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Book review: The Elephant Girl by Chitta Ranjan



About the book

The forests of Eastern India, during the late years of the British Raj, were rife with stories about a mythical maiden riding a wild pachyderm. On a train ride through these deep jungles, a series of strange events unfold to pique the curiosity of Raj Narayan, the crown prince of Paschim Behar. Two attempts on Raj’s life as well as the murder of his father, the Maharajah and his favorite brother in the Royal Palace seem to be linked to a conspiracy to shroud the legend of the elephant girl in secrecy. What starts as a short trip soon hurtles crown prince Raj into a rollercoaster ride of adventure as he becomes obsessed to get to the bottom of the mystery of the elephant girl. Torn between his urge to seek out the mysterious maiden notwithstanding the advanced pregnancy of his wife and the evolving intrigues around succession amongst the brothers and his beautiful stepmother, he finds himself in the maze of royal intrigue with the players shuttling between the opulent royal palace and deep dark forest with royal secrets. Will he betray his loving wife’s trust to be with the maiden? Will he find the murderer? Will he survive the savage mysterious forests and live to tell his tale?

My take on the book
The debut novel by Chittan Ranjan narrates the fictionalised account of a forgotten and lost heritage of Assam set in the district of undivided Goalpara and North Bengal.
The book starts with an interesting backdrop of the eastern Indian forests. The plot line is mythical as strange events unfolds when the protagonist of the novel, Raj Narayan on his way to the deep forest encounters an event, which is linked to a conspiracy to shroud the legend of the elephant girl in secrecy
Before the story begins, the book has an imprint of a map on where the story begins so it is clearer for readers to understand the location better. The crown prince Raj Narayan start to a short trip soon lead to a roller coaster ride of adventure, when he become obsessed over finding the mystery of the elephant girl in secrecy. The author has created a world of mystery over the plot line which makes the story even more intriguing. I thought the book was a little too stretched and I felt it could have been narrated in a shorter yet in a gripping way. There were some typos here and there, but overall I felt the idea of the book was to capture the beauty of the legendary lost heritage as well as the geographical sketch of Eastern India, during the last years of the British Raj.
You will enjoy this read if you love the wilderness and wish to read stories based on a backdrop which highlights the beauty of nature. A mix of mystery with a hint of fantasy is what I would say the book is all about. Grab a copy today to find out if Raj Narayan finds himself in the maze of royal intrigue with the players shuttling between the opulent royal palace and deep dark forest with royal secrets. Will he betray his loving wife’s trust to be with the maiden? Will he find the murderer? Will he survive the savage mysterious forests and live to tell his tale
Book Details
Author: Chitta Ranjan
Price: 349
Paperback: 325 pages
Publisher: Leadstart Publishing Pvt Ltd (25 October 2019)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 9352019245
ISBN-13: 978-9352019243
My Rating: 3.5/5

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