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‘Crimson Uprising’ Book Review: Vishnu J. Debut Novel Is Promising To Say The Least

On the crossroads of greed for power and the underlying tension of family politics, Crimson Uprising is a highly intense narrative that will keep readers on the edge and make them want to read more. Crimson Uprising is the debut novel of Vishnu J., though after a few pages into the book, it never feels like a debutant’s work. Set in a fictional land that is drawn from the annals of history, where grief and greed strike, this novel is a lengthy but engaging read about this land whose name is forgotten and lost in the annals of history. His death comes as a huge blow to the empire, which is given the analogy of the burning down of a phoenix. However, like a phoenix that never quite dies, this empire sees different and opposing houses of descendants arising. These arise from the north, south, east, and west.

What follows is the victory of one over the loss of another. It deals with a fictional tale of the descendants or heirs of an unnamed king whose name has apparently been lost in history. These descendants of the King get divided into four different houses, namely, House Solaris, House Aequora, House Sylvane, and House Ignis. These houses then rise up against one another in battle for supremacy and inheritance. Each house has a leader who is representative of the strengths and qualities of the rest of the people in that house. Though they each prosper well, there is discord among them that lingers from the past. Yet, wherever there is unrest and discord, there will be peacemakers to settle the matter. Similarly, a peacemaker of unknown origin arises and gives some secrets to all the leaders of the four houses in a tense meeting involving the noble families. This makes them attempt to break the vicious cycle of hatred and competition against one another. The solution that is deduced from the joining of hands of the four houses is that the houses need to be further divided into smaller houses so that all the different values and ideals can be accommodated and so that nobody feels left out. This leads to a total of nine kingdoms that are governed with peace and prosperity, but the ghosts of past discords return in the form of foes who pretend to be friends to create challenges in the path of functional unification.

While the plot is full of sudden twists and turns, it does have multiple climaxes that uphold the core ideas of the novel, allow the plot twists to be amplified, and create a long-lasting impression of bewilderment, awe, and wonder. There is an endless amount of drama and action in the plot, which is enjoyable as it is not too gory or unbelievable. Rather, these create the ups and downs in an already eventful plot. The action-packed scenes are ample; there is power-packed action, wholesome though not exactly gruesome. This is mainly because the author does not overdo the descriptions. He expresses the desire to inform, explain, and delineate but does not go overboard with his descriptions. While the ghosts of the past return to haunt the brittle new relationships of the nine kingdoms, there is a sense of disparity that is fueled by external forces by drawing on differences rather than working along similarities. This remains the focal point of the plot and, to some extent, justifies the adage: Too many cooks spoil the broth. The mismanagement and disparity among the nine kingdoms start to become obvious. This leads to the loss of peace and more wars, making the plot rather happening, full of twists and turns, and having rapid bends at distinct points of the narrative. These junctures add to the thrill of the reading process, apart from furthering the plot.

The plot, however, is crowded with quite some characters, though each of them is drawn distinctly, given enough space to develop, and they all add to the development of the story, creating the ambience of action and the effect of adventures, which makes for a fulfilling, though quite lengthy, read considering that the novel flows to about 400 pages. A lot of the novel flows through dialogues that are exchanged between various characters. These dialogues are well written, help in the development of characters as well as the plot, and give an idea of the direction in which the plot is about to go and what may follow. Other than the names of some of the characters, which seem more like a mix of Greek and Latin or maybe a derivative of other old European languages, there is nothing too tough about the vocabulary to follow. Rather, the descriptions use the English language with aptness. There is promptness in dialogue exchanges between characters, and an overall balance is maintained in the execution of ideas.

The writing style is impeccable, with good vocabulary and ample descriptive scenes that are vivid and create the effect of being easily visualized by the reader. This adds a movie-like effect, and this novel has enough matter in terms of good content, a foolproof plot, major and minor characters, multiple climaxes, and strong descriptions. The choice of words is also good, and there is proper use of the English language without any noticeable grammatical errors.

The pace of the novel varies. At times, it picks up pace to show the unfolding of several events one after the other, like a domino effect. At other times, there is a purposeful slowing down of the plot, only to plunge headlong into the next event in the series of actions. This creates a sort of pattern of highs and lows in terms of the pace, but that does not in any way make for a predictable pattern. The whole novel presents a rather fresh perspective on internal family feuds, but not in a melodramatic manner. Rather, the action creates a thrill, but it is not overdone, so it never gets nauseating or gory. This novel seems to be a promising debut, does call for a sequel, and will be enjoyed by lovers of fictional family drama, suspense novels, and thrillers.


Tasnima Yasmin
Tasnima Yasmin
Struck by bouts of bibliophilia several times a day, Tasnima can often be found between the pages of a book. She loves switching between book genres and can get terribly garrulous when it comes to discussing her recent reads. With an ever-growing TBR, she is frequently guilt-ridden at not being able to attend to all her book pals at the same time.

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