Saturday, January 23, 2016

Book Review: The Prince of Patliputra: Shreyas Bhave

The Prince of Patliputra by Shreyas Bhave, the first book of the Ashoka trilogy, is as you can see a book full of events that the author narrates in a compelling style, without imposing facts by markedly ideological vision of history and present a robe for cutting narrative that is aimed at an audience of readers with a chronicle of our history.


Nearly five decades back, Chandragupta had laid the prosperity but now the splendour of the past has subsided as Samrat Bindusar, descendant of Chandragupta and the second Samrat Chakravartin of all the Aryas rules over the colossal subcontinent from his righteous seat in Patliputra.

As the Samrat’s physical condition continues to demur owing to a mysterious infirmity, troubles are arising all over his monarchy with internal strife as well as insurgence. Certainly this is not the predominant part of the novel, but as a backdrop to the main narrative highlighting the most troubled waters of a great power that, despite itself, is moving towards the inevitable decline with the young Prince Asoka, who is the least preferred offspring of the Samrat, has to fill up the boots of his grandfather.

Next to the wealth of information aspects we bewail a certain linguistic and editorial slovenliness which is manifested particularly in the spell of the ancient names, but also in some oversights in historical order. It is worth a reading to discover a world that seems far away, but that shows how many ideas that still haunt us with many behaviours to understand our country and the culture in a historical context.

The book makes you want to read more about the India in its ancient and modern aspects that makes us easily understand the complex history of India and the advent of Asoka, who ruled almost the whole of India for many years. We also discover the antiquities, depth and popularity of the decision makers of those times and philosophical thoughts.

The intention of the author in the book is to go through the times and deal with the development of Emperor Asoka with its cultural and artistic creations in a kind of chronological journey, again not necessarily linear, but in which it seems able to emerge quite clearly his growth and the complexity of the environment.

The book has detailed descriptions of the times and the writing style is classic with the vocabulary and structure of the periods present an idea to have in our hands a guide from several decades ago. The story is smooth and pleasant that presents a very accurate historical novel that pays homage to the emperor Asoka.

The real strength of the author is undoubtedly the historical reconstruction of the period that is very accurate in every detail with the characters, the habits and customs of the time, are described in a really precise manner and added to these are the descriptions of landscapes, all presented with the splendours of the past. The care shown by the author in historical reconstruction does not affect in any way the narrative, which is smooth, linear and very pleasant.

The book is absolutely recommended to those who want to make a trip into the past and retrace some interesting historical events accompanied by a portion of intrigues and conspiracies, mainly political that touch the lives of the protagonists even so unobtrusively.



Format: Paperback ♥ Publisher: Leadstart ♥ Pages: 382 ♥ Published: December 2015 ♥ Language: English ♥ ISBN-13: 978-9352015504
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