Title- A Life to Die For
Author- Nilay Shah
Publisher- Zorba Books
Rating- 3.5 Stars!!!
About the book:
(taken from Goodreads)
‘She doesn’t know who she is.’ The diverse voices emanating from all the corners of Kashwarg are blending into a consensus to create a tune never opined before, ‘Nor does she realise yet what her Baba has caused her to be a victim of.’ ‘But, she will.’ ‘One day, she will adopt this world now a stranger to her as hers.’ ‘The whole of Kashwarg will be the light on her path to her freedom.’ ‘Kashwarg will be ready to be at disagreement with anything there can be, if that is what is demanded of it in this quest to bring her justice.’
‘But, what if time comes, when truth unveils itself and there remains nothing to fear but one’s own self? Will Kashwarg be able to protect its stand at such dawn of darkness?’
Will you be able to protect your opinions from your own self?
Before I go and tell you my views on the book, let’s delve a bit more into the context and setting of the story. I swear, you won’t be dissatisfied. The novel is set on the fictional lands of ‘Kashwarg’, a paradise on earth (the loose literal translation). This place has been a constant conflict zone for ages. Two countries, Siran and Zayakistan, have been fighting to keep control over this area for many decades. As what happens in places under political as well as military unrest, Kashwarg has morphed into a small war zone. Throw in the fact that Siran actually helped Kashwarg by protecting it from Zayakistani forces ( when the monarch asked for help) which led to its ascension into the country. Sounds similar?
Well for whom it doesn’t click, let me break it down for ya.
Kashwarg= Kashmir, Siran= India and Zayakistan= (yep, guessed it right) Pakistan
Our shared history has always been marked by horrors of rulers past. But this conflict which has been raging on for the last 60-70 years, has gone unnoticed for long. True, a lot of journalists and activists have dedicated their lives to bring out this issue, the collective conscious of our countries need to be shaken up real fast. And maybe, Nilay Shah has a great plan for it, masking the true incidents and mixing a bit of fiction to bring the naked truth out to the public.
That being said, let us go on with the story.
The story begins with the police wondering and questioning a badly wounded young girl, Preksha. She seems to be beaten up and calls for a mysterious ‘prince’. Nobody knows who this mystery girl is. But the whole state of Kashwarg becomes hungry for justice for this poor girl. As tensions arise, government deploys the army to secure and control the area. A committee, of impartial nationals chosen via an exam, is created and sent to check up and investigate further.
As the story goes forward, its revealed that Preksha was actually saved by Aryaman, member of terrorist organization, wanted by Independent Kashwarg Forces. We get to see his side of the tale as he hunts for Preksha’s abuser to deliver justice himself.
Apart from the not so subtle reality check that this book demands, I loved how the author filled the story with vivid descriptions. He describes the social, economic and cultural/ societal background of mythical Kashwarg pretty well. Although at times, they do become too much. Moreover, changing perspectives/point of views were a bit too blurry to transition seamlessly. It was difficult to keep track on who we were following on the story.
Other than that, I enjoyed reading A life to die for. Nilay Shah has a long way to go. But if he wants to stay in the book world, he may need to polish up a few areas. Excellent plot, great message and a rich in descriptions- A life to die for needs to be on your TBR list.
This book review is a part of The Readers Comsos Book Review Program and Blog Tours, for details log on to thereaderscosmos.blogspot.in
Nilay Shah, born in 1994, he is an author of અસંમત / Asammat, a Gujarati novel published in July, 2016. For Nilay, the exact point when the passion to write took over is difficult to tell. Ever since early childhood, he has loved creating tales out of anything that came his way.Having written his first story at the age of 6, Nilay went on to write short stories, direct short films and plays before penning down his debut novel Asammat in 2014, at the tender age of 19 while simultaneously pursuing Chartered Accountancy and graduation. Once he was done with his studies in 2015, he made attempts to publish his book, and then penned down the English version of the same tale- A Life to Die For.
At present, he is laying down the structure for his second novel, to be originally written in English and Gujarati. Nilay is determined to create things that can stand apart from the rest, that can create a place of their own in the hearts [as well as minds] of recipients.