The Invincible Weapon by Sowmya Putta is one of the best children's books I have ever read this year. Here's why you need to buy this book right now!
As soon as I put down The Invincible Weapon by Sowmya Putta, my mind was racing. How can it be possible that this wonderful book hasn't received more attention? Why did a big publisher not nab this one and watch it make a mark? Were they absolutely bonkers?
As the editor of Indian Moms Connect, one of the highlights of my work is to receive packages laden with children's books to review. Every once in a while, I get an engrossing, honest-to-goodness thrill ride like The Invincible Weapon. During times like this, I can understand why my daughter looks up to my job. Here is a chance for us to be a champion for a wonderful book that needs a bigger audience.
The Invincible Weapon by Sowmya Putta is about young male and female warriors training at Maharishi Gavishta's Gurukul to learn the art of warfare and to embark upon a quest -- to seek the supreme weapon used by the Mayan rishis. At the heart of the story are two brothers, Abhi and Kanu, young princes of Vaishali, who have been invited to join the Gurukul to learn many things, including warfare and to seek the elusive weapon. The Gurukul exists to train young princes and princesses to defend the kingdoms of
At the Gurukul, Abhi meets many other students, including Hiya, Shourie, Vaidehi and Bala, and various teachers and facilitators. Much of the energy, sub-plots
What makes The Invincible Weapon wonderful though is that it is not derivative in any sense, even though it reminds us of Harry Potter or Percy Jackson. There are no rip-off scenes or sequences from books like Percy Jackson or Harry Potter. We read in wonder as Abhi participates in his first archery match or when Master Toshi transports the students back in time to a war that greatly resembles the great war of our past. On the battlefield of the past, the students see a phalanx arranged in the form of an eagle. They see an army stationed in the shape of a bird and Master Toshi tells them to watch the commander-in-chief and how he strategizes the battle.
A computer programmer who made the shift to writing books, Sowmya Putta is a master storyteller. I also liked the force of imagination that went into all the details, big and small. For example, the types of bows that Abhi examines in the Treasury of Truth are fascinating. There is a composite bow made of boat horns and sinew that is hard to wield in the beginning. We also have a simpler bow made from sapwood shoots, and a powerful recurve bow that in all fairness isn't as hard as the composite.
Even the books from the Gurukul's Treasury of Truth are marvelous titles - History of the Mayans, Healing Powers, and Space and Time Travel. Like truly great fantasy books and novels, there is richness even in these details. The novel can be mined for so much more than just its plot, and yet these details are so beautifully woven into sequences.
We feel the same thrill that we felt when Harry beat the dragon in The Goblet of
The larger narrative arc of the book is about Abhi saving his brother Kanu from
The plot is near-perfect and is layered with
Putta writes action-packed scenes perfectly. In many books that describe action sequences or plots in motion, for instance, I find that the writer gets too descriptive. This distracts the pace. Sometimes, the words don't do justice to the pace or the
This could be the beginning of great things, similar to Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone. Let's just say that the world of The Invincible Weapon feels like it is bigger than just one book. There is so much to explore and many great adventures to come.
I truly loved reading about each and every person in The Invincible Weapon. I liked the courageous Hiya. I even understood Kanu and his feelings of resentment and jealousy towards his champion archer brother. The reader can relate to all of their emotions perfectly. My favorite character
I also enjoyed the riddles and how Abhi and Hiya forked their way in and out of many dangers, but got out of them by sheer strength, teamwork and interesting plot twists along the way!
The gurus in The Invincible Weapon are pretty amazing. My mother went to a
There isn't a single weak moment or link in this wonderful book. My daughter is too young to read it but I did test it with my niece who read it overnight. I had to prise the book out of her hands to get started. She couldn't put it down and she can't wait to find out what happens next!
Age group: 10 to 16