Book Review: Samit Basu’s “Gameworld Trilogy”

Well, okay, this isn’t a full-blown book review, as I’m not even close to done yet.  I’m only about 25% into the first book of Samit Basu’s fantasy trilogy, collectively known as ‘Gameworld’.  The titles include:

  • The Simoqin Prophecies
  • The Manticore’s Secret
  • The Umwaba Revelations

Long-time readers of my blog might remember how I kind of apologized for putting in Amazon.com links.  Well, in the case, I could put in a link for the first book — but as near as I can tell, except for a Swedish and German translations, this delightful series is generally not available outside of India.

I happened to stumble on it in Gangaram’s bookstore in Bangalore, up on MG road, and really wasn’t sure I’d like it.  As is often the case, the books sat on my shelf a while until the right moment came — the right mood, the right time, etc.  Last night, I finally started the first book.

Although occasionally a little bit rough around the edges, I have to admit I really like the series.  It’s witty, funny, and a genuine page-turner.  Having lived in India for a while, the many references to the culture and ancient myths (the bad guys are called rakshasas, for example) are especially appreciated.  Moreover, Mr. Basu’s English is impeccable and he really knows how to turn a phrase.  (His is also the first literary work in which I find the occasional pun to be clever and not at all groan-worthy.)

Many years ago, I read Phillip Pullman’s "Dark Materials" series, and thought perhaps one day it might hit pretty big in the US…and here we have a major motion picture.  I’ve a feeling one day we’ll see these Gameworld books on the best seller lists.  They’re really that good.

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