Book Reviewed By: Anuradha Malhotra

Title: Revenge of the Naked Princess
Author: Oswald Pereira
Publisher: JUFIC Books, an imprint of Leadstart Publishing
Price: Rs. 125
Pages: 224
Rating: 4.5 on 5 stars
It was the title of this book that fascinated me to the nth degree; it happens every time I grab a book on some royal theme, and above all, as it was the story of revenge, it had to be intriguing, and it is, indeed, up to its last page. It is a story of barbarism, depravity, and sadism, inflicted by man on man, under the pretext of religious faith.

First Impression: Read the very first line and you know that the main protagonist, Princess Darshana Kamya Kathodi, is already dead. Well, it disappointed me a bit, as I wasn’t expecting it and that too so soon. It was now clear that her death would be avenged by someone else, later in the story. Million thoughts were hovering over my mind, but you can’t judge a book by its first page; after all, who knows what was going on in the writer’s mind while penning down the story.

Setting: The backdrop of the story is the Yehoor hills that are surrounded by dense jungles. These are inhabited by Kathodi tribals and ruled by Princes Darshana. The year is 1545 A.D., when Portuguese armies have been sent by King John III to convert the native people into Christians.

Development of Theme: A whale of a difference in the two religious faiths and the conflict arising out of that is the main theme, and it has been employed very skilfully. While conversion to Christianity is the main motive of the Portuguese army and the missionaries, the native people are dead against it. This results in the two sides locking horns. This lays down the setting for future developments: brutality and sadistic practices adopted by the army men, death of the princess, and her return as a spirit to take revenge.

Character Delineation: It is from their style, mannerism, and reaction to different situations that we come to know about the characters. Take, for instance, Brigadier Antonio: it is clear from his well- groomed attire and flashy pride in his smile that he belongs to the urbane and the polished class. His urgency to earn promotion is clear from the way he stoops to act beneath himself to achieve his end. On the other hand, Joseph or Govind Laxman Prabhu is a rustic man, as is seen from his garb. He does not think twice before giving up his religious belief to get monetary gains. The Bishop though seemingly holy, is not averse to the torture inflicted on tribesmen to have the conversions done. The 3-dimensional traits are exhibited by the protagonist, and this renders beauty to the story.

Style: The author has adopted a third-person narrative style to carry the story forward. No complex vocabulary has been used and sentences are simple and short. His use of Marathi lingo at a few places is justified.

Plot: A gripping story that moves at a good pace and keeps the readers glued is why I would recommend this book. It is divided into chapters, with many of them further divided into parts. The plot runs in almost a linear fashion, so there is hardly any chance for the reader to get confused. From the first forced conversions of the natives of Yehoor hills to the supernatural fight between the Bishop and the Princess, the story transgresses nowhere. The unpredictability factor makes the story meatier and does not let you put down the book before you are through it. When the spirit of the Princess makes a hell out of the lives of Braganca and Joseph, the reader is under the impression that it would be a win-win situation for her.

Climax: The best thing about the book is its climax that makes you damn curious. And towards the end, it floors you out and out. You are perplexed wondering what’s going to happen now and who is going to win.

Elements of Supernaturalism: The story, somewhere in the middle of the plot, takes a celestial turn, as is clear by the mentioning of the supernatural elements like cloud 1777333999, the winged blood that intimidates enemies, the divine soul of the princess and her ability to change clothes and walk on water. The transcendental happenings continue till the end.

What the Author is Trying to Convey: He tries to convey the hypocrisy and fanaticism that lie behind one’s religious faith. It is indeed hypocritical how Bishop, a staunch evangelist, has many layers in his character. On one hand, he is against the merciless killings, yet he allows it all to happen in order to fix his place in heaven. It is ironical that he hires a pagan priest to carry out the exorcism, while he abhors all pagan practices. On similar lines, the Christian army asks the natives to seek peace by surrendering to Christ, but it does not take them a second to turn bloodthirsty. For them, it is totally justified to rape women, mutilate organs, and kill at the drop of the hat, if it is to be done in the name of religion and God.

I would highly recommend this book. The overall rating: 4.5/5.

  1. Deepak Sabharwal says:

    I fully endorse your review. I read the book in one sitting. It was amazing … the story, the characters, the descriptions. Absolutely gripping!

  2. Alain Marshall says:

    What a deep and insightful analysis. I am deeply inspired to go and read this book right now!

  3. Romit Srivastava says:


  4. amit ranjan srivastava says:

    Yes it’s true “We can’t judge a book by its first (or few) page. Its a good book best part is that its based on exorcism which is my fev topic /taste.

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