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Trade winds to Meluhha [Kindle Edition]

Vasant Davé
3.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (11 customer reviews)

Kindle Price: $0.99

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Historical Fiction
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Book Description

Samasin, an orphaned stable boy, rushes to help a foreigner sprawled with a slashed neck in a deserted tavern. Gasping for the last breath, the stranger presses a fish-hook in his hand and pleads, 'Give to Siwa Saqra.' Just then, a crowd rushes in and accuses the bewildered youngster of the Meluhhan's murder. In order to clear his name from the stigma of manslaughter, Sam must hunt down the killer.

He flees Babylon under the darkness of night, and shivering violently, swims to a ship setting sail for Meluhha. Unknowingly, he has embarked on pursuit of an evil trade wrecking the lives of many a young Mesopotamian. A severe monsoon storm, besides ravaging their little vessel, blows it off its course. During his journey in exotic Meluhha, Sam survives several situations which would have cost him his life. However, it never occurs to the naïve stable boy that a powerful foe does not want him to see Siwa.

Sam encounters Siwa's haughty daughter who takes an instant dislike for the grinning young man seemingly because he hails from Mesopotamia. Her slim dark form and long swinging hair steal his heart. With an eye on her as she hovers in the background, he sees Siwa staring blankly at the fish-hook and his jaw drops. Who else did the dead man actually intend to convey the 'message'?

Inspired by Thor Heyerdahl's voyage in a reed ship across Persian Gulf and Arabian Sea, TRADE WINDS TO MELUHHA is an adventure unfolding between two ancient lands of Mesopotamia and Indus Valley Civilization.


Editorial Reviews

Review

A sprawling story of murder, rape, intrigue, blood lust & religious piety, this work of speculative fiction generally keeps its reader engaged. Its epic scale & focus on ancient Mesopotamia are immersive. It has strengths & several layers of interesting material. Publishers Weekly (an independent organization)

The concept of this adventure is inspired; the characters very believable. Anne Holt, Historical Novel Society

(It isn't often) when a British reader is able to read a book about two (ancient) civilisations written by a man who lives in India. For me Trade Winds to Meluhha is almost a metaphor for this new trade in ideas across the world. Martin Lake

There are women protagonists developed enough to send the story on nice spins. Suneetha Balakrishnan, Kitaab

We meet strong women like Ann, Velli & Ella who do not suffer fools & use weapons such as bone hairpins, slingshots & rosary-pea poison against them.  Margitte Den Boerin, Goodreads

Story has an interesting premise, authentic setting.
Sangita Sinha, Talk about Books

Recommended for those looking for something different in historical fiction. Melisende d'Outremer, Melisende's Library

The story is exciting & keeps you intrigued. Jennifer Kruschke, Goodreads

It is the story that sticks in the memory, the feelings the characters invoke. Lise Quinn, Goodreads

Among novels based on Indian history, it stands out. Palak Mathur
 
Each character with actions & emotions believable & honest. Tiffany, Book Cover Justice
 
Quite a page turner. While the setting may be prehistoric, the emotions are real. Karishma Pais, Kim & Brajesh's Bookshelf
 
Brings to life the ancient Indus experience. Omar Khan, Harappa dot com

From the Author

To the teachers of Young Adults aged 16 and above, this novel offers a fun way to teach about the Indus Valley Civilization in contrast to mere memorization of dry data.

Product Details

  • File Size: 3223 KB
  • Print Length: 234 pages
  • Publisher: Vasantrai P. Davé; 4 edition (January 15, 2012)
  • Sold by: Amazon Digital Services, Inc.
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B006XNEH7U
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Word Wise: Not Enabled
  • Lending: Enabled
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #796,755 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Customer Reviews

3.5 out of 5 stars
(11)
3.5 out of 5 stars
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars A picaresque novel that takes some risks September 24, 2012
Format:Kindle Edition
TRADE WINDS TO MELUHHA is a picaresque novel, involving the adventures of a boy called Samasin in ancient Babylon (called Babili in the novel.) There were many good things about this novel, and a couple of problems. I will mention the good things first.

First of all, I loved the concept of a tale about ancient Babylon told from a non-Western point of view, from someone in India who would be able to give this story a very special angle, that of the relationship between the people of Babylon and their trading partners in north-west India.

Secondly, the author Vasant Dave, possesses a very good vocabulary, which is impressive because I gather that English is one of several languages that he speaks.

Thirdly, the author has chosen well for his protagonist. The boy Samasin is by turns, hard-done-by, resourceful, charming and puzzled by the turns of events that is disrupting his quiet life as a stable boy. This novel has many plot twists and turns, which include unsolved murders, hidden treasure, boat voyages, and many colorful characters. Once it gets going, it is quite a ride.

Once it gets going. But the novel doesn't start as well as it might. The author takes a tremendous risk by leaving Samasin at the end of Chapter 1 with a dead stranger in his lap, and switching to a completely new cast of characters in Chapter 2. In Chapter 3, we meet Samasin again, but the point of view is no longer Samasin's own. And in Chapter 4, the story is told from the point of view of yet another character.

