Here is what I thought.
The cover wasn’t the highlight of the book for me. It was drab, it was dull and definitely not something I would call ‘catchy’. Perhaps it is the grey factor that made it seem that way.
But it is a good accompaniment to the title and, obviously, the story. However, my suggestion to the author is to try something discrete for his next work, something that makes the cover intriguing and mysterious.
Cover Rating – 3 / 5
The title is pretty straightforward and it does mention one of the key characters of the novel. The byline ‘The Banished Princess’ is apt and gives a wonderful peak into the plot as well.
I love the name Rafflesia.
Title Rating – 4/5
When I first saw the immense size of the book, I was quite terrified. It is probably one of the longest books I’ve read in the recent past. However, I will say that for the length of the novel, the author was able to keep up the story line and stretch it across without making it seem dull, repetitive or dragged.
The plot revolves around ‘Appu’ who is the protagonist. His life is dependent on the situations that his closest ones face or the obstacles that they incur. Each character is deep, has a history of its own and is presented very well. My favourite character was ‘Misha’, a sibling-like friend to ‘Appu’.
The drawback would definitely have to be the length. I did find, in a few places, that the narration was either slow or unnecessary. There was no steadiness to the writing, but instead went like wave after wave with a bunch of highs and lows.
The writing style is good, however, I felt that in many places, it could have been better. The main issue I had was the repetition of words in the same sentence. That was distracting. But then again, perhaps I am being nit-picky. I would love to see the author pick a more vibrant topic and see how he deals with a different theme.
Though there are pros and cons to the book, I definitely liked reading it and found it to be quite enjoyable.
Rating – 4 / 5
I don’t regret reading this book at all. It was a great read, and though it took me two weeks to complete with my hectic schedule and frantic deadlines, it was a calm and peaceful journey for me. However, I will have to add, that this book isn’t for all audiences – especially those who enjoy quicker reads.
Final Rating: 4 / 5
Verdict: Recommended as a Long Read!