3 December 2023 | By: Writing Buddha

The Protected Rakshasa: KAAL by Pranay Bhalerao (Book Review: 4.5*/5) !!!

2087th BLOG POST

33rd Book of 2023


I remember reading around 3-4 books written by Pranay last year in 2022 and I was surprised with his scale of imagination while creating a universe in which he weaves his stories. The latest book I read by him was the 1st part of a new trilogy (“Kavaach Trilogy”) he had introduced reading which I was amazed by the world he had created. The series became promising with the 1st book itself and I am glad that within a year, Pranay has managed to draft the 2nd book and released the same recently. This 362-pages book is named “Kaal: The Protected Rakshasa” which is typically based on one of the two prominent characters of the book – Kaal.


Even though the book is part of a series and the last book was read by me a year back, the way Pranay has given start to this book makes the reader comfortable without getting confused with the multiple groups and characters. Just as we read the life of Krishna separately apart from his massive involvement in Mahabharata, author has given almost the same touch to the story of Kaal where we get to read about his whole life right from his birth to a phase where he finally gets involved in the Kavaach saga. I am surprised with respect to how Pranay made it possible to make it an easy-read without even giving a brief of what happened in the 1st book as a recap or something. This tells about the writing prowess he holds.


Pranay has managed to give a great shape to the development of Kaal’s character where he is a very innocent boy in childhood – then gets into a training module where he starts analyzing about the extra-ordinary events happening with him – later, as a lover boy who starts getting involved in a relationship fearlessly – as an intellectual youth - and finally into a warrior who is ready to take on anyone. The story around all these events progresses smoothly making us enjoy each of the phases and rooting for Kaal – even at the instances where we know he is not completely right.


His chemistry with his parents in his childhood is very nicely projected which shapes up his future regarding how and why he turns so evil over a period of time. His life in ashram is portrayed along with other themes of nepotism, favoritism and the struggle one has to go through when one tries to push himself up in the status ladder created by the society. I liked how Pranay was able to describe the whole tantric and other mantra-level hawans etc. very clearly that as a reader, we can imagine how the whole ceremonies are being carried out. A book that belongs to a genre where the ancient Indian history or mythology is touched upon needs description of such processes widely so that readers are aware of all that goes into developing a culture which is so vast and popular. Pranay just utilizes this specialty well and doesn’t leave a chance anywhere of not making us go through such events deeply.


Like the 1st book, even here the story keeps moving to and fro in two different eras- the ancient 600 BC and the modern world. Yet again, author has been able to make the transition happen very organically without making it sound complex and difficult. He has been successful in implementing this form of story-telling where there is link between two different time-periods and how to shuffle between both of them in order to narrate the happenings. It generally sounds as if both the stories are happening parallelly which makes it exciting and mysterious for the reader to know about both the worlds and its respective characters at every point of time.


In the 1st book, I had felt that Pranay has narrated the story as if it’s a pitch for a screenplay adaptation rather than a novel. Thankfully, this time Pranay has drafted the story well where it gives the literary feeling in every sentence. Similarly, there weren’t much philosophical aspect in the 1st part whereas this time, he has been able to provide such insights in between wherever there was a scope to describe any response with the element of life.


Personally, talking about few scenes – I liked the chemistry between Kaal and Nandini a lot. I liked the whole relationship arc of Kaal and King Nandak. I liked the last confrontational scene between him, King and the secretary. All those moments where the dark figures keep returning back to Kaal are nicely planned in the story. It gives a great push to the story – the twists and turns just after that makes the book reach another level. The insecurity of Adhiram and Radha throughout the story regarding losing their son hits the emotional nerves every time they have a conversation between themselves.


Not taking anything away from the other characters, Rudra is given enough scenes in this book as well in the present timeline. What happens after all the devastation (mentioned in 1st book) is discussed and his chemistry with his folks and realization of his superpowers keeps up the excitement in the story. I am excited to know how Rudra is going to rule over the next parts of this series. Similarly, Shaurya, his group and his world are also discussed regularly to build the base for the clash that’ll happen in the present timeline – somewhere in the next book.


Overall, the book is a perfect page-turner. Pranay is a brilliant story-teller who knows how to keep you hooked. He is capable of converting a complex storyline into a smooth-read with his writing abilities. I gave the 1st book 4.25*; as this one is a notch better than it; I will give 4.5* to Kaal – the 2nd book in the series. And now I wait for the conclusion to be released as soon as possible.






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