The Bard of Blood is written by Bilal Siddqui, a 20 year old student (yes, let that sink in) of Mass Media at St. Xavier’s College, Mumbai. This book is not just his first novel, but also a great attempt at a thriller that will keep you interested all throughout.
The story begins in Balochistan, in the year 2014, with four Indian spies being captured by Mullah Omar- leader of one of the deadliest terrorist clans of Pakistan. On the verge of their beheading, Omar is stopped by another force to reckon with – the ISI, who seem to have a better and more cruel plan to get even with the Indians. With this begins a fast tale of bravery, adrenaline rush and sacrifices which are definitely the three main components of a brilliant story.
The book revolves around Kabir Anand, an ex-RAW agent who had to forcefully leave the organisation after a disastrous mission in Balochistan in 2006, and who was forcefully brought back to carry out another mission in Balochistan. This is his time to avenge not just his defamation, but also the death of his mentor and father figure – Sadiq Sheikh. Despite a number of characters and several location changes (New Delhi to Balochistan to Mumbai to Ahmedabad) the book moves with a fast speed and smooth understanding.
The book, researched with the assistance of US and Indian intelligence agents and war correspondents, and written under the guidance of crime writer S. Hussain Zaidi, takes us deep in the roots of terrorism and what it implies for different sections of this world; how some take it up as a religious agenda, some are driven by the force of revenge and others for the lust of money. As the story evolves, we witness a mix of thrill with a tinge of romance and of course – death, all in a Shakespearean style that is hard to miss.
The events take you on a ride of planning, attacks and counter-attacks as Kabir Anand fights life, death and friendships in a journey faster than time itself, all for the eventual desire to save his country. The book is well researched and written in a way that combines fact and fiction together to create a story worth reading.
Picture Credits: Penguin India
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