However, I am in no position to blame this on the book itself. There was a small confusion with regards to the content of the same. You see, turns out, that though I do like my dose of mythology, and history, I need my facts presented to me in the form of fiction. Or rather, a story. Apparently, facts presented to me as themselves, make the whole effort of reading a wee tedious for me. In short, I am not the right audience for this otherwise well written book.
That being said, I did read it. The book deals with the myths and legends related to Shiva, the more well known stories that we are told as kids, the stories that we never heard of, and the various cultures and their representation of the mighty Shiva. The 7 secrets that are explained in the book deal with 5 of the most prominent names with which Lord Shiva is hailed; Lingeshwara, or the Shiva Ling , the form in which we all worship Shiva, Bhairava, Shankara, Bholenath and Nataraja. The remaining two chapters are about his two sons, the much loved Ganesha, and Murugan.
The information that each Chapter gives us is abundant, and well researched. I particularly liked how, though the representation of The Lord differed in each form, and for each culture, it eventually represented the same truth. The illustrations on every second pages, are rare pictures of Paintings and sculptures, which enable us to understand the view points even better. Each illustration is labelled, explaining its significance. For me, these pictures and their explanations were the best bit.
The book also tends to stagger a bit into spirituality, but then, we are dealing with God here. Through the various stories, pictures, forms depicted, the author eventually tries to convey what life is all about. However, while dealing with topics like immortality, soul etc, I did tend to get a bit lost, and once again I would blame it on the genre and the fact that it was I who was reading this. Apart from the pictures, I also liked the stories that made an appearance throughout the book, making it interesting for a person like me, who like I said, thrives on stories.
I would not go beyond this to give my opinions. The language is easy to read and follow, and hence it possible for anyone to pick it up for a read. However, if you were to ask me if I would venture into this genre again, probably not. But for someone who likes factual books, with a mythological bent, this is a must read, and perhaps even the other books in the same set. For me, I think I have had my dosage of spirituality for now!