Wednesday, August 30, 2017

The Prince of Patliputra by Shreyas Bhave

In last one year, I have read more than 5 books either on Chanakya or Patliputra and trust me this book can easily stand out. Chanakya used to say "Never tell your secrets to anyone" and he never told his secrets of how he made Chandragupta the Samrat of Bharatvarsha. It's up to speculations and imaginations of authors to portray the story. In the first part of Asoka Trilogy, Shreyas has done it really nicely.

Book blurb
272 BC, Bharathvarsha, Land of the Aryas....
Samrat Bindusar, son of Chandragupta and the second Samrat Chakravartin of all the Aryas rules over the massive subcontinent from his holy seat in Patliputra. Almost five decades ago, his father had laid the foundations of this vast Samrajya guided by the famed Guru Arya Chanakya. But now, the wealth and glory of the past has subsided...
As the Samrat’s health continues to decline due to an unknown illness, problems are arising all over his realm. There is infighting and rebellion. No clear successor to him is present. Ninety nine of his sons stand in line waiting for his throne...
Bharathvarsha needs a Chandragupta once again. And it needs a Chanakya too. Can the young Prince Asoka, who is the least favorite son of the Samrat, fill in the boots of his grandfather? Can Radhagupta, a mere Councilor of the Court be what Chanakya was to all the Aryas?
Begin a new adventure with the first book of the Asoka trilogy as you read to find the answer to one great question-
'That who shall be the next Samrat of this holy land of the Aryas?'

Well, the story has two parallels. One around Chandragupta's ascent to the throne of Taxila and another around Ashoka's efforts to subdue rebels of Avanthi. Chandragupta's part starts with Alexander's invasion and finishes with Chandragupta's was preparation against Patliputra. Ashoka's part starts from him being Vaishya class son of king Bindusar joining the army as a normal soldier to the general in the army. The book ends where Ashoka took resolve to take Samrat-ship and kill his brother Sushem. Chandragupta has Chanakya while Ashoka had Chanakya and Radhagupta. Every author who has written around Chanakya have added some level of fantasy or fiction part. Shreyas has added the Ancient Brahminical Order. The order was founded by Ajatshatru, who had also founded Patliputra. Chanakya had even outwitted that order for greater good. We will have to wait for the next part to see what happens in war.

I know I have taken more than 2 weeks to finish the book, but it was due to my busy schedule. If I have got the normal time that I used to get earlier I would have finished the book in 2-3 days. The book is written with a proper thought process. The work looks more like a matured author's than a debut one's. 

My short review doesn't indicate I liked this book lesser. I am surely recommending it to others. I would like to thank Sheetal from HaloofBooks for arranging this wonderful review copy for us. The only thing that author should look into would be the book cover. I know map was drawn not considering measurement, but it still doesn't look like Bharata at all. Rivers and kingdoms look alien. 

Talking about ratings
  1. Cover - 2.5 / 5 (Need proper map)
  2. Concept - 4 / 5
  3. Characters - 4.5 / 5 
  4. Content - 3/5
  5. Overall - 4/5
Book can be found at - Amazon & Flipkart
Review from other readers can be found at GoodReads


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