Thursday, September 13, 2012

Fractured Legend - Blogadda Book Review

‘Fractured Legend' is a loosely woven novel consisting of three short stories tied together with three female protagonists in each of the stories. The first story titled ‘Slave’ is a story of Priyambada, an immortal temple slave who is a rock by day and a girl in flesh and bones by night, along with other temple slaves. They reside in dilapidated temples and aren’t the only set of such rock-turning-flesh people alive. Priyambada renounces this life of immortality and monotonous slavery for a life in flesh. The second story titled ‘Manuscript’ revolves around an assassin called Nandhini who’s been hired to retrieve a manuscript. Not only that, but the story also talks about her life and hardships that she has endured till date. The final story ‘A Very Long Letter’ talks about Pravalli, a daughter, who is writing a very long letter (indeed) to her mother (who’s alive probably but not around) about a few things she’s angry about regarding her mother; a few things she did not understand over the years until the ultimate moment.

The book fairs somewhat averagely. While the plots were somewhat interesting, they were pretty much on a one-track road. Kranthi Askani, the writer, has used more similes and metaphors than one would imagine to use in an entire lifetime! While the language was moderately good (with a few words like deliquesce, vamoose, crepuscular, etc being repeated way too much) – barring a few grammatical errors and missing words (being a proof-reader it’s hard for me to not get my attention towards things like these), the descriptions would take forever to complete! The focus somehow appeared to have been shifted from the main flow of the story to describing things (that, in such short stories or a novel of this size, is required  to help the readers be able to imagine the scenes and the characters - but in minimum proportions) that take on for eternity without providing much support to the important story. Quite honestly, I couldn't understand why some things were described at all?! They weren't bringing any substance to the stories.

The second half of every story lost its charm and drifted more towards profound wanderings of the mind. All this looks good on a blog or in a psychology book (this latter is meant to be a compliment), but when you have a novel of just 190 pages, one needs to focus more on the stories to make it more interesting rather than give a psychology lecture in the form of three protagonists; even though that might be the intent. As far as a guy writing on behalf of a girl (in this case – girls) is concerned, it’s considered to be a difficult task as it is. I’ve read books written by men with female protagonists, and let me tell you that this book could not fulfill its aim. It did not appear as if a girl was telling her tale in the first story, however, as and how it moved on to the final story, it appeared a tad believable if not at all.

In short, Fractured Legend really is fractured in bits and parts. The concept was good but it would have been better had the thin thread that tied all the three stories together be given more importance or limelight and if there was more of supplementing and parallel stories instead of just things and people being described.

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