Pyre of Queens (The Return of Ravana, #1)

Pyre of Queens (The Return of Ravana, #1) Mandore, Rajasthan,AD Ravindra Raj, The Evil Sorcerer King, Devises A Deadly Secret Ritual, Where He And His Seven Queens Will Burn On His Pyre, And He Will Rise Again With The Powers Of Ravana, Demon King Of The Epic Ramayana But Things Go Wrong When One Queen, The Beautiful, Spirited Darya, Escapes With The Help Of Aram Dhoop, The Court PoetJodhpur, Rajasthan,At The Site Of Ancient Mandore, Teenagers Vikram, Amanjit, Deepika And Rasita Meet And Realize That The Deathless King And His Ghostly Brides Are Hunting Them Down As Vicious Forces From The Past Come Alive, They Need To Unlock Truths That Have Been Hidden For Centuries, And Fight An Ancient Battle One Time

David Hair is the author of The Bone Tiki, winner of Best First Novel Young Adult Fiction section at the 2010 NZ Post Children s Book Awards The Bone Tiki and its sequel The Taniwha s Tear are fantasy novels set in New Zealand David is a New Zealander, who has worked primarily in financial services He has a degree in History and Classical Studies He has lived from 2007 to 2010 in New Delhi,

❴Ebook❵ ➦ Pyre of Queens (The Return of Ravana, #1)  Author David Hair –
  • Paperback
  • 252 pages
  • Pyre of Queens (The Return of Ravana, #1)
  • David Hair
  • English
  • 10 April 2018
  • 9780143306122

10 thoughts on “Pyre of Queens (The Return of Ravana, #1)

  1. says:

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  2. says:

    3.5 of 5 stars at The BiblioSanctum it comes to Young Adult fiction, David Hair hasn t just broken the mold He s completely shattered it His book The Pyre is a substantially revised edition of his 2010 novel Pyre of Queens, inspired heavily by Indian folklore and mythology, even incorporating a reimagined version of the epic Ramayana The entire novel takes place in India, following the lives and past lives of a trio of Indian high school students.Two story lines occur in tandem over the course of this novel One takes place in 769 AD in the royal court of Ravindra Raj, the mad king of Rajasthan His people live in the shadow of his tyranny, and anyone suspected of sedition or rebellion is quickly tortured and killed Fearing that Ravindra will come for him next, Madan Shastri, Captain of the Guard, redoubles his efforts to show his loyalty even though his king s cruel commands sicken him The court poet Aram Dhoop is a bookish man who is unhappy with the way things are, but lacks the fighting skills or courage to do anything about it that is, until Ravindra suddenly dies under mysterious circumstances and Aram learns that the king s wives are to be burned to death on the pyre along with their husband s body Aram had fallen in love with the newest of the wives, a young woman named Darya, and in a moment of daring, the poet rescues her from the flames and whisks her off away from the palace As the guard captain, Shastri is ordered by Ravindra s son and heir to go after them Reluctant as he is, Shastri has no choice but to obey.However, all was not as it seemed Ravindra s death and the burning of his wives was actually a part of the mad king s schemes all along His plan to rise again as Ravana, the demon king of the Ramayana was thwarted by Darya s escape, and now he ll make them all regret it for a long, long, LONG time.Fast forward to a high school in the city of Jodhpur, Rajasthan, in the year 2010 Nerdy Vikram, athletic Amanjit and beautiful Deepika are three students whose lives are changed forever when a strange phenomenon is triggered the first time they all find themselves together in one place Soon, they re working together to solve the mystery of how the three of them are linked, and the answers they seek may be hidden in the past.Before reading The Pyre, the only other works I ve read by David Hair were his Moontide Quartet books, pure epic fantasy albeit with some influences from real life locations, cultures and religions This book, however, is impressively solid mix of Hair s understanding and respect for Hinduism, the rich mythology and history of India, as well as the realities of modern life in that country today The amount of research and care that went into this book to make it as accurate as possible must have been astounding.Also, for a book that s being classified by many as Young Adult, it is actually quite mature Even though the three main protagonists are teenagers, adults will have no trouble enjoying this David Hair doesn t pull punches or talk down to his audience, even when it comes to the portrayal of difficult or sensitive themes in both the historical and modern day timelines Reflective readers will also find plenty in this book to discuss or think about.The book is not without its flaws, though in the overall scope of things, they can be considered pretty minor I thought the story was a little slow to take off, and generally I found the storyline with the three teens in the present to be interesting and engaging than the storyline with Aram, Shastri, and Darya in the past, though that may be a very personal preference Even with the very obvious love triangle thrown in, I simply found life Hair s description of Vikram, Amanjit, and Deepika s day to day lives in modern day India much fascinating and unique After all, how often do I get the chance to read something like that Whereas, the past storyline didn t feel that different from reading historical fantasy.All in all, if you enjoy books that are creative retellings of myths and would like to broaden your horizons beyond stories inspired by the western tradition, you definitely need to put this one on your list The Pyre is a great opportunity to experience a story featuring diverse locations and characters, not to mention a wonderful read all around.

