Book review of Jazeera: Legend of the Fort Island by Yash Pawaskar
Jazeera: Legend of the Fort Island
Reading Indian historical fiction is always surprising. These
books don’t ever fail to show us our potential. They give us just
a tiny glimpse of what we were and it’s enough to overwhelm
us with a sense of pride. Jazeera: Legend of the Fort Island by
Yash Pawaskar is a book that has joined the list of all such
inspiring historical fictions.
Set in 14th century CE Bharatvarsh, this book is the story of a
fort island called Jazeera in the Arabian Sea. The book is divided
into three parts. Ruled by the cruel and apathetic king Zorawar,
referred to as Sultan, ominous things begin to happen in Jazeera.
In the first part of the book, we see children between the age
five and twelve beings ‘taken’ by Shadows. Going parallel to this,
we come upon a group lead by a woman called Kashvi living on
the western coast of the Indian subcontinent, which were the
inhabitants of the island but left when Zorawar came in power.
There are many other parallel stories going around this with
lots of characters.
It’s not possible to tell more about the story without giving
some spoilers as the book is so suspenseful, so many of the
things make sense much later in the book. So skipping the story
part, let’s talk about the essence and writing style.
As said earlier, the book has done a great job depicting the
strength in our people and filling us with pride. Unlike other
historical fictions, which usually depict a rivalry between two
kings, this book shows the victory of tribals over the foreign
invader. It captures their emotions to get back what was theirs,
their love for nature and awing descriptions about the
techniques and the knowledge they had. The thing that I liked
the most was the importance of female characters in the book.
The author has made a brilliant point about how the Adivasis
were not just illiterate as most of us think, but they had values
and knowledge that most of us have forgotten.
The book is very gripping and you just want to know what’s
gonna happen ahead.
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