Read Trade Winds To Meluhha by Vasant Davé Online


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 sSamasin, 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....

Title : Trade Winds To Meluhha
Author :
Rating :
ISBN : 9788192250601
Format Type : ebook
Number of Pages : 246 Pages
Status : Available For Download
Last checked : 21 Minutes ago!

Trade Winds To Meluhha Reviews

  • Margitte
    2019-02-12 10:40

    TRADEWINDS TO MELUHHA - Vasant DavéThis is not a historical novel. This is almost a Pre-historical tale! It is a discovery of exotic and beautiful places reintroduced to us by the diligent work of archaeologists and writers such as Avant Davé.The novel is set in the year 2138 BCE and plays out in Mesopotamia and the Indus Valley civilizations of the Bronze age. The initial tone of the book created the impression of a wise old grandfather gathering his grandchildren around him and start telling them an adventurous tale, in a sing-song voice, beginning with: "Once upon a time, there was a young man named Samasin....." - that is as far as my own imagination went.We will meet the protagonist, Samasin (also nicknamed Sam, or Samastin - in Meluhha he will be called Hamastin). He was an orphaned herd-boy who assisted the priest-physician taking care of animals. But Sam witnessed a murder and he got framed, but instinct lead him to discover a lot more about himself than he knew. Our hero will endure incredible odds such as addressing an angry bull, being saved by both an eclipse of the sun- and the moon in in May, 2138 BC. The priest-physician would declare to an angry crowd that:"The animal's behaviour is driven by heavenly forces," signalling the guards to take charge of the beast. "It's apparently responding to the angry sentiments of Sîn, the Moon God. Just look up in the sky. See how red in the face He is."Then the law also was on Samasin's side: "The law says,'If an accused who is sentenced to be thrown into a river doesn't drown, then the accuser should be put to death and his house be given to the accused'.""He has faced the wild bull for the required time. Therefore he has fully served his sentence according to the law which says 'If the condemned is thrown into the river as a punishment, and he escapes unhurt, the river proves he is not guilty'." Samasin had to flee and in the ensuing years he will also come off age. He fought killer snakes, leopards, water buffalo, and vindictive murderous bandits. He quickly learnt that "Health and wealth forsake a timid man". He takes us on a journey through ancient lands that was already in existence 9000 years BC and had other names. The story plays out in the period 2000 BC in those already ancient civilizations. We get to know the busy ports, markets, people of places such as Babylon - known in Arabic as Babil; in the ancient Akkadian language as Babili(an ancient Akkadian city). There are places such as: Dilmun – Present day Bahrain; Lagas (Lagash) - now Tell al-Hiba in Iraq; Magan – present day Oman; Urim or Ur - now Tell al-Muqqayar in Iraq, Harappa - now Punjab, Pakistan.We would get excited by the products being traded such as gold, silver, exotic gemstones like blue lapiz lazuli, the orange-red carnelian, ivory seals, boxes, timber, bronze fish hooks, copper, tin, live chickens, shell and bone inlays, even water buffalo. Samasin fought dangerous animals, fooled his attackers and saved lives, however, "he found himself lacking in handling matters of the heart". He fell in love, but handled it completely wrong where after the young woman, for whom he is willing to pluck the stars, picked up a clay pot and poured all its contents over his head. "Slip them on your wrists!" she cried, crashing the empty clay pot on the floor. "All Sumérians are the same. Jackals!" She will call him afterwards a "dumbaroo." Poor Samasin, he had to make a very difficult choice in which "the reward is imaginary whereas the loss is certain."On our way we would meet the other characters in this murder mystery. Nergal - the 'godfather' of all things evil: mean, egocentric, rich, cunning, dangerous, liar with en entourage of gang members such as 'the real Demon of Gangevell', Biggie - nickname for Zibigi, Qwoco - thief, sailor, and agent Jittan of Chendur Village. They sold everything nasty which could make money, including innocent girls to the 'flesh' traders. Some of them had difficulty in getting their instructions right and will have to endure insults such as this: "Just follow what I tell you. Don't start applying the muck which fills your bin-head!"Nergal would con many people out of many things. It leads to Siwa calling out in despair:"Oh Nergal! You lied to me – may God give your next birth in a country where the ass is the king, the jackal is his prime minister, and the rat his treasurer."We meet strong women like Anlil, Villi, Ella, mothers, aunts and grandmothers who do not suffer fools gladly, which come as a delightful surprise. These ladies use weapons such as sharpened-bone hairpins against unwelcome attention, slingshots to injure voyeurs at the river and rosary peas as poison!Because of the different language spoken through the region, we will learn that words such as 'Sindhu' in Babili(Babylon) will be pronounced 'Hindhu' and 'Saqra' as 'Haqra' in the Meluhhian language.Beginning to read this book was like being confronted with a world I did not recognize at all and it was a major shock! Looking at the map included, I was dumbfounded. Was it really on the same planet we call home? I realized right in the starting blocks that I had some geography lessons waiting and it had to happen, as in....IMMEDIATELY! Not only that, I also had to position the ancient names on a modern map to make sense. Vasant Davé says in his explanatory noted: "The map shows that Samasin, the hero of 'Trade winds to Meluhha' started his voyage from Babylon (Fictional Bābili) and via Bahrain, reached Lothal (Fictional Lothalur). Then he traveled to Mohenjo-daro. On his return journey, he reached home via Oman. All places shown in the map are archaeological sites where artifacts of 3rd millennium B.C. have been found."The murder mystery is full of surprising twists and turns, lots of excitement. The plot is well-constructed. In addition to that the cultural aspects are an exciting discovery and blended well into the narrative. However, I had difficulty in getting into the novel, the map was confusing, since it only contained the ancient names, and although I really enjoyed the book, it seriously lacked editorial polish. For instance, certain events were not finished in the book, leaving the reader bewildered. The emotions were described, not suggested in the prose, which seriously prevented the book from becoming an even more enjoyable read. For that it loses a star.But overall, I really enjoyed the book tremendously!!! I was sad to see them all go. They became like my own family.

