Thursday, June 13, 2019

Muhammad Bin Tughlaq: Tale of a Tyrant - A Book Review

"Muhammad Bin Tughlaq: Tale of a Tyrant" is my 7th book read/review by Anuja. I consider myself lucky to get review copy (in exchange for an honest review) of one of India's leading author. She is one of our favorite authors. Her books hold a special place in ourselves. Whenever I feel I got too comfortable with debut Indian author and want a change I try Anuja's books. Her writing style is completely different. She seldom writes multi-protagonist (character) book, she takes one (maximum two) character and creates her magic of words.

Book Blurb

When his father dies, Prince Jauna Khan succeeds to the throne of Delhi as Muhammad bin Tughlaq. His reign will prove to be epic and bloody, but unsurpassed in splendour, innovation and defeat. 
A formidable strategist and remarkable scholar, the Sultan will go down in history for his brutality as well as his brilliance, unfairly remembered only as a cruel tyrant who might have been raving mad. His high-flown aspirations and grandiose ambitions may have met with crushing failure, but even so, Tughlaq was a great hero of the fourteenth century, albeit a tragic and fatally flawed one.
In this fictional retelling, Anuja Chandramouli, one of India's best mythology writers, reimagines Muhammad bin Tughlaq's life and times in incredible detail to bring to life the man behind the monarch
Tughlaq is the book about Juana a.k.a. Muhammad Bin Tughlaq. The story started when Tughlaq was kept as caretaker of messenger service under Ghazi Malik, virtually house arrest or kept away from his father Ghiasuddin Tughlaq so that his father cannot attack Delhi. Tughlaq was able to run away from Ghazi Maliq and joined his father. Together they took back Delhi from clutches of Ghazi Malik. His father got the sultanate after Ghazi Malik in absence of capable candidate from Khilji dynasty. It was decided that Juana being the firstborn of Ghiasuddin would inherit the crown after his father. He was young and he had a different thought process, he believed in meritocracy but people around his were old academy guys. His struggle started when he started a campaign against southern kingdoms. Check out the book to know more. 

Like any of her previous work, Anuja has portrayed her protagonist (Tughlaq) in a completely new avatar. We have been taught about his blunders in schools, but we never got to know his reasoning behind those idea and why they failed miserably. Anuja has shown Tughlag more like a failed hero than a villain who was surrounded by orthodox, power-hungry ministers. Detailing of characters, situations and plots are merged so wonderfully that you feel like watching it as a live. There are many authors whose efforts became visible when they give plot information in between conversation some times such efforts feel like distractions. One thing I observed (and liked) was language usage, Anuja has changed a lot compared to her initial work. She had an awesome control over words, she can easily impress any literature savvy guy. But that can hinder readership count. Luckily all of her books did great till now, still, she has started using easier language. So this time I was enjoying the book more than keeping up with words. 

Overall a nice read. A different character to read. The book is full with Muslim character's names which were somewhat difficult to cope up with. It made me read some pages more than once.

  1. Cover - 3.5/5
  2. Concept - 4.5/5
  3. Characters - 4.5/5
  4. Overall - 4/5
Book can be found at Amazon & Flipkart
Review from other readers can be found at GoodReads


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