The Brahmin by Ravi Shankar Etteth
Blurb: The empire is ruled with an iron hand, masterminded by Emperor Ashok. But his kingdom is under siege and even his able spymaster, the enigmatically named Brahmin, is baffled by the murders that have shocked the concubines’ quarters. Who is behind the gruesome deaths and what is their purpose? Lush with historical detail and unforgettable characters, The Brahmin is an intelligently plotted novel that seeks to recreate a near mythical period in India’s past.
About the author: Ravi Shankar Etteth is the author of four novels: The Tiger by the River (2002), The Village of the Widows (2003), The Gold of Their Regrets (2009) and The Book of Shiva (2016). He has been a graphic designer, political cartoonist and editor of magazines and newspapers. He currently lives in Delhi and works as a consulting editor of The New Indian Express Group.
Review: I found the book The Brahmin an exciting and fast paced thriller read. I liked its unique structure and subject matter. The book was good worth my time of 2 days which I spent reading it. It has an excellent cast of characters, a mesmerizing plot and twisted climax. I read about Asoka a lot earlier and I knew he was a warmonger and cruel but never expected someone would write a fiction based on him. This book has Asoka’s picture which is not much talked about in the world history. The author has given us a quick look into the separation of power in the Magadhan court and the peacekeeping that the kings practiced in that time. Queen Asandhimitra who is not known to many was made known to all through this book. She was not a mere wall flower as queens are always believed to be. She played on the go part in the management of the Kingdom and she had the courage to make dangerous verdicts and was the just right queen that a king like Asoka needed. The character of The Brahmin is definitely very closely related to Chanakya who they claim is as ancestor. As expected by me some parts of the book were orthodox, it was usual seeing as the book was set in 261 BC. If you love historical fiction, something which is a fast paced, action packed book that is filled with historic depictions of the time of the rule of Asoka, you should pick a copy of this book.
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