  • Susan Anderson
    2019-02-13 09:41

    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. It is a story not just of love and adventure, but also about murder and evil. It is about the abuse of society's weakest in order to further the ends of the wealthiest--and to be more specific would spoil the surprise at the end of the novel.The book is filled with characters that flee, fight, love, and narrowly escape death; and although their names may at first sound strange to our ears, we identify with them, largely because the author cares so much about them. He has created living, breathing, flesh and blood men and women who yearn for a better life. We walk with them on prehistoric ground recreated not just from the author's imagination, but from scholarly research.It is 2138 B.C., the Bronze Age, Sumeria (roughly, present-day Iraq). Samasin, the main character and stableboy to a wealthy Babylonian, is accused of murder. Taken into custody, he escapes a death sentence due to unique astronomical events which are actually recorded in clay tablets discovered in Babylon. He goes in search of Siwa Saqra, the name that the victim uttered before dying. He travels from Mesopotamia to Meluhha, thought by most scholars to be the ancient name for the Indus valley. During the voyage, he meets beauties, wrestles with pythons, saves damsels in distress, saves a pangolin from a cobra (one of my favorite scenes),and persists until he finds Siwa Saqra. He returns to Sumeria to initiate proceedings against the antagonist, where the reader learns the ugly truth behind the murder and the nature of the trafficking between Mesopotamia and Meluhha.I loved reading this book. Throughout I wondered whether Samasin would succeed. Does good triumph over evil? I recommend TRADE WINDS TO MELUHHA to all readers seeking a mighty adventure.

