The Meluhhan Oracle by I.J. Roy

The Meluhhan Oracle

Reviewed by Teri Davis

The words of a storyteller can magically weave images of places far away and times long past. However, the people in these tales are memorable while still being realistically human with their personal errors in judgments, selfishness, and risk taking. These stories, even adult ones as in this novel, still reveal life lessons while revealing the people and everyday life of the culture.

The Meluhhan Oracle is the creation of author I. J. Roy who envisions the world of long ago in the lands between Sumer and Meluhha which is now known as the Indus Valley Civilization currently recognized as Northwest India and Pakistan. He utilized information from archeological finds to construct this tale.

Each chapter builds upon the characters and consequences of the previous ones, all revolving around a few central figures as their quests filled with learning experiences and adventures. These characters believe in their fates, each one fulfilling their personal destiny and purpose in life. The mastery of interweaving of the characters throughout the entire novel is phenomenal.

The first character is a woman who has light hair and light skin making her different from her family and others. An albino is usually not safe and is endangered in any species. Zayaa fortunately survives and has a daughter, Tiraa. When her daughter draws the attraction of the Chief High Priest, Zayaa knows that her family now has to make a crucial decision. By being proclaimed by the gods, The-Dreamer-of-Truths-Yet-to-Come, she knows that she is The Meluhhan Oracle. How can she be saved from her destiny? Who decides your fate?

The second involves a man who dreams of being a trader while in search of the White Gods of the Great Northern White Mountains. He possesses a knowledge of people, problem solving and uncommonly common sense which breaks through the barrier of being an outsider. He seems to magically penetrate communities that need to be inclusive for their survival. However, there is always a price to pay and risks.

Even with evidence of active trading in these areas, the residents of the numerous cities were distrustful of outsiders and besides having their own languages, oftentimes also had mannerisms and customs unique to that individual community. Building trust and close friendships is integral for the success of each character.

Finally the last is a servant to the second, caring for the sick man through his death. He is burdened with not listening attentively for the one thing that he needs.

The Meluhhan Oracle is an adult novel. The intended audience needs to be adults due to the imagery of the tortures and sexual content.

These vignettes which comprise this novel resemble the tales of past cultures that have passed through generations but are actually the fiction created by I. J. Roy.

The Meluhhan Oracle is a treasure of stories revealing small snapshots of the past about people who have lived in an area with a rich heritage and numerous conflicts endured throughout time from a masterful storyteller, I. J. Roy.

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