Light of the North Star

We rated this book:


“an updated odyssey that enthralls the reader in melody”

>em>Light of the North Star is an epic poem that brings a new story to a classic form. Comprised of 24 books, Dhrubajyoti Battacharya paints an oceanic world in which the story of two royal families tumultuously coalesces as the tides of peace retreats. Part 1: The Descent, which is the first book in the series, features a cast of Kings and Queens from Greece and India as well as erudite scholars and an unruly league of warriors, the Dark Riders.

The story begins with a flood. A great flood, the wrath of Poseidon, which has destroyed many coastal villages and endangered the poor. King Solon, a concerned ruler, leaves his son, Prince Diokles, in charge and rides to the site of devastation. Concurrently, in India, another royal family is found in seemingly ideal settings. A noble King Sarvagya rules with his wife Queen Radhasati and lives peacefully with his three children. The language begins calm and flowery but quickly turns urgent, indicative of an imminent disruption. All of this is accompanied by colorful artworks by the illustrator Fabre, turning the story into a multi-textured narrative.

Verse is a difficult form to catapult into the modern era. It either works completely, transporting the reader into antiquity, calling for a melodic attention to language and detail, or it fails. In this case, Battacharya succeeds in telling a new kind of story in an old form. By using the language of the classics, he brings together two histories often pitted at odds in Western rhetoric. Rather than an “eastern” version of a “western” story, he artfully weaves the two parts of the worlds together, displacing assumptions of western precedence. By honoring both the Mahabarata and the Iliad, two historical feats of literature come into dialogue.

Battacharya’s excellent education is felt in every line of the book. His many degrees and experience writing poems, screenplays, and novels, make the language both exacting and easy to digest. At moments, though, his in-depth knowledge of both the Iliad and the Sanskrit epic might cause the author to withhold important context for his poetry, certain characters and places are left unexplained, resting upon references in other texts. Not every reader will do the work to fill in holes in the story, but those who do will be rewarded.

Reviewed By:

Star Count 4/5
Format Trade
Page Count 132 pages
Publisher Global Academy of Population Health
Publish Date 2018-Nov-11
ISBN 9780692073605 Buy this Book
Issue August 2018
Category Poetry & Short Stories


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