  • Palak Mathur
    2019-01-28 07:33

    #Cross-posted from my blog .Finally, I have the opportunity to read this novel, which has been long pending, due to one reason or the other and more of my laziness. Since it was an e-book and I do not have any e-book reader that I can carry around, I was not able to concentrate on the novel while reading on my computer. Finally, last week my wife gifted me a smartphone; I quickly decided to read all the pending e-books, and the first to hit the ball was Trade Winds to Meluhha by Vasant Dave. Trade Winds to Meluhha has been set in 3rd millennium BC, the same time when Indus Valley Civilization or Harappa Civilization flourished in the region extending from Manda in North to Narmada estuary (Daimabad) in South, from Suktagendor (Baluchistan) in the West to Meerut (Alamgirpur in the East. The novel is set in IVC, Babylon, and Bahrain and most of the scenes are set in IVC and Babylon (Babili in novel). The story is about a young man Samasin, a Sumeru (present Iran was known as Sumer), who witnesses a muder and is later charged for that murder. Story revolves around how he had a narrow escape from death and how he travels from Babili (Babylon), via Bahrain (Dilmun), reached Lothal (Lothalur), and traverses most of the IVC (Meluhha) region in search of a man known as Siwa Saqra to give him the last message from the man whose murder he had witnessed. The story talks about his heroics and romance in Meluhha and Babili. The author has done justice to the prehistoric setting and has taken ample care to use archaeological evidence available for that time while using them in his novel. At the sametime he has taken creative freedom to derive a story that matches the chord with the readers. The Archaeological evidence suggests that there were trade relations between IVC and Mesopotamia as many seals of IVC have been discovered from Mesopotomian sites. Also, the Mesopotamian records from about the same period in which the novel has been set refer to trade relations with “Meluhha”, which is the ancient name of Indus region. The text also speaks about two intermediate trading stations called Dilmun and Makan identified with Bahrain in the Persian Gulf and Makran Coast or Oman respectively. And the author has used these linkages to establish a trading relationship in his novel as well as the title of the novel itself suggests. It is always difficult to write a historical novel and given to understand that there are many novels based on history especially Indian history available in the market, this novel stands out from the lot. It has been well researched and does justice to the archaeological evidence available in IVC and other cultures of the same period and literary evidence available from Mesopotamia. Written in a lucid style, novel never seems to lose its continuity – the very reason I completed the e-book on my mobile in a week’s time. There were some spelling mistakes and typographical errors, which I think, can be ignored given the quality of story line produced by one of the creative thinkers. I wish to see more of similar creativity by Vasant Dave and would like to read the sequel to the novel that he has promised at the end of the novel.My rating 5/5. Believe me, it will keep you engaged!  History will never be as interesting as it is presented in this novel.

  • Tina
    2019-01-28 09:36

    Don’t be confused Trade Winds to Meluhha is not all history but has a good story line intertwined with history.THE PLOTSet in the Bronze Age Trade Winds to Meluhha (TWTM) takes us to the life and adventures of a young teenage stable boy Samasin from Babili (Babylon). Samasin unfortunately finds himself at a murder spot and is assumed to be the murderer of a foreign trader. He escapes his imprisonment and the impending death and flees to Meluhha in search of Siwa Saqra – the last words he had heard from the slain trader. During his journey to Meluhha he comes across the beautiful Velli and falls in love with her. But she has other plans. Samasin learns about the ten glyphs and deciphers them with the help of Ann – a Mesopotamian woman. It leads him to the Saraswathi. Upon meeting Siwa Saqra he is faced with the truth behind all murders and conspiracies and they figure out the real situation of trade between Meluhha & Mesopotamia.MY THOUGHTS Good things first.The book is a result of extensive historical and empirical studies. It’s evident from the meticulous details and Mr. Davé has done a commendable job on that front. Writing historical fiction with keeping things so close to the facts is not easy and I appreciate the author for the same.Characterization is strong and as you read you understand the evolution of the characters. The young naïve stable boy turns to this hardened man through his adventures and experience. Similarly I like how he describes the worried yet strong Velli.What I felt could have been betterThe narrative could have been much closely knit. Some times at the peak of a tension new characters are introduced and we get involved with the descriptions and sea voyages leaving the high moment behind and never coming back to the same. This specially sets me back when I read about murder.For me it was a slow read and I lost the momentum in many places.However, I liked the fact that all the characters were indexed properly in the e-book. Otherwise it would have been very difficult to remember the names of such a huge star cast. And ohh boy what names – the Meluhhans & Babilis have real difficult names. Siwa Saqra, Negral, Biggie, Kayl, Qwoco, Tall Yali and some more - You might need another extra tongue to pronounce them (and I might have lost some teeth) – [pun intended]. I also didn’t understand why Meluhha is spelt with a double H. Single was okay I guess.Infact, I need to admit I was also reading the Meluha story side by side – The Immortals of Meluha – I meant. And many be if I compare to that this was slow paced.Nonetheless it’s a good job that the author has done and is a good adventure read.

