Book Review: The Golden Dakini by Charu Singh

Gods, demons, celestials and the saga of search continues in the second book of the Maitreya series.

Words: Ambica Gulati

Since many of us might not have read the first book, the series moves around the kingdom of Shambhala. This is where the good celestial beings stay and there is a constant fight with the ‘asurs’ or demons. The elements of Vajrayana Buddhism of Tibet are liberally sprinkled in the book. So, you will find the Rinpoche, the monasteries, the research professor and dakini.

While fantasy fiction has come of age in India, it is the real world in this one that makes it more real. The celestial beings come on earth and move through all the places we know-- Delhi, northeastern states, Ladakh and Kashmir. And the search is the eternal mount Meru.

Another element that I found interesting was the travel in all the forms of transport we are familiar with such as buses, airplanes, cars
But there are celestial elements too such as chant of mantras to camouflage or create human masks.

So there’s glamour, there’s regional cuisine, there’s real locations, there’s transport and in between there are celestials and asurs on the run. It could have been another action thriller but the slow movement of the novel ensures we know that it’s the world of spirits.

The book’s appeal lies in the way each and every movement of the character can be traced. There is no hurry. The conversations are elaborate and the style much like a slow movie with depth. There’s no hurry despite the constant threats posed by the demons. The good is patient and perhaps sure of the outcome. And I guess that would make us all fantasy lovers happy—seeing the victory of the good.


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