Samasin, an orphaned stable boy, rushes to help a foreigner sprawled with a slashed neck in a deserted tavern in Babylon. Gasping for the last breath, the stranger presses a fish-hook in his palm and pleads, 'Give to Siwa Saqra.' Just then, some hoodlums charge in and accuse the bewildered youngster of the murder. Sam must identify the assassin to clear his name from the stigma, and the man mentioned by the dying Meluhhan could probably help. But first he has to escape from the death sentence passed by the owlish elders of Babylon.
Sam flees under the darkness of night, and shivering violently, swims to a ship setting sail for Meluhha. During his countrywide search for Siwa, he runs into dacoits, mendicants, lunatics, thugs and even shamans, all bent on taking his life. However, it never occurs to the naïve stable boy that a powerful foe wants to sabotage his mission.
At last when Sam reaches Siwa, the man's haughty daughter instantly takes a dislike for him seemingly because he hails from Mesopotamia. Nevertheless, her slim dark form and a prolific braid swaying gently upon her derrière steal his heart. With a discreet eye on the girl as she hovers in the background, he sees Siwa blankly staring at the fish-hook. Sam's jaw drops as he wonders, 'Could it be somebody else to whom the dead man actually intended to convey the message?'
Inspired by Thor Heyerdahl's expedition in a reed ship across the Persian Gulf and the Arabian Sea, TRADE WINDS TO MELUHHA narrates one man's dogged pursuit to end an evil trade wrecking many a young Mesopotamian's life.
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|Age Range:||18 Years|
About the Author
Vasant Davé was born in East Africa where his parents had migrated from India before WWII. He was schooled in Kenya when it had just attained freedom from the British rule. Although English is not his mother tongue, he could learn it fairly well with the help of two very dedicated British teachers, Ms. H. C. Davies and Mr. A. Bullock. Vasant studied science in Elphinstone College and graduated as an electrical engineer from the University of Bombay. Besides providing Industrial Market Research services in India, he catered to corporate clients in Australia, China, Germany, Hong Kong, Israel, Singapore, the UK and the USA. His work called for extensive traveling throughout India. It helped him to address a deep interest in archaeology by visiting numerous ancient sites. During one of his frequent tours he happened to visit Lothal in Western India, and was awed to learn that it was a sea-port that conducted maritime business with Mesopotamia. Subsequently he visited other Indus Valley archaeological sites and had had discussions with authorities on the subject. Studying Mesopotamia, he found that 4,000 years ago women were more emancipated than their great great grand-daughters are today in what is now the Middle East. Gradually, a rough plot started emerging in his mind revolving around trade and cultural links between two of the most ancient civilizations in the world. After retirement in 2008, he took up writing 'Trade winds to Meluhha' and completed it three years later. Earlier, Vasant's anecdotes and articles were published in 'Readers' Digest', 'Economic Times', 'Business India', 'Shankar's Weekly', 'Telematics India' and 'Studio Systems'. His technical background helped him to understand and apply historical, geographical, environmental and cultural nuances bearing upon the life during the Bronze Age, the period in which 'Trade winds to Meluhha' is set.
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
I received a free copy from the author for my honest review. At first I was a bit intimidated once I saw the large cast of characters. I honestly wondered if I would be able to keep track of them all. In the beginning it’s a bit confusing but as you read on you see the characters beautifully interwoven. There’s a great mix of action, adventure and romance. I felt really bad for Samasin, as he was really unfortunate, anything bad that happens, happened to him. He was fated for death even! All in all, this was a wonderful story, rich in culture and adventure. It reminded me of the adventure classics of old, like 20,000 Leagues Under The Sea, Treasure Island, or Robinsons Crusoe. If you like adventure mixed with cultural history, you’ll love Trade Winds To Meluhha.
I grew up on adventure stories that spanned continents, with Jules Vernes' In Search of the Castaways and the Mysterious Island being my favorite, and Trade Winds to Meluhha certainly reminded me of the hours I spent imagining distant lands with danger at every step. Mr. Davé did a great job crafting an elaborate story that was not at all straight-forward and although towards the middle all the culprits were perfectly clear the many obstacles in the way of bringing them to justice kept things interesting. There were several sub-plots and adventurous asides that in the end played a role in the main story and I commend Mr. Davé for crafting a novel with this many levels and still managing to keep the pace up without a sluggish moment to create a satisfying resolution that felt natural and logical. With this many plot lines to keep track of the abundance of characters was taxing at times. Two I had trouble distinguishing altogether, some I wasn't sure were all that necessary, but the main characters were intersting and developed nicely, so I mostly paid attention to them. I liked how they ofthen had secrets that kept me guessing for a while and I enjoyed seeing their transformations as the novel progressed. I think Velli was probably the most changed character by the end of the book and it was fun to see her gradual evolution from a hauty daughter of a wealthy man to a kind and caring lady. My main issue with this book was the language. It wasn't awkward or inappropriate at any time, but it felt foreign, like a translation that is done without allowing for stylistic differences between two languages. It wasn't a deal-breaker by any means but it did affect my perception. Another factor was that the novel is set in ancient time, two thousand years BC, but a lot of the speech patterns, terminology and idioms used in the book are modern. Combine that with a drug trade and human trafficking and often the novel felt like present day crime drama somehow transported into the time of camels and reed ships. Also, I felt that the whole human trafficking situation was a bit contrived. Had the author stuck with slavery the key developments could have been easily preserved without compromising anything but the story would have felt more time-apropriate and natural. In the end this is a solid adventure novel with great characters and it made me want to read more in the genre.