  3. says:

    I always say that Indian Mythology has the most complicated and most enriched mythology of them all Recently, I was lucky enough to find out about two series on this topic One is the Shiva Trilogy by Amish Tripathy and the other is The Return of The Ravana series of David Hair Now, where i live, it is very difficult to get a book written in English and costly too Again i was lucky enough to acquire the whole box set of the second series, though my luck did not extend to the price The first book of the series is Pyre of Queens I have to admit, despite being a non Indian, David Hair has grasped the day to day workings of India perfectly The book tells us two side by side stories One is happening today today means in 2010 , and the other has already happened thousands year ago.Some may find the whole idea of reincarnation a bit hard to swallow But when we take into account the whole shenanigan of other mythological stories, reincarnation seems acceptable.Now that we have the basic problem in my view out of the way, the rest is golden The two stories that run side by side is perfectly placed When the modern day story gets a bit dull, the ancient one becomes fast paced and vise versa.The Action sequence in both stories is amazing Just picturing them in your mind, may cause your tongue to lick your lips A movie can be easily made out of the book.Although the story gets a bit melodramatic at places, but hey, if percy s sword can automatically return to his back pocket Or if harry can come back from apparent death, what s the harm in vikram s reviving a thousand years old sword All in all, a very entertaining read altogether Looking forward.

  4. says:

    This was given to me for free in return for a review from the publisher I love David Hair s adult fantasy books which were written after this series and when I heard that this YA series was out I knew I had to try it so I requested it from the publisher I am really happy I did becuase this is totally different from the Moontide Quartet books in both feel and style, and it s also really interesting to see the roots of Hair s writing as he s certainly improved by moving into adult fiction and having experience.However, that s not to say this is a bad series, in fact it s a very original one and quite unlike any other set up I had read This book dives headlong into both HIndu and Sikh cultures much heavier on the Hindu and it s a really fabulous insight into the religion I knew nothing about Hinduism before reading this, but although this is a totally fictional story it really deals with some of the myths and stories from the religion in a careful and exciting way By taking some of the famous characters of these stories and weaving them into a new book Hair creates a novel which is fast moving, intense and also exotic if you re from the western world What I most enjoyed about this book was the religion and myth, fantastical and fun all woven together We get some really cool ideas which are heavily influenced by the original tales, and we also see Hair doing his own twists on the story and starting to freshen it up for a modern readership You don t need to know anything about reincarnation or these tales to get this book, and it s thoroughly entertaining.The thing I least liked was the troupe of a jealous triangle of friend lovers and the insta love which is just not necessary for me to like a book I feel like the romance and relationships in this series so far feel very troupe y and unoriginal, but I feel like this is a huge shift in his Moontide quartet books so clearly he s learned from this series how to change things for future stories and to be fair to him he does give a reason for the insta love, I just really hate that troupe personally Overall I think this is a super fun start to a series which promises to mix old and new and really brings exciting ideas to do with myth and reincarnation into the book I do wish it was a little developed, but as this is a much earlier series that can be forgiven and I ll certainly be reading book 2 as I want to continue to see what will happen next I definitely liked this book, I just wanted a bit development and less insta love, but maybe the rest of the series will bring thatwe shall see 3 s overall.

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  6. says:

    A book set in India, with characters that are from India and with Indian mythology Well done Because most of the time when this happen, then all those things does not happen But here the author stayed true.The book takes place in present day and in 770 Shastri, Darya and Aram lives in a time where their Raja has plans, and not good plans And that which happens back then shapes lives for a thousand years.In present day, Vikram, Amanjit, and Deepika meet and feel a strange connection They also see things and tries to figure out what is happening, and what really happened way back.There is danger and suspense as someone is after them, and always have been There is also the mythological aspect, and I love mythology Always have always will, so even if I knew the story it s always nice to hear it again And see how it all fits together with these teenagers.I really liked the 770s flashbacks, but then I love my historical fiction so of course I liked those parts It also made me think a bit about Sati which happens here , I do not care about why, hey, if women should burn then men should too Men Anyway, back on track I liked the history.The book ends with everything safe for now, and I liked that No evil cliffie, but still I want Everything is not safe for them and is to come.I am actually not sure now if this was YA or not But hey it works as both.An interesting story Light and dark.

