Books,  Feminism,  reading,  Review

Review: Cult of Chaos by Shweta Taneja

I feel very privileged to have read this book as it currently is not available in the UK it is published by Harper Collins India but I think there is a place for this voice in the Urban Fantasy market in the UK and beyond.

Anantya is a Tantrist she is a good one too, a bit maverick and an outcast she helps the Dehli Police with their investigations whenever something a bit supernatural happens.  The books feel a lot like the Urban fantasy I was reading a little bit Anita Blake and a little bit Patricia Briggs however, what stops it being the Urban Fantasy cliche is the fact that its set in India and uses Indian Hindi/Buddhist mythology and this makes the book feel very different.

There are three types of Tantrism, White which uses sex to fuel shakti or its magic, there’s red tantrism where animals or blood are sacrificed.  Black tantrism sacrifices humans.  

The book opens with a ritual murder and Taneja does not skimp on the description so much so I began to wonder what on earth I was getting into. But the shocking opening gives way to introducing Anataya and what goes on her world.

I loved reading this book, it moved at a blistering pace and never really let up.  Antaya lurches from one problem to the next flinging mantra and cursing and dealing with a lot of sexism.

It was really funny too with many characters adding much needed moments of levity.  It is also really interesting to read something outside of my culture and I am thankful that Shweta kindly sent a glossary with the book, otherwise, I would have been a bit lost with the different supernatural creatures.  I particularly loved the one who had a thing for strong smells.

This is the first book in a series and I look forward to seeing what Shweta has next in store for her heroine. Anantya has a back story that is mainly hinted at in this novel, I get the feeling that as this series progresses we would see the changes ring for her.

The world is fully rounded, the supes (supernaturals) fit in feels organic and believable. Likewise, the factions in Tantrism are wonderfully hypocritical. The book was far sexier than I thought it was going to be and some of the scenes are not for the fainthearted.

The thing I’m saddest about is that this book isn’t available in the UK It has a lot going for it and I think that lots of you who read this blog would enjoy the novel.  Here’s hoping something changes soon.

Jane Hanmer

Born in deepest darkest Shropshire. Currently living in London. A reader of books, a watcher of theatre and film, a player of board games. Intersectional Feminist Pronouns: She/her

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