Having grown up on a staple diet of fiction, I've realized that an original idea is extremely hard to come by. The moment an author is able to inculcate an idea into his book, which is original, and not ‘borrowed’, success is bound to follow.
Amish Tripathi has triumphed in this aspect. Hence, it is no surprise that the trilogy is widely loved. The idea that Gods were actually great men of the past, raised to the status of Gods by the people they ruled, is one that I find fascinating. Also, there are a number of moral lessons in the book, reinforced by a stand against prejudice. This is symbolized by first, the hatred towards, and later, the acceptance of the Nagas in the trilogy.
In the book, Meluha is a perfect empire, apparently the pinnacle of evolution in society. But every Eden has its snake. Even in this pseudo-heaven there lurks a dangerous Evil, disguised as a Good in the form of Somras, an elixir for extended life. This reinforces the saying "Too much of a good thing is always bad."
The story revolves around a Tibetan tribe chieftain who is convinced to relocate to Meluha.Upon reaching Meluha his tribe is dosed with the aforementioned Somras and the entire tribe suffers a fever except for the chieftain (Shiva) himself. Instead, his throat turns blue which is believed by the Meluhans to be the mark of their savior, or the 'Neelkanth'.
He is treated like royalty and convinced that Meluha's rivals, the Chandravanshis, are the true Evil and have allied themselves with the 'cursed ' Nagas. Shiva undergoes a great journey-emotionally, mentally and physically. He eventually figures out the truth and starts working toward his aim- the destruction of the true Evil of his time.
In Indian mythology, Lord Shiva is the most fascinating God with a huge number of followers. He drinks, he dances, and he destroys. What’s not to like? The way Amish Tripathi has managed to capture the essence of the God, and imbibe it in the protagonist of his story, is partially what makes it so intriguing. Along with that, the many action scenes, plots and the great characterization together make the book really worth a read!
YouTube Book Trailer: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GP8Qzv2r3iI
Trilogy site: www.shivatrilogy.com
Recommended reading for teenagers.