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Book Review: Keepers of Kalachakra by Aswhin Sanghi

When it comes to mythological fiction and thriller writers in India, the name of Ashwin Sanghi stands tall among his peers. From The Rozabal Line to The Krishna Key, Chanakya’s Chant or the Private India series, his books have always amalgamated mythology and thrill with elan that leaves his readers wanting for more.

Sanghi’s books always bring with them a treasure trove of information. In his previous books he has introduced us to fascinating tales involving Krishna, Jesus Christ, Chanakya, and gave us entry into dark worlds like the tor internet or organ racketeering. In ‘Keepers of Kalachakra’ he takes us into the world of quantum physics.

Kalachakra simply means wheels of time. Without sounding propagandist, Sanghi has infused hardcore physics with ancient Indian philosophy. Intriguing concepts have been dealt with delicacy and served to the readers in a manner that does not sound boring or preachy in any bit.

In his signature style, he opens the plot with a sensational assassination, and tops it up with global ramifications. Several incidents – which are seemingly interconnected – converge into the life of the protagonist Vijay, a scientist who lands a job in a fishy laboratory in the foothills of the Himalayas and gets sucked into the quagmire.

‘Keepers of Kalachakra’ has all the ingredients for a riveting read – an international terrorist organisation, a secret group of spies, international agents working towards global destabilisation to serve selfish needs, as well as Tibetan monks who are the carriers of ancient secrets. Although the book is a tad bit long, one can hardly put it down without the constant nagging need to know what happens next.

After the disappointing Sialkot Saga, Kalachakra gives us the Ashwin Sanghi we have knows over the years. The book weaves together history, political science, philosophy and mythology in a beautiful fashion without ever being stereotypical or judgmental. The depth and reach of Kalachakra makes it the best work of Ashwin Sanghi till date.


My Rating: 3.5/5 stars

P.S. Thank you Westland Books and Ashwin Sanghi for the preview copy

DISCLAIMER: All Images Used In This Book Have Their Respective Copyrights

Book Review: The Tree Bears Witness by Sharath Komarraju

As a 90’s kid living in India, the famed Akbar-Birbal stories were part of my growing up years – firstly, thanks to the Amar Chitra Katha comics, and secondly, courtesy the animated series on Cartoon Network. Known for his sharp mind, analytical skills, and quirky wit, Birbal was one of Akbar’s ‘Navaratna’ (nine gems).

From mundane matters pertaining to state of affairs, to something as absurd as counting the number of crows in the kingdom – popular tales of Birbal encompassed it all. So, it was absolutely intriguing to land a book about ‘detective’ Birbal who is entrusted with solving a murder mystery. ‘The Tree Bears Witness’ by Sharath Komarraju shows us a new side to the popular historical figure.

Given the times we live in, where any reference to historical figures is met with a threat to life, or a bounty on the head, it is brave of the writer to pen a fictional tale of the murder of Sujjamal, brother of the newly-wedded Rajput queen of Emperor Akbar. Imagine an envoy of a foreign country dying under mysterious circumstances in India – Sujjamal’s murder has similar far-reaching political consequences, as his marriage with the Rajput princess was a political manoeuvre.

Given the gravity of the situation, Akbar turns to his trusted lieutenant to bring the perpetrator to justice using his famed grey matter. While Birbal sets on the task, he has a herculean challenge laid out before him. Palace politics plays out, as powerful people try to throw Birbal off-course in his task. An innocent scape-goat is jailed for convenience and rivalries play out in a way that makes Birbal’s work even more arduous.

The brisk pace of the story, with all the twists, makes this novel an enjoyable read. Birbal could very well be a modern-day CBI sleuth who is investigating the murder of a diplomat; the spirit of the story would remain intact. The delectable writing, with historical setting, set this book a class apart. The climax, where Birbal assembles the entire royal clan to reveal the murderer, reminded me of how Feluda always finished his cases.

Overall, ‘The Tree Bears Witness’ by Sharath Komarraju is an exciting murder mystery that adds a dash of history to a fictional tale of whodunit. If you read between the lines, the political subtext in the novel will surely impress you.

My Rating: 4/5 stars

P.S. The review copy of the book was provided by Amazon.

DISCLAIMER: All Images Used In This Book Have Their Respective Copyrights

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