cult of chaos, Dark things, gameworld trilogy, indian fantasy books, indra das, must read indian fantasy, samit basu, Savage Blue, shweta taneja, sukanya vekatraghavan, the devourers, vikram balagopal
A while back I read a post dissing (I can’t believe I’ve actually used that word now, I used to hate it) Mythology in India and calling it unimaginative (pfft). It also went on to say how our Indian authors cannot write fantasy to rival western authors, the liked of Neil Gaiman or Rothfuss. So I thought of writing a post about how imaginative mythology actually is and how brilliant it is. But then I decided not to, mainly because I don’t want to rub anyone the wrong way. Instead, I’ve made a list of brilliant fantasy books, not mythology, from India authors that you might enjoy.
1. Dark Things
Yes this is from one of my favourite people on the internet but I didn’t know her before reading this book so my opinion is pretty unbiased. Dark things is a story that takes inspiration and influence from many places and while it does have characters from mythology, it isn’t based only on characters in mythology. In fact you’ll notice the theme of a rather popular fairy tale running throughout so if you want a fairytale retelling from a different POV this may just be it.
No, I haven’t read this yet but this was brought to my attention by the first author on the list so I have to take it into account. This story is about Tantriks and different clans, closely following one particular Tantrist, Ananthya as she struggles to handle the hell that the world has turned into. Featuring Supernatural beings who are humanoid, barely human and inhuman this just seems to be a gripping fantasy thriller to read over a weekend.
This comes under the category SF as well as Fantasy and while I haven’t read it everyone mentions this book when talking about Indian fantasy so it’s definitely a frontrunner in the genre. This has been described as Monty Python meets the Ramayana so there’s some, a lot actualy, of hilarity involved. Reviews say that it’s hard to believe this is a debut and while the humour quotient isn’t really for me, this might just be right up your alley.
Speaking of frontrunners, The Devourers is an internationally popular book from author Indra Das. The story is set in Kolkata and follows Alok, a professor, as he encounters some amazing people and stories. While there are mixed reviews with ratings ranging from a 1 star to a resounding 5 star, this book definitely seems interesting enough to try. I believe this is about werewolves? But since I haven’t read it I can’t be too sure.
5. Savage Blue
This last book is something I’ve reviewed recently and yes, while this wasn’t my favourite book it was only not there because of the erotica aspect of it. The rest of the story was rich and imaginative and absolutely brilliant. I definite must read for those looking for competent Indian fantasy books. You can read my review of it here but to sum up, it follows Akila and Shyam after a terrifying and fantastical incident in their childhood and how they, Akila in particular, are dealing with what it actually means.
Have you read any of these? Have I made any exclusions? Let me know in the comments below.