggest that there’s black magic at play to invoke the mighty Timingila. Jazeera’s ambitious Sultan and the pragmatic Wazir summon an Officer from the Sultanate to solve this mystery. Meanwhile, tribes in the dense forest near the fort island are feeling the ripple effects of Jazeera’s troubles, and are seeking alliances and formulating secret plans. The island has a haunting past, a turbulent present, and a prophetic future. Jazeera: Legend of the Fort Island unravels it all in a thrilling manner.
Genre: Historical Fiction
Price: 49 INR/$ 0.99
My Ratings 4.8/5
Thought provoking and powerful
A must read for fans of Amish and Ashwin Sanghi, and actually all fans of historical fiction. I picked up a book in this genre after a long time and was pleasantly surprised at how well it is written. And the fact that it is named Jazeera, inspired from one of the forts I am completely fascinated by (Murud Janjira) only added some brownie points towards my liking of the book.
What I liked about the book:
—> Strong female protagonists (10/10 for this) because the author manages to show us that free willed and fiery women have always existed throughout history.
—> Though historical, the analogy with current as well as recent past decisions on urban development and resulting environmental imbalance is so on point.
—> LGBTQ elements, again proving that homosexuality has been around since forever.
—> Gripping narrative and lucid language
—> Talks about past events later in the book, which helps maintain the suspense and curiosity
—> Manages to brilliantly bring home the point that the common folk are always most affected in the play of politics and power. However, a mass awakening and unified efforts are all that is required to bring down evil forces.
—> The warfare and the actual war scenes are written marvellously.
—> Loved the strategies used by the common folk during the war and how it proves that more than strength, it is willpower and planning that are needed to win a war.
What I didn’t like about the book :
—> Loses pace at some points.
—> I wanted to know more about Hamid’s past. I thought it would come up later but was left hanging which was a little disappointing.
Quotable and noteworthy quotes :
—> ‘What’s on the outside is irrelevant; inner beauty is more important.
—> ‘There is no such thing as bad news or good news. It is just news. It is our expectations that make it good or bad.’
—>’Women need to stop apologizing for every little thing, especially to men. They will feel they have power over us if you keep apologizing to them for trivial things.’
—> ‘Mistakes teach us a lot, only if we are willing to learn from them. Ponder over what you did well and what you would do differently. That’s how you grow,’
—> ‘Conflict arises because of imbalance. And this imbalance can only be corrected when you are in harmony with yourself and your surroundings.’
—> ‘Where there is mankind, there is exploitation of nature. While we cannot go back in time and wash the stains caused by our sins, we can certainly learn from our past mistakes, anticipate future challenges, and act with immense urgency in the present for a balanced life.’