  • Tushar Gargava
    2019-01-25 10:24

    Trade Winds to Meluhha is a book capable of letting a mind wander to create possibilities unknown before. It refines the way one understands and perceives History and also tickles the part of the brain responsible for learning the same. I've always had trouble falling in coherence with History, but now I think I'm encouraged enough to try again! Mr Vasant Dave is an ambitious and an extraordinary researcher. His book shows that in the extreme. It's laden with knowledge and wisdom in excess and never fails to keep one's attention fixed. There is one trait that Vasantji possesses that I think let me down a little- Patience.The novel could have gotten a wide berth for finding home in the reader's heart if it'd been split in two. There are so many events that had to be rushed over in a hurry, majority of which were related to the theme in more than just a metaphorical sense. The dialogues exchanged between the characters are incomprehensible sometimes because they fail to trigger the reference they are pointing to, and this could have been avoided only if Vasantji would have let the story evolve naturally. The setting of the story is woven beautifully and there is no path left undiscovered by Vasantji. It does get frustrating when one gets past half of the book, and still doesn't understand the majority of plot secrets but Vasantji takes good measures to cover them all by the ending. The novel is a fine tuned artwork that deserves accolades and more than one read. There are many hidden meanings behind the plot-line that need to be observes closely, and while I've read it once now, I'm excited about the announced sequel! I believe the matured personality of Vasantji will make it an even more incredible read!

  • Cynthia Haggard
    2019-01-20 09:25

    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.

  • Simone
    2019-01-27 10:26

    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.

  • Raghu
    2019-01-30 09:29

    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. Also, apart from Samasin, the rest of the characters failed to engage my imagination and interest.There are a number of other issues as well that I felt were the reasons for my negative reaction to the novel.1. The language in the book reminded me much of the text-book style English that I am used to in my high school days in India. The 'adventures of Samasin' felt much like reading about the 'adventures of Jim Hawkins' in the Treasure Island.2. Though I am a Tamil myself, I had a problem accepting the premise that Tamil was the language used by Meluhhans. Elsewhere, the author contrasts his novel with recent other novels set in Meluhha. One of his contentions is that this novel has more historical validity than the other ones. I am no expert on the Indus valley civilization, but I believe that the Indus script has not been accepted as a pre-Tamil script by experts.Dr.I. Mahadevan, a Tamil himself, who is an authority on the subject, says the following:"The Indus script is a logographic script, which means that each sign stands for a whole word or a whole syllable. The Tamil script, which is an offshoot of the Brahmi script, is a quasi-alphabetical script, where each symbol stands for a vowel or a consonant or a consonant combined with vowels. The principles of studying these two languages is completely different. Plus the Indus script is undeciphered. In the case of the early Tamil script we have the example of Brahmi, which is almost identical except for change in some syllables.I think any direct relationship between the Indus Valley and the deep Dravidian south is unlikely because of the vast gap in space and time. Something like 2,000 years and 2,000 miles. But linguistically, if the Indus script is deciphered, we may hopefully find that the proto-Dravidian roots of the Harappan language and South Indian Dravidian languages are similar. This is a hypothesis. "I am sure the author would know all this but I would be interested to know why he chose to imply that the Meluhhans were Tamil-speaking.The other problem with the language was the more modern day usage of words like 'bullshit' or other forms of classical expressions like 'Thou hast caused misphortune phor everybody here." It just does not sound right in the setting of the novel. Even the Tamil expression 'Vidhiyai Madhiyal Vellalam' ("Fate can be defeated by knowledge") that is used by Samasin, is a Tamil proverb that dates a good 3000 years after 2138 BCE. Such anamolies stand up glaringly in a novel set in pre-historic times.The author has gone to extensive lengths with a couple of supporting documents - 'Novelizing the ancient Indus valley' and 'How I wrote a pre-historic novel'. Though one appreciates the effort involved in writing these documents, in my humble view, a novel must primarily stand on its own. Whatever the author has to say, is already said in the novel. There should be no further need elsewhere to elaborate or clarify.Though I didn't enjoy this particular work, the author deserves kudos for a great effort on his first novel. I wish him well in his further work.

