The Oath of the Vayuputras carries on the story of Shiva and Sati and their quest to identify and finish evil, that had started in the Immortals of Meluha, when Shiva, an immigrant to Meluha is identified as the Neelkantha who will lead the nation in its battle against evil. But as the definition and identity of good and evil continues to shift, Shiva must look beyond the apparent to help those who pin their hopes on him. If it’s the Chandravanshis, the sworn enemies of the Meluhans, whose identity Shiva is made to review at the end of The Immortals of Meluha, the second part of the trilogy, The Secret of the Nagas, will force him to question his perception of the Nagas, or the deformed-at-birth Meluhans, who are banished from Meluha for their supposed bad karma in their past lives. The Oath of the Vayuputras, the third part of the trilogy, picks up where The Secret of the Nagas ended, with Shiva finding Brahaspati, the renowned Meluhan scientist, thought to have died in the attack on Mount Mandar, in Panchavati or the kingdom of the Nagas. As perceived masks continue to be ripped off familiar faces and friends turn foes, Shiva must continue on his quest to identify and destroy evil. But evil might turn to be not a person or race, as it had seemed initially, but a practice or custom.
If he is to win the war against evil, Shiva must enlist the help of those beyond his immediate friends and followers – the Vasudevs, followers of Vishnu, who have subtly guided him in his quest throughout, and the Vayuputras, followers of Lord Rudra, who have as yet made no move to help him. And The Oath of the Vayuputras will reveal to Shiva not just the evil that he must fight against, but truths about his own birth and lineage and the secret to his blue throat.
Armed with the support of his loyal followers, his wife Sati, his sons, Kartik and Ganesh and the Vausdevs and Vayuputras, Shiva will declare war on the custodians of evil. But what is the price that he must pay to defeat them? And whose will be the sacrifice that will help him fulfil the duty he is destined to perform.
Comparisons with The Immortals of Meluha and The Secret of the Nagas: The Immortals of Meluha enjoyed the novelty factor that any first in a series always enjoys. The format of mythological thriller was also new for the readers. The Secret of the Nagas, didn’t have this benefit, but it made up for this with the sheer pace of action. The Oath of the Vayuputras, has, in spite of the war that will end all battles, less action, and more philosophy, as Amish tries to tie all loose ends, and argue and establish the central philosophy of the book, ‘what is evil’.
Thumbs up: Amish’s philosophy of good and evil and the way he establishes it, blending into the structure of age-old mythologies, problems of modern-day India, such as river pollution, chemical war and physical disorders like cancer.
Thumbs down: At over 500 pages, the book at a few points seems a little meandering and the philosophical discourses too long-drawn’.