  7. says:

    Solid four stars for this action paced young adult adventure novel which actually has solidly done research to back the story up Plus the author s respect and understanding to Indian myths and society actually shines through his writing And guess what The entire story actually takes place in India, with an entire crew of Indians characters The Hindus myths are weaved nicely into the story, whilst the plot shifts itself between past and present Yes, we follow two different timelines as we go through this novel, following the two different lifetimes of the same set of main characters Although the middle part of the book is a bit slow and not very engaging, but the exciting ending makes up for this flaw I am especially impressed by the fact that view spoiler the Main Character realizes how big a coward he was during his past life and the MC regrets his past mistake and tries to make amends to the two people he had wronged during his previous life and said MC actually doesn t end up with the beautiful girl in the end hide spoiler

  8. says:

    Growing up reading the Ramayana, I could relate to its story I loved how the story of reincarnation involving Raavan was described The shifting between modern day and past lives events made the story extremely exciting I couldn t put the book down once I started The epilogue gave me a refreshing look at the story of Ramayana A good read

  9. says:

    okay just okay

  10. says:

    It s been over half a year since I ve written one of these let s see if I still know how to do it cracks knuckles, attempts to unknot spine When Jo Fletcher Books contacted me about doing a review of David Hair s rereleased it was first released in India under the name Pyre of Queens in 2011 novel The Pyre, I was mostly amused by the description.Pretty cheesy, right Demon kings Human sacrifice Groundhog day except with reincarnation instead of a reset button Ravenous ghostly queens I had visions of B movie dancing through my brain, and after six months of working part time and going to school full time, I was all prepared for a light, entertaining read read not thirty page journal articles on education theory that would give me a few thrills and about zero feels, and would hopefully not exoticize or be creepy about India, though I did have a few doubts on this subject.I did not get what I was expecting.And that was super okay.In The Pyre, which is the first book in a trilogy, we ve got the geek, the jock, and the pretty girl, and it turns out that, as they discover the first time they re in a room together, they have some weird visions in common In fact, in a previous life, they were also the geek, the jock, and the pretty girl I m not summarizing any , you ve got the book jacket for that.Like, really In the present, Vikram is an athletic guy with a certain amount of aggression that needs expression, Amanjit is a bookish nerdlet primarily defined by an unattainable crush and a penchant for bad poetry, and Deepika is the transfer student with long, shiny hair and big, shiny eyes In the past, Vikram Shastri was a soldier serving a sequence of really nasty kings, Amanjit Aram Dhoop was the court poet, and Deepika Darya was the unwilling seventh wife of Ravindra raj that both Shastri and Aram Dhoop want to save from the horrible fate that awaits her Throughout history, these three have been reborn over and over, only to reenact the same tragic events that befell them in their first lives.What Hair does that makes these incredibly trite character tropes work for me is make their one dimensionality essentially the thing that causes them to have to relive the horrific events of their first lives I mean, sure, there s an undead sorcerer king and his ghostly wives pursuing them in order to get revenge on the boys and turn the girl into the last ghostly wife, and finally achieve the status of demon king one wonders if there s a kind of leveling up tree evil life, check sacrifice ladies, become evil undead sorcerer king sacrifice seven ladies, become evil undead demon king and RULE THE WORLD What really traps them, though, is not all these undead maniacs running around, but instead their inability to listen, understand, and ultimately change.At first, it seems like they re going to continue to make the same mistakes they ve always made, the same mistakes that Amanjit, who remembers than the others of course, he s the geek , reads about in the diary all his past selves have kept None of them trusts the others understandably, given that they barely know each other and the two boys are torn between the kinship they feel for each other and the romantic feelings they each have towards Deepika Deepika, meanwhile, isn t sure she really wants to get involved in this her dreams worry her, and although Vikram is cute, she mostly just wants to leave this second rate town behind and go back to Delhi, where she can just be a teenage girl worrying about normal teenage girl stuff Sidenote although the normal teenage girl stuff is what you d expect, Hair is in no way dismissive instead, what she s longing for seems innocently appealing I think it s partly that Deepika has always been victimized by this story, and as a reader you cheer on her desire to have nothing to do with that nonsense It s also because she doesn t care to be different than other girls she wants to be like other girls, safe and happy Books generally force characters into adventure as a duty, or as survival characters react passively at first and, as the adventure occurs, grow actively involved in their fates in self defense Unless you re Miles Vorkosigan, in