November 10 2016

The Peshwa: The Lion and The Stallion


About the Author: Ram Sivasankaran was born in Madras, India, but has spent most of his life abroad, largely in the Middle East and the United Stated of America. He was brought up on stories from Hindu legend and the great epics and classics of both India and the West. In addition to being a passionate student of history in school, Ram has built a keen interest in stories of valour, heroism, chivalry, beauty, and romance. A daydreamer of sorts, Ram believes deeply in the power of imagination—the mind being the canvas on which even the seemingly talentless can create new universes, resurrect eras long gone, bring the gods to life and even revive heroes and damsels of yore. Ram makes his debut with a historical novel on one of the greatest and yet, to an extent, less known figure from Indian history—Bajirao Bhat, Peshwa of the Maratha Confederacy, mighty warrior, hopeless romantic and one of the most dazzling examples of wartime courage, military readership and battle strategy.

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?

Review: ‘The Peshwa: The lion and the Stallion’, is authored by Ram Sivasankaran which is his debut book, tells us the story of the great Maratha warrior Bajirao. It is thriller with dash of fiction and history, making it an interesting read. If you have watched the movie Bajirao Mastani you will get to find many similarities. But compared the book and movie, the book – The Peshwa has more in content on courage and audacity spoken by the great Maratha Bajirao. The book highlights on Bajirao’s life and his loyalty towards the Maratha confederation. The story is about the Peshwa Balaji Vishwanath Bhatt who marches to Delhi to rescue Rajmata Yeshubai. Young Bajirao accompanies with him. Nizam-Ul-Mulk plans to assassinate Peshwa. Peshwe’s actions set events in motion. Bajirao and Nizam are destined to meet again. What happens to Nizam? Why is he against Peshwa? Does Bajirao break his promise? No doubt the movie Bajirao Mastani has made people aware of historical character who ruled the Maratha kingdom the Peshwa, but less known fact is that he never lost any battle in his life. And in this book, the author Ram Sivasankaran has highlighted the period before Bajirao became Peshwa and his first war after he became Peshwa and the most important person in this book is Balaji Vishwanath, father of Bajirao. The book however has a few flaws such as not so much knowledgeable information is given about the Chitpavan Brahmin and Maratha customs of that time. Over all it was a good read and I definitely recommend it.

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