Tuesday, December 25, 2018

Book Review - The Conquest of the East: Royal Crown Returns by R Durgadoss

"The Conquest of the East: Royal Crown Returns" is the second installment in the series after "The Indus Challenge" by R Durgadoss. Almost one and half year back we reviewed part one. Durgadoss has the capability of delivering a super fast-paced story with high-interest quotent. After reading 2nd part I feel though the book may fall under historical fiction, it should be categorized for middle graders and/or millennials as well. 


Book blurb
The numerous attempts made by the Cholas to capture the prestigious royal crown, the mythical aaram (necklace) and the precious garland of pearls from the Pandyas have failed. Emperor Raja Raja Chola’s grandfather even defeated the Pandyas, but their king managed to escape with the royal jewels and kept these in safe custody with a Lankan king.
Years later, even after Raja Raja Chola’s victory against the Lankan king, the jewels eluded the Cholas as the Lankan king too fled with the jewels. Emperor Rajendra Chola takes it upon himself to finish his dynasty’s incomplete agenda. The jewel trail extends well beyond the shores of Bharat, right up to the kingdom of Srivijaya (modern-day Indonesia). Rajendra Chola’s naval commander Surya emerges as the greatest support to his king. Will Surya be able to restore the Chola pride?
Even with his unbreakable spirit, courage and special powers, Surya must be careful as the enemies may have lost wars but they are hitting back through proxy wars launched by hired mercenaries. He must use every trick in the book to unmask the enemy and save the Chola kingdom from plunging into a civil war.
The Conquest of the East: Royal Crown Returns is an action-packed page-turner that is a befitting sequel to the bestselling book The Indus Challenge.
The protagonist of our story is Surya alone. Unlike the last part where Chanakya had also shared equal canvas with Rudra. Surya was born to an unmarried woman in Rameshwaram jail. He was born with a fish mark on his chest. His mother hadn't accepted him, so he was raised by jailer's brother who was commander in Chola navy. Surya was later on adopted by the same family and treated equally. His adopted father found traits of Surya in water. He wanted Surya to become Jaladhipathi (Supreme Navy Commander / Admiral) Luck was on Surya side & he got chance to learn/train at the prestigious school of Chola kingdom (for Military & Navy) Surya with age became indispensable. Soo he became trusted commander of Raja Raja Chola. He led multiple successful mission for King. But how he had done that you will come to know only after reading the book.

Observations about the book
  • Language usage is simple. 
  • Narration style is straight. 
  • Yes pace is super fast, you cannot skip or leave a paragraph (leave about skipping a page or chapter) 
  • The story is full of twists & turns. 
  • Less - no violent descriptions
The only thing that the author should take care in next part is line given at the end of the majority of chapters. It goes like this "And then something happened that shocked XYZ character" 

Talking about ratings
  1. Cover - 4/5 (Last part's cover was better though)
  2. Concept - 3.5/5
  3. Characters - 3/5 (Predictable at places)
  4. Overall - 3.5/5
The book can be found at Amazon & Flipkart
Reviews from other readers can be found at GoodReads

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