In the first two books of the Shiva trilogy- The Immortals of Meluha and The Secret of the Nagas, we see Amish flesh out the characters of the story; we are introduced to the beginnings of a complex, beautiful plot that spans the breadth of popular Hindu mythology and unfolds as we read on with bated breath. But, it is in the third book, The Oath of the Vayuputras, that the Shiva trilogy truly taps into its potential. The third book begins with Shiva in Panchavati- the capital of the Nagas, face-to-face with the friend he long believed dead- Brihaspati. This revelation is the first of many. In the third book, Shiva discovers diluted friendships, deceptive alliances, and examines the nature of good and evil from multiple perspectives. As a result, the narrative is peppered with discourses on the nature of good and evil, and of the distances in between where a million steps can be taken without moving decisively to either side. But the book is, in essence, a culmination of the tale that began with The Immortals of Meluha, and is therefore, the story of a battle against the root of evil. And to that end, it is a violent tale, in which we see the lands of the Sapt-Sindhu face the ravages of war. Difficult choices are made, in the face of an evil that is, at best, amorphous, and the resulting losses are overwhelming, if not insurmountable. The story has the reader questioning whether or not the collateral damage, the resultant chaos in multiple individual lives is too high a price to pay for the greater good. Despite culminating in an oasis of peace, even at the very of the book, ghosts of past losses linger hauntingly around the edges of new beginnings, tainting them, just a little.