Book title – The sorcery of the senses
Publisher – Room 9 publications Pages – 220 pages Language– English
Author – Tanima Das Genre – Fantasy, etc
Available on – amazon.in
Purchase link – https://www.amazon.in/Sorcery-Senses-Tanima-Das/dp/819498243X/ref=sr_1_1?crid=EWKN2BUF95TP&keywords=the+sorcery+of+the+senses&qid=1676620169&sprefix=the+sorcery+of+the+sense%2Caps%2C228&sr=8-1
About the author – Tanima Das is a software engineer who is passionate about writing. She has won the prestigious ‘Write India’ contest three times winning praises from Twinkle Khanna, Clare Mackintosh and Salman Rushdie. The ‘sorcery of the senses’ is her debut novel.
About the book – In her debut book Tanima brings to us a fantasy novel that is backed by a plot that would assuredly have taken some serious thought. That’s what I loved about the book – the idea behind it! As humans we know that what we perceive is sensorial. Our senses guide us. Tanima has taken that and developed it into a fantasy adventure. But, it’s not just a fantasy because there are elements of history, mythology and even astrology woven into its fabric.
What if the universe was not created as the result of a big bang? What if it was created by five senses? What if that was the moment when good and evil was created together? And, if the aforementioned is true then would not there have been a protector created alongside? All good stories have one, don’t they? In the book, that’s Dhruv – our confused protagonist whose personal life is disintegrating. The relevance of the name ‘Dhruv – the north star’ was not lost on me. Clever choice!
Hindu astrology lays emphasis on re-birth. What we are today is the sum total of our actions in our previous lives. Tanima takes that ideology and expounds it using Dhruv as a tool. The tasks that Dhruv was entrusted with in his previous births remain unfulfilled. Hence, Dhruv needs to be reminded of who he is and what his place is in the grand scheme of things. But, can someone who has failed in the past (lives) rise up to embrace the challenge and vanquish evil? In the state in which Tanima introduces Dhruv to us, it seems like a tall order. So, can he do it?
The book opens to Dhruv’s story. It is narrated like a running commentary on what is happening in Dhruv’s life to the point where he experiences his first encounter in an alternate dimension (that’s the only phrase which I felt fit with what happens). The book is divided into three distinct stories. The main story remains Dhruv’s but it is interrupted by Ghriz and Mong’s stories when Dhruv is transported to the alternate dimensions and where the senses – Dristi and Sparsha – show him his failures. If I were to separate these three stories and review them, I would say that I found Ghriz’s story to be complete and balanced. That story evoked in me most of the emotions that I wanted to feel as a reader. Mong’s tale was a bit rushed in comparison and the language was terser.
Coming to the nitty-gritty’s of the book, it is priced competitively. Kudos to the publisher! The language is simple and Tanima has relied more on reportage of facts to give us the background of the characters rather than frivolous verbosity. But, there are some places in the book where I felt that poetic-prose could have been inserted. The characterization is vivid (I liked that) and Tanima ensures that each character has their space in the text. They are made memorable by the manner in which she has highlighted their quirks, their fallacies, and their nature. She has made them relatable by making them fallible.
According to Amazon, this book is the 1st in a series of books. I wish the publisher had included that information in a foreword or title of the book because as a reader when I read it, I read it as an isolated, one-off book. That’s why the end did not satiate me. The former part of the book whets my appetite but just when I really want to dig in and sample, the meal ends. That’s abrupt. Another thing I did not understand was why two senses where introduced in this book. This is a book which would have done wonderfully as a sequential story narrated in 5 books with one sense being highlighted in each book. I wonder why the publishers did not suggest this to the author. It would have increased her market appeal as a writer tremendously because she is a truly talented author gifted with a wonderfully imaginative mind.
All in all, I will reiterate that I am bowled over by the idea behind this book. Tanima, take a bow. I recommend this book to those who experiment with their reading and like reading new genres. For such bibliophiles, this would be a sensorial experience.