Book Review: Trade Winds To Meluhha (Vasant Davé)

Book:    Trade Winds To Meluhha 
Author:  Vasant Davé
E-ISBN:     978-81-922506-0-1
Publisher: Vasantrai P. Davé
Number of Pages: 256

Due to many reasons, for a while I have taken a break from reading, and now after almost a month I got an opportunity to read ‘Trade Winds to Meluhha’ by Mr. Vasant Davé. Mr. Davé is an Engineer by education and has work experience that is more than my age itself! During his work as Industrial Market Researcher, he came closer to ancient pas of Indian subcontinent and led him to write a historical novel on Mesopotamian and Sumerian civilization. ‘Trade Winds to Meluhha’ is set in Bronze Age Mesopotamia, 2138 BC. I received e-book for review purpose and since I bought a tablet now, it was quite easy to read. Well designed navigation and excellently linked hypertext helped a lot. Since it was an e-book, I read synopsis on Goodreads. Coming to review, let us find out what Mr. Davé has to offer us.
The protagonist is a young Sumerian boy, Samasin, who is accused of murder and been sentenced to death In his quiet life suddenly everything changes and without his knowledge, he gets involved in a voyage of events that is full of twists and turns. Story runs on several sub-plots that made the narration a bit slower, like any other historical novel. It really helps in absorbing story completely. However, with a vivid cast of character, often it’s hard to keep track of all of them.
Language of ‘Trade Winds to Meluhha’ is quite like a text book, plain and sometimes lacking the emotion. I have read quite a lot historical novels and none of them actually compromise the narration and engagement of the reader at cost of ‘being authentic’. Book comes with a map and detailed cast of characters, including a glossary to Tamil and Sumerian words with their meanings. I must say Mr. Davé intelligently chose to provide annexure for readers ease, but after a while degree of ease turned into a exercise, because with so many native words I have to flip back and forth for their meaning. It adds a lot of authenticity to the narration and shows the intensive research of the author, but it also creates an unnecessary break in reading flow. As a result, book failed to provide a gripping narration.
The protagonist Samasin is developed really well and intrigues the imagination, while other characters are just not so connected. They play their part, but failed to make you remember them. Initially, I blamed my imagination, but chapter after chapter I found them interrupting the story by a fair margin. However, Mr. Davé has interwoven the historical facts into the story very well that one doesn't need to bother much about the authenticity. I don’t have much knowledge about Sumerian or Mesopotamian Culture, but somewhere inside it was hard to gulp the fact that Meluhhan were Tamil-Speaking, I truly need to reconfirm it from experts of the subject.
To conclude my Review; I would say, it takes a lot of guts to write a pre-historic novel and Mr. Davé deserves an appreciation for his hard work for the book. His research is intensive and detailed to minute levels. His narrative language is not awkward but feels flat most of the times, and as a result book failed to provide an engaging reading experience. With a potential plot and impressive story, book could have been far better. I am little disappointed with Mr. Davé’s first effort, but I am sure his next work(s) will not disappoint at all. I wish him a very best of luck for further work and hope to see a new book soon.  

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Happy Reading :)

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