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In My Hands by Sathya Achia
Sathya Achia describes herself as “author, yogini, traveler, and lover of words.” In My Hands is her debut YA adventure fantasy novel. The novel draws in the reader to the story from the very beginning. The main character, an Indian American teen – Chandra is a sixteen year girl who is fated, and is the chosen one in the long standing fight between the good and the evil.
In my hand there are lines, / A map to the past, present, and future, that is all mine. / If you read them, you will see / Death and destruction belong to me….
It is an extremely well crafted novel and it appears as if the author has put immense efforts into each sentence and tried to bring in a perfection which does not lapse even in the middle. It is an adventure that takes us from the USA to the villages and forests of South India. In a way, this is refreshing as it brings in the local narratives and local myths and motifs compared to the many other fantasy and mythology novels that derive from the sweeping epics of Ramayana and Mahabharata.
…the trishula also gives the holder control of the past, present, and future. If I can turn back time, I can make things right again…
There are many little things that brought in smile eg, General Haauna.
All the elements of a YA story are well presented and the pacing is excellent. I would’ve loved a more deep dive into the characters, but the YA by its very nature, particularly in the Fantasy genre is more driven by events and plot devices. Despite of the one main character, this novel is like an ensemble of many characters with many other people – one can well imagine – staying in the background.
Chandra is able to navigate through various obstacles that keep emerging in her adventure, and the author is able to keep the reader hooked. The twists and turns in the story keep on the thrill till the very end. At places, one can feel the writing…
My heart pounds against my chest and my erratic mind is unable to summon the power. The only sensation coursing through me is agony.
The imagination with which the author weaves the local traditions with popular imagination is fantastic.
I whirl around to find Dakini in her rakshasi form… she hovers above the water revealing her ten-horned heads, hundreds of arms, and the menacing scorpion’s tail. Sharp, jagged fangs protrude from her mouth and her black tongue lashes out…
Reading the fantastic sentences makes me think as if the author has summoned all her Yogini powers to write this wonderful book. Many of the sentences crafted by Sathya Achia are just mesmerizing. Sample this…
The feeling of hopelessness and abandonment I’d pushed down into the far regions of my heart bubble to the surface… Old wounds open, evoking a landslide of emotion I’m unable to control.
Magical aspect of Dance
Sathya Achia has done well with the way she develops the element of magic, one of which is the use of dance in an evocative magical manner. It reminded me of a similar influence of dance in the Empire of Sands (reviewed here) The usage of Bharatanatyam dance in an imaginative manner is refreshing.
This book obviously adds to the diversity in the international fantasy fiction segment.
In My Hands is indeed an extremely well-written, fast-paced adventure fantasy. If one loves this genre, one can’t miss this book.