  • Crestless Wave
    2019-02-14 07:43

    #Cross Post from my BlogDue to many reasons, for a while I have taken a break from reading, and now after almost a month I got an opportunity to read ‘Trade Winds to Meluhha’ by Mr. Vasant Davé . Mr. Davé is an Engineer by education and has work experience that is more than my age itself! During his work as Industrial Market Researcher, he came closer to ancient pas of Indian subcontinent and led him to write a historical novel on Mesopotamian and Sumerian civilization. ‘Trade Winds to Meluhha’ is set in Bronze Age Mesopotamia, 2138 BC. I received e-book for review purpose and since I bought a tablet now, it was quite easy to read. Well designed navigation and excellently linked hypertext helped a lot. Since it was an e-book, I read synopsis on Goodreads. Coming to review, let us find out what Mr. Davé has to offer us.The protagonist is a young Sumerian boy, Samasin, who is accused of murder and been sentenced to death In his quiet life suddenly everything changes and without his knowledge, he gets involved in a voyage of events that is full of twists and turns. Story runs on several sub-plots that made the narration a bit slower, like any other historical novel. It really helps in absorbing story completely. However, with a vivid cast of character, often it’s hard to keep track of all of them.Language of ‘Trade Winds to Meluhha’ is quite like a text book, plain and sometimes lacking the emotion. I have read quite a lot historical novels and none of them actually compromise the narration and engagement of the reader at cost of ‘being authentic’. Book comes with a map and detailed cast of characters, including a glossary to Tamil and Sumerian words with their meanings. I must say Mr. Davé intelligently chose to provide annexure for readers ease, but after a while degree of ease turned into a exercise, because with so many native words I have to flip back and forth for their meaning. It adds a lot of authenticity to the narration and shows the intensive research of the author, but it also creates an unnecessary break in reading flow. As a result, book failed to provide a gripping narration.The protagonist Samasin is developed really well and intrigues the imagination, while other characters are just not so connected. They play their part, but failed to make you remember them. Initially, I blamed my imagination, but chapter after chapter I found them interrupting the story by a fair margin. However, Mr. Davé has interwoven the historical facts into the story very well that one doesn't need to bother much about the authenticity. I don’t have much knowledge about Sumerian or Mesopotamian Culture, but somewhere inside it was hard to gulp the fact that Meluhhan were Tamil-Speaking, I truly need to reconfirm it from experts of the subject.To conclude my Review; I would say, it takes a lot of guts to write a pre-historic novel and Mr. Davé deserves an appreciation for his hard work for the book. His research is intensive and detailed to minute levels. His narrative language is not awkward but feels flat most of the times, and as a result book failed to provide an engaging reading experience. With a potential plot and impressive story, book could have been far better. I am little disappointed with Mr. Davé’s first effort, but I am sure his next work(s) will not disappoint at all. I wish him a very best of luck for further work and hope to see a new book soon.

  • Cate
    2019-01-29 14:26

    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. This novel just oozes the amount of time spent in research and presents a thoughtful approach to the lives and times mentioned. Information about everything from the sealed clay tablets used for communication, the description about the bead manufacturing process are authentic and, educate us about the different tools and crafts widely used at the time.The characters, and there is a large cast of characters in this book, are very well written and actually based on research in the time period covered by the novel. But, while being believable, they became a little muted at times. The Sumerian language that they speak has been found in cuneiform script, again an indication of how much research this Author conducted.However, despite the start of the story being very interesting, with readers becoming involved in exploring the new world around them along with what’s happening, the narrative becomes very difficult to follow as it wanders from one city to another and the cast of characters keep changing. In one portion of the novel the Author uses a language which doesn't appear to be authentic to the setting in which it is used.After the promising start that this novel had, it takes a slight turn and commences on what can only be described as a hilly ride. It picks up, and completely gains your interest again, only to drop down a few pages later. All this culminates in an ending which, after reading the rest of the novel, seems a little bit rushed and far too convenient for me, with all loose ends being tied up nicely.In the edition I read there was a chapter “How This Prehistoric Novel Was Written” at the end. I feel this may have been better placed at the beginning of the novel, as its explanation of places, location, and names, with respect to our modern day geography, may help future readers to appreciate the writing more. Also in the Kindle edition, the pages are full of hyperlinks to this information, and I found that to be a little annoying; if I hit one in error to have my page suddenly change to something else.This novel is a mix of fiction and non-fiction, with a definite and obvious lack of vulgarity and violence which I didn't find believable given the time period. It is not a fast paced novel as one would expect in a murder, and it didn't evoke the emotions it could have, given the location and topics covered.I applaud the intensive research the Author did when putting this sweeping novel together and also the way he successfully integrated fiction and non-fiction. However, when it came to the bottom line, unfortunately it didn't deliver for me. I would recommend this to other lovers of the historical genre, so they can read something a little bit different from the usual offerings.Originally reviewed on: work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs 3.0 Unported License.

