Saturday, September 1, 2018

Book Review - The Peshwa: The Lion and The Stallion by Ram Sivasankaran

I have bought the kindle copy of "The Peshwa: The Lion and the Stallion" almost 2 years back on 14th July 2016, but copy stayed in my kindle shelf due to unavoidable circumstances called To-Be-Read. We even interviewed Ram Sivasankaran (the author of the book) last year (March 2017), still, we forgot to read the book. But a few weeks back I found this guy giving me scary looks on my Kindle shelf. At last, I took it under "Currently reading". And then it brought hell lot of guilty for me, not to read this book early. Usually, I keep 4-5 books under "Currently Reading " shelf and read them parallelly. But after reading the first few chapters of the book, it made a place in "Currently Only Reading" category. Very few books in the last 2 years were able to become the contender of the category. Though it took me some time to post the review.

Book Blurb
It is the 18th century and despite the dominant Mughal rule, the Maratha Confederacy has established itself as a force to be reckoned with in the Indian Subcontinent. The fragile peace between the two powers is threatened when Balaji Vishvanath Bhat, Peshwa of the Confederacy, foils the plans of Nizam Ul Mulk of the Mughal Empire, and asserts the power of the Marathas. However, little does the Peshwa know that he has dealt the Nizam an unintended wound—one with roots in his mysterious past and one that he would seek to avenge till his last breath. 

When the Peshwa surrenders his life to a terminal illness dark clouds gather over the Confederacy as it is threatened by a Mughal invasion as well as an internal rebellion. 
All the while a passive spectator, the Peshwa’s son, Bajirao Bhat, now needs to rise beyond the grief of his father’s passing, his scant military and administrative experience, and his intense love for his wife and newborn son to rescue everything he holds dear. Will the young man be able to protect the Confederacy from internal strife and crush the armies of the Empire all while battling inner demons? Will he live up to his title of Peshwa?
"The Peshwa" is written around Maratha Confederacy. Peshwa was the title given to Prime Minister (Second to the Chatrapathi - King of Maratha) The protagonist of our story is Bajirao Bhat, son of Peshwa Vishwanath Balajirao Bhat. Balajirao's cunning and clever strategies had made Marathas independent and strong. He was able to relieve Raj Mata (Sahu's Mother) from the clutches of Moghals without shredding single drop of blood. Balaji Vishwanath wanted his son to succeed the title of Peshwa after him and he had trained Rao well for the tasks. But every road has some turns, things were never smooth for Rao after Balaji Vishwanath's death. Moghul self-appointed Vajir Nizam had broken the peace treaties. Treachery of his own people was his biggest threat after he became Peshwa himself. Read the book to know more.

The book is written in 3rd person perspective. The author has a unique narration style. Description and storyline were merged so well that I hardly find a para unnecessary. Starting from prologue to epilogue I was equally engrossed in the story. Language usage is easy to moderate level. You will easily glue to the book and will enjoy it for sure.

This is for movie buffs. I have seen Bhansali's Bajirao Mastani. This book is far better than the movie and this part is kind of prequel to the movie. I was visualizing Ranbeer Singh as Bajirao and Priyanka Chopra as Kashibai. Just for information, the movie contains only one incident of the book (which is also showed differently) actual movie starts where this part ends, I am not sure whether Ram will add Mastani into the story or not.

Talking about ratings
  1. Cover - 4/5
  2. Content-  4/5
  3. Characte5rs - 4.5/5 (for Nizam & Bajirao)
  4. Overall - 4/5 
The book can be found at Amazon and Flipkart
Reviews from other readers can be found at GoodReads


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