which case you force the adventure to happen Deepika is chased by ravenous ghost queens through adventure, is indignant, and although she doesn t let her indignation stop her from being brave and clever and strong, she also never forgets that this adventure was a violation of her choice.End note Hair situates the two boys in very different positions, allowing him to explore a surprisingly wide range of pain, really Amanjit is struggling with displacement he spent most of his life in England, and has only moved just back to India, and has found that he s treated as an outsider in both countries and with his jealousy over Deepika and Vikram In addition, although his father is not poor, the way in which he s made his second fortune has involved a certain amount of humiliation, which is only compounded by a long and nasty divorce divorce itself a humiliation in this context Vikram is struggling with poverty, a sister with a deadly heart problem, and his uncle s abusive behavior towards his widowed mother In addition, he has reason to believe that the man he was in his first life made some very serious mistakes, ones that he may still be atoning for.At this point in the novel, I was beginning to suspect that the lighthearted adventurous romp I was expecting was not going to be forthcoming Like, all that s pretty heavy stuff, you know But I was hooked Although Hair has a tendency towards the expository, and his dialogue can be a bit clunky, and he has a heavy hand with adverbs, the motivations of the characters in the present and the past, though very different, drew me in Even the love triangle and I hate love triangles, and I hate the nasty obsessive Nice Guy pining thing Amanjit Aram Dhoop has going on developed nuance and depth, and the resolution to it in the present was everything I could have wished Go on imagine the best possible resolution to Nice Guy pining Do it Yep, that s it.Now, at this point you re probably wondering, Okay, characterization is awesome, but I want to hear about the undead sorcerer kings Where are the undead sorcerer kings Honestly, the undead sorcerer kings are, at least in the first book, a plot device I m not sure that becoming Ravana is a great motivation for anyone, no matter how nasty, and all the work involved seemed like a lot of effort to go to You d have to really love causing people agony, like really absolutely be devoted to it, to go to this much work to keep doing it after your death It s a pretty good plot device, too, once you accept the underlying absurdity of the premise Hair is quite good at making you forget Ravindra Raj is quite menacing, and everything he and his evil queen partner in evil do adds unreasoning horror, contributing to a suspenseful atmosphere and a real sense of danger Part of the reason it actually is scary at points is because the horror is so senseless, in the way all the best horror is senseless a monster from the shadows, completely alien, completely deadly, and in this case pretty damn gross as he is usually a blackened corpse, pursues our heroes relentlessly That they are reliving the first time they did this as they do it again in the present adds to the weight, and the chase scene through the catacombs is chilling and satisfying.At this point, you ve probably guessed that, given that I like this book so much, it s not been super gross in terms of exoticization stereotyping of Indian culture, society, or setting The usual disclaimer applies, in that I m a white American woman and do not have intimate experience with this country, but to my knowledge, Hair did his research The places he describes are varied and detailed, in both past and present day The historical details he mentions seem reasonably accurate, for a fantasy Hair, I might mention, is apparently a historian, and has spent considerable time in India The characters are not caricatures, and demonstrate a diversity of religion and culture in keeping with their story In addition, although the problems they face are ones that are often faced in YA novels jealousy, poverty, alienation, etc, not undead sorcerer kings , the ways in which they react to those problems reflect their specific cultural backgrounds Again, I m not an expert, and I d love to hear if anyone has had a different experience reading than me, but I think that if you re looking for a YA book with representation, this is probably a good pick.One caveat of the wives of Ravindra raj, only the first wife is willing The other six wives were essentially married against their will, and are drugged into compliance Most of them have decided or been forced to nonresistance, but Darya is violently raped and beaten This happens offscreen, as it were, but it s explicit in the text, and several of the characters have conversations or conflict regarding her situation and the ethics of their own positions as bystanders to her suffering This is mostly in the first part of the book, and it s not gratuitous or overdone, but it is there and you should know that before you read it.I m interested to see where the the series goes I think that Vikram s younger sister, who is revealed to be PAST LIFE SIGNIFICANT, is going to take a starring role in future books, and I am all for that I m also looking forward to the developing relationships between the three main characters, and where that will lead at the end of the book, it seems like they re settling into a certain configuration, and I d love to see them explore the nuances of that configuration Message me if you ve read The Pyre and want to talk about those nuances

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