I read Raghu Srinivasan’s first book The Avatari and asked him when his second book would be released. He told me “I hope faster than the first one.” Xianqui was worth the wait.
The racy & gripping thriller covers a huge expanse of history and geography, so vividly described that you will not the feeling of reading fiction. I started reading the book on a cloudy Friday evening with my cup of tea. The weekend was a delight because I went back to my school and college days where reading a book overtook all other activities. It was what most book lovers describe as “perfect” or “heavenly feeling” of flipping page after page and not wanting to put the book down…unless you really have to.
Raghu’s research has always been thorough and his building up of characters is intriguing. Each person comes to life slowly but surely and as a reader I started visualising them, one by one. They have been picturised so well that I will not be surprised to meet Tashi when I next travel to Sikkim.
The weaving of history, international relations, geographical terrains and the complete relatability in terms of today’s geo-political scenario makes the book more interesting. Lacing in mythical stories from Marshall Islands to Papua New Guinea to Nepal to Tibet is another great way of introducing the cultural aspects of those regions. Some of the chapters have whetted my curiosity about these places and the wanderlust in me is waiting & wanting to travel.
Xianqui is definitely meant for a wider global audience and must be made popular by those of us who have enjoyed it. In the world of fiction that has been inundated with books largely on Islamic terrorism, Middle East, Europe and America, Xianqui comes as a refreshing change.
Raghu, I have always believed you to be a wonderful storyteller and you have not let your readers down. Can I look forward to another delightful book in 2022?