What comes to mind when you think of the spy thriller genre? Tom Cruise, no doubt, and the Mission Impossible franchise. For a select few, it’s Netflix’s Enola Holmes and her adventures. But Millie Bobby Brown is no spy. A better example would be Priyanka Chopra’s Alex Parrish from the hit show Quantico. But there’s no denying that James Bond will always be at the back of our minds.
Agent 007 has seemingly manned the inspiration for spy fiction and thriller authors all this time. But times are changing. One particular series is creating all the buzz with its high-flying action sequences, compelling characters, and unbridled genius.
Petra Shirazi in Puja Guha’s The Ahriman Legacy is set to become the new face of espionage.
But what makes Puja’s work such a force to be reckoned with?
Suspense and Other Genres Into One
The best thrillers are suspenseful, but Puja acknowledges the fact that suspense, in itself, comes in many forms. She incorporatesother genres into her work and weaves a compelling storyline in the process. This is why her readers laud her ability to keep them hooked to the last turn of the page. Throughout The Ahriman Legacy, you will find elements of drama, mystery, romance, and thriller, which build suspense to different levels. While she’s having her squad infiltrate a black site run by Chinese intelligence, she will simultaneously be building suspense in the drama of character interactions or an investigation into the identity of the real villain.
Puja prioritizes developing a diverse set of characters. She acknowledges the fact that many thrillers, sadly, rely a little too much on the plot and not as much on their characters’motivations throughout the story. She believes that all the characters, including villains, deserve a well-developed backstory and representation. This is where Puja’s knack for writing compelling villains stems from. Villains in thrillers nowadays often have little substance, the driving force behind their villainy a mere setback in their past life. Puja brings a refreshing notion of realism with her villains originating from greater darkness.
Having Fun While Writing
When developing a serious plot, what often gets overlooked is if the story is even fun. As Puja has developed as a writer, she has mastered the art of incorporating humor into her stories. She has executed this through characters that provide comedic relief as a balance to an intense plot. The way Puja speaks about her book gives us a good understanding of how much she enjoys writing.
With that being said, why is her series called “The Ahriman Legacy?”
The Ahriman Legacy
The word “legacy” seemed particularly apt because of the way Puja viewed the creation of the Ahriman. In some sense, the Ahriman is an assassin shaped by General Majed, the villain featured in Puja’s first installment of her series, The Spirit of Destruction. The reason that she gives the character that name is to create an icon. An icon sticks around far longer than an ordinary individual.
The word “Ahriman” comes from Zoroastrian mythology and means “The Spirit of Destruction.” In essence, the Ahriman is an entity that has lasted for generations. This is also what defines the longevity of the character. Puja understood that Ahrimanwould not be confined to the general’s vision but prevail long, leaving a legacy.
The level of research and depth that has gone into Puja’s writing is an example for all aspiring writers.
Love for the UK
But just like any other artist, it’s the people who make them who they are. The Ahriman Legacy has gathered a lot of traction in the UK, something Puja is proud of. The author says she’s grateful for all the support she has received and will meet her fans in person real soon. She plans on doing more events in different parts of the country. Puja expresses that the UK remains close to her heart. Fun fact – she wrote the first draft of The Spirit of Destruction when she was in grad school in London.
Writing is not the only thing our favorite author is good at.
She spent her free time reveling in the arts-theatre, opera, and ballet. Living in Covent Garden, she was surrounded by creative energy exuding from the city. This helped Puja channel her talent into a series that is now renowned worldwide.
A big influence on the narrative of Puja’s books is the setting and location she sets for the series. Good news for her UK fans! She has teased Petra and Kasem to be visiting an estate in Scotland, where the duo will prep for their operation in Iran. The last time we saw the UK featured in her writing was in the first half of Book 3, Resurgence of the Hunt, which took place in London.
Puja has single-handedly revolutionized an entire genre, and she’s only getting started.