The Gurkha and the Lord of Tuesday is a book you can immediately sink your teeth into. It starts in a melting mountain peak. The djinn king, Melek Ahmar, slowly blinks to life in a tired withered state as he tries to figure out how long he’s been asleep. His brash and arrogant voice is made humorous by how little he actually knows about his environment.
The story is told from two perspectives. His and the “sheriff” of Kathmandu, Hamilcar Pande when the Gurkha and the Lord of Tuesday wander into his town. Pande is a more earnest character who’s rather content in the world he lives in. He doesn’t have much to do since serious crime isn’t really an issue for the city. He has the authority to work as Karma’s feet on the ground.
The story is the two circling each other. The former causing chaos while the other investigates them. We meet a whole cast of interesting characters throughout the story.
Layered on top of this is a science fiction story. The setting is a distant future ruled by micro-climates and human augmentation which does away with sickness and injury. We see conflict between magic and technology. The book also shows a world of what would happen when placed in what looks like a utopia. People are assigned value based on their good deeds. And even the zeroes in this society want for nothing. I found this world fascinating especially as it goes into what can make people happy there and is it possible to live in true contentment.
But even though the book touches these themes, it’s never weighed down by them. The story is about power, vengeance, and accountability. Despite all that, it still keeps i light and fun and that’s by the strength of its characters.
It’s also a quick read. No more than 170 pages and it goes by so fast. It you’re the least bit curious, you should pick it up.