Why We Love the Wordkeepers

A book about ancient mythological characters? It sounded dire to me. But when I started reading the ms of The Wordkeepers, I forgot my prejudice against mythology. For one thing, the book begins with a girl who is very much a current-day teenager. So it draws one in completely. And the adventure is riveting – it moves on at a zipping pace, and while the gods, yakshas and other divine and semi-divine creatures add a dimension of fantasy, the book remains contemporary and exciting. No archaic language and burning arrows – the gods use military argot and topnotch technology. To do all this in a first novel is impressive enough, but Jash is writing a trilogy that has been thought through to the end, and the hints thrown in the first book promise even more thrilling things to come.


One of the things which always works for me as a reader–now as a hoary and grey one but even more so when I was younger–is storytelling. There is nothing in the world quite as satisfying as a plot which goes zinging forward, filled with twists and turns, supported by characters who are interesting and compelling.

Jash’s book has all of this. And in an India where Percy Jackson seems to be the most popular read for children, this book could not be more appropriate. For the thing which was always off-putting for me as a reader of mythological tales was that it was always a given–done, washed up, over. This book makes characters from Indian mythology a part of contemporary and even future Indian life. And the question which always plagued me after reading a good story like the Mahabharat–what happened to all these people afterwards (where they were not conveniently dispatched)?–has received at least one satisfactory answer.


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