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Wednesday, January 23, 2019

Peshwa -War of the Deceivers - Book Review

A review of Ram Sivasankaran's Book - Peshwa -War of the Deceivers

  • Title - Peshwa -War of Deceivers
  • Author -Ram Sivasankaran
  • Pages - 496
  • Publishers - Westland
  • Format - Paperback
  • Genre - Historical Fiction

Seven years have passed since Peshwa Bajirao Bhat annihilated the Nizam’s armies at Fort Mandu.

The two forces have been engaged in attacks and skirmishes ever since. Acting on the advice of his right-hand man, the mysterious Anaamik Dabhade, the Peshwa now sets about laying a trap to truly ensnare the Mughals, and break their might.

The Empire, of course, has methods of its own. And Nizam Ul Mulk is itching for an opportunity to exact revenge of the formidable Bajirao. With assassins, saboteurs and criminals infiltrating the Maratha lands, the Mughal Empire scores as many victories in the night as the Peshwa does during the day.

Meanwhile, in the far reaches of the country, set ablaze by the never-ending conflict between these major powers, a Sikh warlord, a Rajput king and a Bundela princess find themselves increasingly tangled up in the endgame that will determine the very course of history. It is a battle of wits and skill, and the greatest deceiver of them all will prevail.

Bajirao, his queen Kashibai, the Prince,Chimaji Appa Bhat,Anaamik Dabhade,the Nizam Ul Mulk,Muhammad Shah, the barbaric Bangash ,the leader of the Order of scorpions and their members, Maharaja Chhatrasal,Princess Mastani,Mata Bani,the 'Butcher',Aadil,Raja Amar Singh are some of the main characters and there are several other characters too that come and go.

This book is the author's second one in the Peshwa series and I have not read the first one. I was not sure if I would miss the first one but went along  devouring the book.

When I saw this was the story of Bajirao and then in the later pages I read Mastani's arrival, I expected some romance between the two based on the movie - Bajirao Mastani.I have not seen that movie either but I was expecting something to happen .But nothing much goes on between them!!

So, coming to the story, it is historical fiction at its best.A lot of twists and turns and the plots will leave you racing through the pages.

There are a whole lot of people - The Marathas, Mughals, Sikhs, Rajputs, Bundelas, Khalsas all fighting to gain territory.

The lies and deceit will make you want to go faster to see if their mission was successful or not.The suspense almost kills!!

The methods / tactics of war / war strategy is explained well but I felt the deaths and massacres a bit gory.

Each and every kingdom devices plots and secret plans to out throw the enemy and capture their land.

Here are some of the things that I liked...
  • The characterization is simply superb! Though there are several characters,the main ones will remain in your heart.
  • The language is simple and easy to follow.
  • The narration is so good that you can feel yourself walking through the place grounds ,being apart of the war, chasing out the enemies... It was like being a spectator in the front row seat in every chapter!
  • The glossary at the end of the book is really helpful with the words used in the story.
  • The sketches/ drawings in each chapter make the read all the more interesting.
  • You can go ahead and read this one even if you have not read the author's first novel in this series.
  • The ending was so unexpected and I loved it a lot! I was actually reading so fast to see what really happens!

You can definitely go in for this one and you will really enjoy the book.A nail biting , gripping thriller that all history buffs will love to read.Yes, it is around 500 pages yet makes a wonderful and un-putdownable read!

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.
He holds a dual master's degree from Stanford University, specializing in aeronautics, astronautics, space environment and plasma phenomena. Although a scientist by training, Ram is, at heart, a daydreamer of sorts, who 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 heroines of yore.

A huge thanks to Writers Melon and Westland Publishers for the review copy!

Check out the 50+ books that I have reviewed so far in the Book Reviews page.