  • Olga
    2019-01-26 11:24

    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.Read more of my reviews at Bibliophile's Corner

  • Anisha
    2019-02-18 09:18

    I had received the e-book from the author in exchange for an honest opinion. The plot and the setting of the plot intrigued me. So I gave it a shot.Set in 2138 BC the story is about Samasin a stable boy who is on a journey to find the truth behind a gruesome murder of which he was falsely accused. The events that follow, takes place mainly in Sumeria and Meluhha. The book grabbed my attention when the plot introduced the readers to a murder in the early stages. The protagonist is accused of committing the crime when his only folly was, he was present at the time of the murder. As fate would have it, Samasin escapes the death sentence by sheer luck. Samasin flees to Meluhha in order to find Siwa Saqra which was the last words uttered by the person who got murdered. As the plot advances, more characters are introduced and the spotlight from Samasin fades. In between the chapters, the view point changes from Samasin to new characters. I felt the depiction was a tad too descriptive and stretched out. The plot failed to keep up with the initial punch. I kept reading since I was curious to know what would happen to the protagonist, will he find his happy ending, The plot lights up once Samasin meets up with Siwa saqra. The author did a brilliant job concealing the real culprit from the readers almost till the end. For a little while it looked like the somebody else was the root of all evil. Other important characters- Anu the Fair, Velli, Elati, the captain. Even though these characters were mentioned in great detail. I quite didn't feel that there was depth in them except for Samasin. Their back stories lacked empathy. I should say the plot had great potential- a murder, stolen jewellery, love, adventure, flesh and opium trade, justice.The language was crisp & immaculate. However, in some places it felt that there was a lack of emotion. It felt forced. Maybe it was because the author was trying to convey the historical authenticity. Therefore I would call it an assimilation of fiction and non fiction. If the plot was tad better paced , it would have been a more gripping tale. As I mentioned above, the author has tried to juggle between the direction of the plot & the historical accuracy.It's clear that the author has done an extensive research before coming up with this book and that deserves appreciation. I wish the author best of luck for all his future endeavors!

  • Melisende d'Outremer
    2019-02-08 13:19

    I let a few days pass before I wrote my review - then re-read the book again to refresh my thoughts and found myself enjoying this book all over again.I loved the concept of a novel being set in the ancient Indus Valley, long before "civilisation" came to Europe - it is a period I was greatly unfamiliar with (besides the basics taught in school) - so this afforded a welcome opportunity to immerse myself in this period (without all the scholarly research which the author has kindly done for us).The author does take some liberties - as he clearly states - to provide the reader with some clarity and to enhance the storytelling. There is a much welcomed map and cast of characters to assist the reader - which I look forward to with any novel that may lead me slightly out of my comfort zone.The novel follows the adventures of a young man, falsely accused of murder, as he struggles to escape from those who wish him harm. He leaves Babili (ancient Babylon) on a journey that ultimately ends in Meluhha. We are introduced to a number of protagonists who either aid or hamper young Sam, and just when the reader thinks there is some closure, off we are sent on another journey. Like all novels with a number of prominent characters, the chapters end with one and begin with the tale of another - all converging upon the same goal in Babili. Here all loose ends are finally tied up in the last few chapters - and all is revealed.I found the story captivating and the characters (well, our hero and heroines) engaging and the villains suitable odious. The reader was not overly bogged down with too much detail (ie: landscapes, customs, etc) which kept the story flowing.I am looking forward to more stories from this period of time and this region from the author, Vasant Dave, so I do hope there are more adventures to be read.Note: after posting this review, I read the other reviews posted prior to mine (which I didn't read prior to reading and writing as I had no wish to be subconsciously influenced). Obviously, my edition of Trade Winds was a little different, and one can only presume re-edited based upon these comments. All in all, my edition was easy to read and the story flowed.Highly recommended for those looking for something a little different from their historical fiction.

