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Posted by on December 13, 2013

Today we’re excited to bring to you the cover reveal for the fantasy novel,  The Underworld King by Ranjit More. While this is an adult fantasy, it is appropriate for YA readers.

Book Description:
60,000
miles below the surface of the earth thrives a kingdom inhabited by daityas – giant,
fanged beings of the night who sometimes travel to the surface above and eat
humans in the hearts of grim forests. Their four-armed king, Drumila, faces a
new peril, and this time it is advancing upon him not from the heavens, where his
eternal enemies reside, but from the darkest depths of creation. The naagas –giant,
flame-breathing serpents– are traveling towards the capital of daityas, intent
upon reducing them to ashes, and Drumila must do everything in his power to
thwart them. For no matter how strongly he detests his subjects’ lifestyle and
nature, it is his duty to protect them as king.

 Moved by Drumila’s plight, the powerful sage,
Shukracharya, swims down into the underworld upon the back of his giant
crocodile and convinces his disciple-king to migrate to the surface of the
earth.

What
follows is an epic exodus to the world above and a strange encounter with a beautiful
girl thereupon. Nandini seems to be human, but all signs point towards her having
descended from the heavens, the least of which are a delicate waist and long
eyes extending up to her ears. But is this a trick of the gods? Drumila will
find out soon enough, when the battle begins.
THE
UNDERWORLD KING is the tale of the emperor of Paataal, the Hindu underworld,
and the goddess of Svarg, the Hindu heaven, and their quest for endless power, lust
and each other’s destruction.

Here’s an excerpt for your enjoyment:

A sage called Shukracharya emerged from the limpid waters of a lake upon
the back of a giant, green crocodile. Swiftly had they shot through the
reservoir, the sage and the crocodile, like a divine shaft released by
Shambhu[1] from the underworld, and had arrived on the banks of the
lake, which lay within a myterious island. Yet, it was early, as far as
their fixed arrivals at the secret site were concerned, for the
sun-globe was still visible in the sky and had yet to redden the earthly
firmament.
Churning the life
airs[2] within his body, Shukracharya heated the surface of his skin and
dried off the water running over it. Then he got down from the
crocodile upon the golden sands of the bank and surveyed the forest
around him. 

A
thousand times over had he seen these woods, which were the residence
of his beloved deity, Nataraj, Who produced blazing fires from His third
eye and scorched the cosmos until it became devoid of life and matter.
Fanning those flames with His destructive dance, Nataraj then destroyed
the twelve worlds and their denizens at the end of every divine
millenium, and created the worlds anew.

A
thrill ran across Shukracharya’s body as he recalled his Lord’s
destructive activities, which, although terrific and frightening to most
living beings, were necessary for the balance of nature. It produced in
him a great desire to see the white Lord immediately, but alas, it was
not possible. There were rules to be followed, regulations to be
observed, in the divine jungle of Shiva-Shankara. Shukracharya
controlled the urge, and turned the other way, for Nataraj didn’t expect
his services for one and a half muhurt[3] yet. 

Of course, idols normally didn’t expect
anything, seeing as how they were made of gold, stone, wood or jewels
(Shukra’s idol was made of jewels) but this particular statue managed to
express such things nevertheless, and more. Shukra believed it was due
to the divine mystic power of the forest-island than any miraculous
result of his own devotion, but he was glad about it either way. Only,
whenever Damstra, the crocodile, accompanied him to His sacred grove,
did the deity remain lifeless. Otherwise He talked and laughed with
Shukra in the most astonishing way.

Since
he had time to spend, Shukracharya looked in the direction of south,
where he hoped to find something that would occupy him. As though in
response, a cool breeze imbrued with many sweet fragrances blew from the
direction, beckoning him. 

‘I
can smell the scent of the champaka flower in there somewhere,’ he
thought, as the fragrances passed him by. ‘And even a hint of bilva!’
Both trees were exceedingly dear to Nataraja; with their flowers and
leaves finding extensive use in His worship.
 ‘If not, he thought, at least I’ll get some fresh flowers to tuck in my hair.’
Like
most divine sages, Shukracharya had matted hair upon his head, tied in a
manner that resembled a large beehive. Due to swimming so rapidly
through the waters of the lake, all the flowers and leaves had washed
away from it.

Shukracharya turned to his crocodile. “Damstra,” he said, “stay here.” 

The
crocodile nodded his heavy, green head but Shukra continued to look
upon him. “Last time I saw you, you were holding one of the reptiles
from the forest in your mouth.” He narrowed his eyes. “It looked like
you were about to swallow the poor creature. May I ask why? At the time I
had some important matter pressing on my mind, and I didn’t say
anything to you. But now that I remember, I demand to know the meaning
of such behavior.” 

The
giant crocodile tossed his scaly head as though shaking it in denial.
“I never was going to eat it, maharaj[4],” he said in a heavy voice,
looking grumpily at the spot where this event had occurred. “But the
crocodiles took me to be an ordinary reptile like themselves and came to
challenge me. I had to expand my body and display my strength. Would
you rather me sit still and do nothing? Your mount?”

“Of
course not,” Shukra said at once. “You must defend yourself and your
self-respect at all times… I only ask that you don’t kill anything here,
on this sacred island.”

“Of course, maharaj,” Damstra said. “I won’t.”

“Very well. Rest awhile.”

Damstra then nodded and began to lumber away lazily on his four, bent legs.

Shukracharya
gripped his golden stick firmly and began to walk towards the southern
forest, treading upon fine gravel in his wooden sandals. He passed
palash trees laden with startling red flowers and groves of kadamb
trees, which lent a sweet fragrance to the air, and caused fat
bumblebees to buzz lazily around his matted hair.

He must’ve walked for a long time,
because when he turned back, the lake, the crocodile and the forest had
disappeared from view. As he looked around he only saw tiny shrubs and
standing plants growing in large clusters here and there. It was a most
wonderful thing. 

Where trees had been at least a
yojan[5] tall near the lake, now appeared to be of the mere size of his
thumb… If he wanted, Shukra could’ve uprooted a tree with his two
fingers by exerting only a bit of force, but he restrained himself. 

‘What strange wonder is this?’ he thought. ‘Everything is so small!’

Shukra
looked closer and was astonished even further. Verily, surrounding him
on all sides, were hills and mountains…growing to the height of his
waist!

He could have sat upon them like a throne, or beat them to crumbling rocks with his stick.
There was no mistaking it. 

Shukracharya had entered the dimension of the humans. 


The Underworld King is now available for purchase for only .99 cents for a limited time! (Regular price: $3.99)
Find the author:
Giveaway:
The author is generously giving away a $25 Amazon Gift Card to one lucky person!
(INT)

a Rafflecopter giveaway

This cover reveal was organized and put together by CBB Book Promotions.

 

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