BOOK REVIEW: ASHOK AND THE NINE UNKNOWN

Book: Ashok and the Nine Unknown

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Author: Anshul Dupare

Genre: Mythology, Fiction, Historical fiction

Published by: Rupa Publications

Number of pages: 224 pages

My Rating: 3.5/5

MY REVIEW: I was provided with a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.

Emperor Ashok of the Maurya dynasty of course is one of the greatest kings in Indian history.

The story begins just after the end of the war of Kalinga. Ashok is on the battlefield feeling very guilty about the death and destruction caused by him, when he comes across a mortally wounded Kalingan soldier who has lost both his arms and an eye. The soldier curses Ashok and falls into the river.

Ashok is a changed man after the war and makes sincere attempts to improve the welfare of his people. The wounded soldier Amartya is rescued and revived by his brother Vatsal.

After meeting Ashok, Amartya leaves for Mayong, a strange land of magic.

Ashok decides to form a secret society and entrusts his chief minister Radhagupta with the task of finding nine experts in different fields.

In Mayong, Amartya has completely recovered from his injuries and has now gained a lot of knowledge about the secrets of Mayong. The magical Mayong comes under attack by unscrupulous people who want to learn the secrets of Mayong. They attack the city with dragons but the people of Mayong try their best to overcome them.

In addition to the secret society formed by Ashok, there is yet another secret society that has a hidden agenda.

What is the connection between Ashok and the lost city of Atlantis? What secrets does the Sphinx of Egypt hold? What is the connection between Ashok and Amartya? These are just some of the questions raised by the end of the story.

I believe that the author is planning to take the story forward in a sequel. I for one, am awaiting the sequel in order to get the answers to the questions raised. “Ashok and the Nine Unknown”, is a story that will certainly appeal to readers.

 

 

BOOK REVIEW: THE CONQUEST OF THE EAST

Book: The Conquest of the East

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Author: R. Durgadoss

Genre: Historical, Fiction

Published by: Rupa Publications

Number of pages: 226 pages

My Rating: 4/5

MY REVIEW: I was provided with a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.

This story is about the Chola dynasty, and is set during the reigns of Raja Raja Chola and Emperor Rajendra Chola. Though the Cholas have defeated the Pandyas, they have failed to recover the royal crown and the other jewels.

The story begins with the birth of Surya, in none other than a jail, as his mother is incarcerated there. Surya is born with a unique birthmark on his chest. Though his mother rejects him and his father is unknown, he is taken in by a family who then decide to adopt him.

Surya is blessed with unique abilities concerning water, he is able to stay underwater for a long time without breathing along with other abilities! As his adopted father is a commander in the Chola navy, Surya’s talents are noticed at a very early age and nurtured.

After helping the Crown Prince on an important mission, Surya is sent to the Chola Royal Army School where his talents are honed to the utmost.

Surya goes on to play a vital role in helping Emperor Rajendra Chola to recover the royal crown and jewels. This quest for the jewels takes him to the kingdom of Srivijaya, where he falls in love with and marries a princess.

But fate still decrees that Surya serve his Emperor and he goes back to his home to protect the Emperor against his enemies. Does Surya ever meet his biological parents? Does he succeed in serving the Emperor and doing his duty? The reader will have to read the book to find out.

I highly recommend “The Conquest of the East”, as an extremely interesting story that will appeal to readers who love old historical/mythological stories.

BOOK REVIEW: YODDHA THE DYNASTY OF SAMUDRAGUPTA

Book: Yoddha The Dynasty of Samudragupta

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Author: Rajat Pillai

Genre: Historical, Fiction

Published by: Jaico Books

Number of pages: 316 pages

My Rating: 5/5

MY REVIEW: The author Rajat Pillai provided me with a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.

Chandragupta Vikramaditya of the Gupta dynasty of course is one of the greatest kings in Indian history.

The story begins showing Samudragupta, Chandragupta’s father at the peak of power and slowly beginning to show the signs of old age. Chandragupta has been raised in a village by a foster mother and does not know who Samurdragupta really is. He only knows Samudragupta as a benevolent relative who visits him and his mother from time to time. It is only when his foster mother is on her deathbed that Chandragupta comes to know that he is actually Samudragupta’s son and a prince of Magadha.

Chandragupta arrives in the capital, meets his father and assumes his rightful place as a member of the royal family. He is soon engaged twice, once as a political match and once out of love. He is also reunited with his brother Ramagupta.

Life in the royal palace is not what it appears to be as there is a deadly assassin on the loose as well as numerous conspiracies and rivalries afoot. Chandragupta finds himself in an asylum weak and in ill health, branded mentally unstable after a series of events.

Will Chandragupta be able to get himself out of this mess and will he stake a claim on the throne of Magadha? Will the assassin be caught? Who has hired the assassin? Who is the mysterious prisoner who is being held in the dungeons of the palace? The reader will have to read the story to find out.

It will remain to be seen whether the author will take the story forward in a sequel. I highly recommend “Yoddha”, as an extremely interesting story that will leave the reader hooked to the very end!

BOOK REVIEW: CHANAKYA

Book: ChanakyatempImageForSave

Author: Ashok K. Banker

Genre: Historical, Fiction

Published by: Westland Books

Number of pages: 154 pages

My Rating: 5/5

MY REVIEW: Writersmelon provided me with a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.

This story is termed as “Book 1”, so it is obviously intended to be the first part in a series. Accordingly, the story does not take much time to complete as it is only 154 pages.

Chanakya of course is one of the most well-known figures in Indian history. This first part shows Chanakya or Vishnu Gupta as a seven-year old child prodigy and genius, who when asked by his teacher at the gurukul to memorise the first Paksha of Mandala Seven, memorises the entire Rig Veda instead!

Vishnu Gupta, with his parents and three sisters leave their village Chanak to go to Pataliputra, the capital of the Magadha Empire, as his father has to attend a conference there.

Pataliputra is an extremely sinister place, firmly under the control of the “Maha-amatyaji” Rakshasa, the Prime Minister of the Emperor Mahapadma Nanda. The Prime Minister is involved in and takes a cut out of every illegal activity that takes place in Pataliputra. The Yuvraj Dhana Nanda, is portrayed as an extremely demonic child! Another interesting character that is introduced in the story is Chandra, a young pickpocket, who helps Vishnu Gupta’s family.

Circumstances and fate bring Vishnu Gupta in contact with the Prime Minister and later the Emperor and the Yuvraj. It will remain to be seen how the story will go forward in the sequel.

I highly recommend “Chanakya”, as an extremely interesting story that has left me awaiting the sequel!