Light Novel Review – The Gandharva

The Gandharva Cover

The Gandharva (Devasur Series Book I)

Author(s): Nikesh Murali and Bhavana Murali

Amazon eBook | Wattpad

The Gandharva is a fast-moving, unique paranormal romance adventure with tight delivery and a straightforward plot, which makes it a perfect introduction into the emerging Original English Language Light Novel (OELN) format.

Dev, a heavenly Gandharva, has been banished with his fighting brothers to Earth. He earns his keep­­‑and nourishment­‑by stealing the hearts of young maidens. He is the picture of a romantic anti-hero: equal parts charming, rakish and conflicted. Unfortunately, both his affection and appetite are drawn to fellow student Maya, a sharp and stalwart woman who has struggled to balance university, a difficult family life, and thwarting otherworldly pursuers who just happen to be ancient enemies of the Gandharva clan.

Dev and Maya’s college romance is well-developed, earnest and, most importantly, works smoothly within the context of the story: a modern, middle-class India transformed into a setting for an ancient Hindu struggle. It is refreshingly unique to western audiences because Nikesh and Bhavana’s exposition and narrative maintain both the necessary texture and accessibility to make the world building enticing and convincing.

Unfortunately, not everything follows the divine plan. The supporting characters, and in particular the villains’ motivations are sometimes two-dimensional, however they serve the purpose of advancing the plot. Still, the story charges toward the inevitable drawing of lines, then an equally rapid blurring of those lines leading in to the next part of the series.

The Gandharva is as sensual, breezy and slightly pulpy as a good Light Novel should be, and the next part promises even more fast-paced romance and adventure.

Who would be swept-up in an angel’s arms? Readers who like fun, fast-paced paranormal romance wrapped in unique themes.

Who’s feet would stay firmly planted on Earth? Those looking for a hefty plot and expansive character development.

Rating: ****

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