As a reader, I wanted to get to know Samasin, but the author kept preventing me from doing so. This switching of viewpoint so early in the novel risks losing the reader, which would be a pity. It seems to me that the novel would flow better if it was told just from Samasin's point of view. Three and a half stars.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars A slow paced novel in pre-historic times October 8, 2012
Format:Kindle Edition
This novel is set in 2138 BCE and events take place in Sumeria (Mesapatomia) and Meluhha (the Indus valley). It is a story of adventure, mystery, intrigue, love, opium trade and a bit of suspense. The main character is Samasin, a young Sumerian, and the story unfolds as he travels from Sumeria to Meluhha across the ocean and then back to Sumer.

At first, I was excited to read an English novel written by an Indian which has a Sumerian young man as the main protagonist and the story being set in pre-historic times. I hoped that the novel would not only be an absorbing story but there would also be research based authentic material that would throw interesting insights into the lives and societies of the Sumerians and the Meluhhans. The early part of the novel is interesting enough with a murder right in the beginning and then the young Samasin being falsely implicated in the murder and sentenced to death. As it turns out, Samasin receives a fortuitous reprieve from death and flees across the ocean to Meluhha with the real culprits hot on his trail. The novel grabbed my interest and imagination till Samasin lands in Meluhha. However, after that, I felt that the narrative sagged and I had to force myself to stay interested because the events lacked the required punch. The story shows some signs of promise again when Samasin meets the Meluhhan, Siwa Siqra, and tells him his side of the story about the murder in Sumer. Unfortunately, the promise was not realized as the story is told at a tepid pace for the remainder of the book. So, all in all, I was disappointed with the novel in spite of my avid interest in a novel set in these times. Though the plot has promise and potential, I felt that the narrative failed to develop it in a gripping manner.
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4.0 out of 5 stars Intriguing Historical Adventure October 22, 2013
Format:Kindle Edition
Set in the Bronze Age, this story takes place in Mesopotamia and the Indus Valley. I think it is quite a unique book as I have never read another with a similar setting. Starting off, this already attracts a reader as it is not run of the mill and recycled information.
Samasin is a young boy, who is quite calmly living his life, day after day of routine stretching into the distance, when one morning something happens to change all of that.
Murder is a heavy charge and Samasin doesn't see an easy way out, but that was before an amazing event in the heavens took place.
On a search to find the person belonging to the name the murdered man whispered with his last breath, Samasin makes his way on a treacherous and exciting adventure to Meluhha. With Ann, a woman he met on his journey, Samasin does not only find love but he also finds a special tablet that leads to more escapades, danger and excitement than he could have ever imagined.
Gone is the stable boy, Samasin must learn how to be a man in an involved game with many facets.
This intriguing book is not only an adventure for Samasin, but also for the reader who is drawn into an ancient world that is vividly brought to life through carefully researched facts and colourful descriptions.
I love historical fiction books and will be looking out for more from this author!
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3.0 out of 5 stars Wonderful History! October 21, 2013
Format:Kindle Edition
Trade Winds to Meluhha is a wonderful story. The amount of detail that has gone into bringing this story to life is amazing. There is no question the love and care Davé put into his work. The research alone must have been exhausting! The settings are vivid and the characters are well drawn. There are times when the plot keeps you on the edge of your seat! There are some slow points, but push on through it's definitely worth finishing.

This is what I think readers won't like, and it pains me to say because I have no doubt in my mind that Vasant Davé's intelligence far exceeds mine. I speak one language, marginally at times, yet I'm sure that Vasant speaks several and for that I am in awe of his ability. However, I feel the novel is lacking from and American English standpoint and creates a stiffness to the narrative.

All in all a wonderful story, one that I would like my older children to read as I feel it has some historical as well as entertainment value!

What does Momma Think?

Momma gives Trade winds to Meluhha by Vasant Davé 3 cookies!
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
3.0 out of 5 stars Travel thru time...
** I received this book for free, in exchange for an honest review **

Samasin is a stable boy working for a wealthy Babylonia man. Read more
Published 20 months ago by Amy Garnet
3.0 out of 5 stars A different approach
From the start of the novel the hook is a murder, after which events take you travelling through modern-day Iraq to Pakistan via Oman/Bahrain. Read more
Published 23 months ago by Cate's Book Nut Hut
3.0 out of 5 stars Successful marriage between non-fiction and fiction
Trade Winds to Meluhha is a rare work of prehistoric fiction, written by a man who has a deep interest in the Indus Valley, Mesopotamian and other prehistoric civilisations. Read more
Published on April 3, 2013 by Papyrus Reviews
4.0 out of 5 stars Great research
Author has done a lot of research about ancient civilizations and tried to put up a very believable picture of ancient Mehluha
Published on November 22, 2012 by Tathagata Dasmajumder
4.0 out of 5 stars Love adventure? You'll love this!
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. Read more
Published on August 26, 2012 by Simone Lilly-Egerter
4.0 out of 5 stars Historical adventure
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... Read more
Published on June 24, 2012 by Olga J.
5.0 out of 5 stars Tense Action, Mighty Adventure
TRADE WINDS TO MELUHHA by Vasant Davé is a coming of age novel filled with action and adventure, a love story set in prehistoric times. Read more
Published on May 28, 2012 by Saved
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More 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.

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