Bookish Witch

Dawn The Warrior Princess of Kashmir by Rakesk K. Kaul

Book Blurb:

It is AD 3000. Hiding from the world in a cave in Mount Kailash, Dawn encounters two strange beings on her sixteenth birthday. They urge the long-lost princess of Kashmir to fulfil the prophecy of fighting the Troika. This nefarious trinity-the merciless leader Arman, the AI war machine AIman and their supreme, omniscient overlord Dushita-is a vicious manipulator of stories, minds and histories. With an army of weaponized AIs and mind-controlled automatons based in Kashmir, they rule over a deadly world where men have lost their souls and women have been slain-all heading to Sarvanash, the Great Apocalypse.

With a motley group of five outlaw boys, Dawn sets upon a tumultuous journey across Time and Space to battle the most technologically lethal empire known to humanity. Her only hope is to seek out secrets hidden in the Niti folk tales of Kashmir and unlock the powers within her to become the ultimate warrior.

As the only female left in the world, Dawn will decide the fate of the Universe. But can she unleash her body, mind and spirit and ignite the fiery cosmic power of all the women who have ever lived?

A sci-fi saga that reveals eternal truths as it traverses the terrains of the Kashmir Valley-the birthplace of the greatest stories ever.

Genre: Fiction/ Dystopian

Pages: 272

Format: Kindle eBook/Paperback

Price:

  • Kindle eBook: 188.33 INR/$14.00
  • Paperback: 218 INR/$20.99

My Ratings: 4/5

The year is 3000 AD. Dawn and her mother Vidya, reside in a pod in the Himalayas and lead a secluded, yet contented life. On Dawn’s 16th birthday, certain things are unraveled to her, which may change not only hers but the course of the entire generation. Does Dawn have it in her to fight the evil troika of Arman, Dushita, and their lieutenant AIman? At her aid are fives boys, all with different backgrounds and skillsets, and her mother’s immense knowledge about technology+science and Niti stories.

A futuristic science fiction that is eerily close to reality.

What I liked about the book:
–> At many points, I was left wondering whether we are actually headed towards a world described in the story.
–> The importance of storytelling, poetry, and all kind art form which is pointed at many instances throughout the book.
–> The characters of all the five boys who each prove essential to the final facedown with Arman, Dushita and AIman.
–> The retelling of the past via various ways, technologically aided or spoken storytelling.
–> The sheer detailing about each device and object that is being used and talked about in this futuristic world created by the author.
–> The way it describes the beauty of Kashmir and I don’t mean just the natural beauty of the valley. Even the way it talks about the history of the valley and its people, plus its folklore, is just marvelous. What I particularly liked about the book in fact is that it is originated in Kashmir, which for Indian readers is proud-worthy because most dystopian books we have read are originated in the USA or UK.
–> Drives home the point that considering women less than men (or even vice-versa) is a grave mistake.

What I did not like about the book:
–> Sometimes the details (the ones about the technological devices especially) become too complex to comprehend, making the reading slow and dull.
–> Certain suspenseful elements were kind of predictable (but this might be because I’m an avid reader and can easily guess such things. For new readers this might not be the case)

Quotable quotes:

—> Storytelling, irrespective of the medium, is the oldest living art form known to humanity.
—> A great story is the sure-fire antidote to a person’s attraction and surrender to unhealthy pressures.
—> When there is a flow of deep emotions, it triggers the attainment of new-found freedom. This leads to the opening of the mind, to the experience of true reality. True reality is simply the recognition of the total dimensionality of any experience. Reality also requires compliance with the laws of nature and conformity with the laws of science because they are synonymous.
—> Simply, truth is what works. Everything else is false—a mind construct with only momentary impact.
—>Every mother is the first teacher of a child, and every lullaby imparts a teaching.
—> For some reason, one is not afraid of anyone if their eyes are closed.
—> When you grow up alone with your mother, you become extremely self-confident.
—> The price of living in one place for sixteen years is that, after a while, you perceive everything with blinders on.
—> What makes humans alive is the power of imagination that arises from being free.
—> Imagination gives birth to stories of what humans are and can be. Stories have a unique property—they travel from human to human, and so, they become known as folk stories. These folk stories create a social collective that binds humans and makes them act collaboratively with each other. Humans have infinite potential.
—> Timeless tales memorialize infinite potential and unlocks it within you when they touch you. And this is how the right stories create a belief that makes you bigger than life itself. There is no technology that can match that.
—> It is stories that have lives that are longer than anything else.
—> Never had I given a second thought to mere stories and tales. My mother had narrated thousands of stories to me over these sixteen years and I loved listening to those, but that stories had such a deep meaning was beyond me. I could not imagine in my wildest dreams what Yuva was saying could be true—that a story was the most powerful, technological force that there was and could be, and that it operated on such a massive scale. To me, they were just tales, and for someone living in isolation like me, they were just a source of entertainment. They seemed too simple, too ordinary. After listening to Yuva though, I seemed to understand the gravity of what possibilities a small, simple story could hold.
—> Shared stories of friendship, love, courage, bravery and freedom inspire one to attain higher accomplishments. They inspire one to tap into the force within to pursue greatness.The right story has that much power within it and the wrong story is that much of a manipulator.
—> The highest truth of your life story, the one that will last the longest, is your greatest strength in any battle. Know it, protect it and be true to it. When this experiential truth resonates among others, it becomes a universal truth and that is a beautiful sight to behold indeed.
—> Listening is a virtue. So near someone out before interrupting.
—> Each one of us takes our existence for granted, and yet, we are all walking miracles.
—>Elephants, by nature, select a female to lead the herd. It is not the single male’s physical power, but the compassionate female’s capability to get everyone to come together and form a wise decision. It is this skill that makes the herd the most powerful. All female raptors are bigger and stronger than the males. The bigger female eagle can hunt down wolves, while the male eagle is content with mice.
—> The key to pulling everyone together is that you must treat each member of your team equally.
—> What is illegal is all a matter of who you know.
—> A living organism always has the option of maximum choices, which in the old times used to be called swatantra or freedom, and so, based on which energy state a human goes into, it can be modelled by algorithms. One can then answer the sole remaining question that is faced by humanity: “What is Life?”’
—> Honesty is important in what one shares but one has no obligation to share everything.
—> Sharing your life stories is the highest experience of life. Why would you deny yourself that? Stories that are hidden are generally about violence or shame, is it not?
—> ‘What do you think Life is?
‘A mystery that only poets can come closest to describing.’
—> Information is power, wealth and beauty. He who has the most information wins, Human history shows that life’s goal is to gain the unchallenged power of information.
—> Life hides much, much more than it reveals.
—> Connectivity in life was not about the onlooker who was never satiated but about the giver who perceived unity in everybody and everything.
—> The charm of a woman lay when she had the freedom to live the way she wanted and be ever-evolving.
—> It is interesting that the same thing seen by different groups has vastly different meanings for these ancient people. The world’s objects become a mirror of what the people imagine themselves to be.

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