Summary: India Treasures Delivers a First- Class Historical Fiction
Comment: Title: India Treasure; An Epic Novel of Rajasthan and Northern India through the Ages
Author: Gary Worthington
Published By: Time Bridges Publishers
Reviewed By: Diana Rohini LaVigne, Indian Life & Style Magazine
India Treasure, a historical fiction by Gary Worthington, takes readers on a beautifully crafted and skillfully plotted course through the Rajasthan and Northern India territories during the era of Emperor Ashoka and Mughal Emperor Akbar. Parallel timelines between the ages creates a story that is both enchanting and hauntingly realistic. From the gore and blood of the battle fields to the private inner sanctuary of a princess's bedroom, this work of art uniquely introduces some of India's most compelling history and urges the reader to continue flipping the pages without stopping.
The success of the writing is partly attributed to the elaborate descriptions of the places, the people, the activities and the words that would be used at that particular time in history. Readers are instantly transported from watching an elephant reluctant to fight in a battle to a guru appealing to a politically motivated finance minister representative to the final moments of a son forced to bury his father by the roadside under a mango tree while continuing the journey to his new homeland which might possibly claim more lives of his family.
Adding a comprehensive glossary at the back of the book makes the manuscript worth of keeping for reference for years to come. India Treasure clearly shows that reading about history can be fun, engaging and pulls the reader's mind towards an understanding of the time and people who ruled in parts of India. This 636-paged book was a pleasure to read and will offer many hours of entertainment to readers globally. It is a book worth reading.
Summary: Must read if you're interested in India/Rajasthan
Comment: I'm a huge fan of historic fiction and this book and the sequel did not disappoint! I'm not Indian, but my boyfriend is. I have spent a LOT of time traveling with him all over Rajasthan where both books are based, so I have a very good feel for the region. The author does a really good job weaving history lessons into a good story. My only complaint was that I couldn't find a lot of the words in the glossary. That's proobably more to do with bad editing. If you've traveled in Rajasthan, this will bring back memories and go deeper into the history of the area. If you're planning a trip, I strongly suggest these books before you go. It will make your trip much more rewarding!
Summary: So good you never want it to end!
Comment: Other reviewers have given great analyses of this book, so I'll skip that. Just want to say this: if you have ANY interest in India, or if you like history or historical fiction at all, you will NOT be able to put down this book. I actually read it at stoplights! That's how good it is! All I can say is thank god there's a sequel that I can start reading now!
Summary: India Treasures is an engaging novel
Comment: India Treasures is as entertaining as it is intriguing, shifting you back and forth from present day to a variety of historical periods, weaving a story full of history, mystery, intrigue and atmosphere. I highly recommend this book. Whether you're an Indophile or a mystery-lover, you'll find yourself pulled into each story-within-a-story and a little sorry to look up and find out that you're really sitting on your own couch.
Summary: Superb and Exciting Indian Historical
Comment: With the straightforward narration of Rutherford and the structure of Michener, this book is so well done that it exceeds in pace and excitement both Rutherford and Michener.
I am from India and a voracious reader of all types of books (including the aforementioned Rutherford and Michener), and I am unusually critical of those that write about India and don't have their books ring true. I initially picked up the book with the feeling that it might be amusing, but probably wouldn't be terribly accurate. Mr Worthington has exceeded even Indian authors on the accuracy front: his names ring true, the language rings true (including the use of Indian words: for example he makes the fine distinction between jauhar and sati), and the characters ring true. M.M. Kaye (the author of The Far Pavilions) lived in India for many years, and yet got the shade of meanings of some Indian words wrong, while as I read Mr Worthington's India Treasures I felt that a fellow Indian had written it.
Mr Worthington's best achievement, though, is that he has rooted the main story in present times, with historical stories that have a link to the main story. While each can be read separately, the book is best enjoyed in sequence, as this generates in the reader an accurate picture of how modern India evolved into the complex society that it is today, with the myriad external influences combining and sythesizing with internal realities.
My highest praise, though, would be reserved for the language and the manner in which Mr Worthington tells the story. He plunges the reader without delay into an intriguing situation and a wonderful story. Those who are captivated by books such as ...and Ladies of the Club, The Far Pavilions, Sarum, and Steinbeck's East of Eden, will find that the straightforward storytelling and language reminds them of those books, and also of the time when they were children and their favorite adult read them stories that they did not want to end and that kept them captivated way beyond their bedtimes. That feeling of "don't let it end" keeps one reading and reading until, sadly, it does end (but, never fear, there is a promised sequel!). The characters and stories will stay with you for a long, long time. The understanding of India will, perhaps, stay with you longer.
This book, in my estimation, is accessible to children of age 14 and above. The story of the elephant is particularly entrancing. The main story, set during a period in India's history under Indira Gandhi, called "The Emergency", when individual rights were suspended for eighteen months, and the government rode rough-shod over people, will probably be an eye-opener for many people, including those in India who were born after 1975.
Unlike any other book on India that I am aware of, this book cuts an illuminating swathe through Indian history (even I learned something about Indian history), and blends history and fiction seamlessly into a superb entertainment.
There is romance in this book, there is adventure in this book, there is history in this book. I am impressed enough by this book to be inspired to write my first Amazon.com review, and I have been buying books from Amazon since early 1997. While I started the book prepared to find faults and shrug it off as another one of those books on India, I found that it won me over in short order. I hope Mr Worthington keeps on writing, I hope more readers discover this gem, and I look forward with pleasurable anticipation to his next book.
Read it! As the much used (and sometimes abused, though not in this case) phrase goes, "You will not be disappointed!"