Rated 4 of 5 stars
I thoroughly enjoyed Indra Das’ breakout novel, The Devourers, because it meshed a fantasy novel into so many other things. It touched on taboo topics like homosexuality, rape, tribal sacrifices, unconditional love (although very complex), friendship and finding who you are in the midst of being so many things.
In the novel, you follow two stories interwoven throughout the book of Izrail, a half-breed werewolve, and Cyrah, a strong and courageous woman. You also learn a bit about Fenrir, an ancient werewolve, early on and then more so through the lives and choices of others in the story line. I found some moments to be brutally difficult to read (killing of children or rape of women seem to be difficult for me because well, I have a kid and I’m a woman). Even through the brutality, there is a lesson to be captured if you think deep enough. The story really had so many hidden meanings that I think I could potentially read this one again and glean new meaning from it.
The authors word choices and general tone were spot on for a novel set in India. You get a bit of history but also feel as though you are transported into the story as someone living and breathing in India. I think this is one reason Das is considered an excellent writer because as the story unfolds as a journal entry of a different time and place, the readers are transported there, not questioning whether the authenticity is lost. I found the story to ebb and flow, not too fast but also just quick enough to ensure you read more. I languished a bit on the tail end of the novel but hungrily digested Cyrah and Jevah-dan’s adventures. It was the sweetest spot in the whole book and one not easily forgotten.
I would recommend this book for readers who like fantasy but with a heavy dose of realism. This isn’t fantasy on steroids. You’ll get character driven writing, lots of (real) world building and a touch of werewolves and shape shifting that really in essence boils down to tribal culture. If these things interest you as a reader, then you will “devour” this novel.
Raging Book Reviews Highly Recommended!
*I received this book for free at BookCon 2016 as an early reader.