  • Lise Quinn
    2019-01-19 10:27

    I really liked this book. This would be a good young adult or middle school book. The author does a good job if giving you a sense of what it may have been like in Sumer and the surrounding areas at that time. The characters are reasonably developed, but not too in depth. The story line is a nice little mystery with an unexpected twist toward the end. After the book the authors ties in the places and cultures to actual archeology from that area and time. Really a good little book.One can identify with most if not all the characters, or know someone like them. None of the characters are perfect which makes them realistic, believable. And they all have feelings, which makes them relatable. Your main characters are young, not young teen, but the age young teens strive to be, that next age set up. You bring a human-ness to an set of archeological data is dry. This breathes.It is the story that sticks in the memory, the feelings they invoke. Data is hard to memorize, this kind of story puts data into a context that makes it easy to remember to relate to and to put into perspective.People back then are like we are now, they have feelings, conflicts, hopes, dreams, fears, weaknesses. You really don't get that from the physical data and bits about beads and fragmented tablets found in the sand.The author ventured into the laws of those times. Very well done! What a way to taking something as boring as policy and law and make it mean something in context of a person's day to day life.His epilogue explaining the artifacts and archeology and modern to ancient location correspondence make it a great teaching tool. I could probably create a whole month of teaching syllabus ( or more!) just from your book, it is rich in topic of those times, trade, laws, customs, society, technology, languages, really, it is very rich.Or at least this would be the fun way to teach, by story, rather than blind memorization of data.The story has left me wondering what happens next to the characters. all of them! I bet the captain has some wonderful stories to tell, as all sailors do!

  • Qube
    2019-02-14 09:14

    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 civilizations. The knowledge and insight his passion brings is of a different order than research done by popular authors. The difference is discernible.I liked the novel, and found it refreshingly different from recent Indian writing in three aspects:1. The setting (3rd millennium BC) was very different and interesting. It felt genuine.2. The author knew of what he was talking about, and had a deep and obvious interest in world the story was set in.3. The language was good, and the author does not use the ‘vernacular English’ that seems to have come into fashion.I enjoyed the many details of the prehistoric civilisation that fill the pages of the novel. There is a ring of authenticity to it that is difficult to come by. The novel is a mix of fiction and non-fiction. What enjoyed most was the prehistoric setting and the feeling of ‘being there’ comes with. It is clear that the setting is founded in archaeology, and is not a figment of imagination from a single mind.The characters are varied, though a tad muted. They are very believable.I thought that the plot could have been a shade more pacy. The relatively slower pace is partially due to the detail of the prehistoric world that the author provides. I realise that many readers may not like that as much as I did. At times, the language was akin to non-fiction. It didn't evoke the emotion it could have. However, I liked the clean language and the absence of vulgarity and needless violence.All in all, I congratulate the author for successfully marrying non-fiction and fiction. I wish more such people with deep background interest took to writing novels. That would bring much needed variety to our literature.

  • Nicua
    2019-01-25 08:18

    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!

  • Mommasaysread
    2019-02-16 07:42

    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!

  • Puja
    2019-02-11 15:39

    From the outset, the one aspect that I found most striking about this novel while reading it was that it was a well researched work. The author has taken the backdrop of a prehistoric setting and used the archaeological evidence available whilst donning a creative cap to paint a story that keeps the reader intrigued. In 1977, an explorer -Thor Heyerdahl undertook a voyage in reed-boat named 'Tigris'. He sailed from Iraq (Mesopotamia) via Oman (Magan) to Pakistan (Indus Valley). The author has started from this point of fact and has worked towards a plot that is fiction. I did not pay attention to the minute technical details since I feel that once you start getting absorbed in the story, these things tend to take a background. Read complete review at:

  • Amy
    2019-02-03 08:21

    ** I received this book for free, in exchange for an honest review **Samasin is a stable boy working for a wealthy Babylonia man. While in town he is accused of murder and sentenced to death. However the stars/fate have a different course for his life. This book follows Sam thru the lush lands of Mesopotamia and Meluhha. The characters were all well written and interesting. I loved how they had their own voice, just like people. No two were alike and I loved all the details to history. It showed just how much research Mr. Dave did for this book. Most of the time I felt like I was in the scene and trying to imagine my surroundings. The plot has it's ups and downs, just like life does. Sam's life is no different. He has love, he has action and adventure. This book has it all.

  • Jennifer Kruschke
    2019-01-24 10:19

    I had the good fortune of reading this story and assisting in some proofreading. I must say I highly enjoyed it! The author clearly did a lot of research about the ancient culture in which the story takes place. The characters, especially the main protagonist Sam, are all very interesting and fun to follow. The story is exciting and keeps you intrigued. I loved the use of multiple narrators, and was always anxious for the next chapter! -Jenny