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Ashoka: Lion of Maurya

Paperback, 246 pages
Published : December 26th 2016 by Westland Books33750872
ISBN :9385152955 (ISBN13: 9789385152955)
Edition Language : English
Series : Ashoka #1
Summary : 
Fifteen year old Ashoka, though rightfully the crown prince, has renounced his claim to the throne to protect his mother Subhadrangi from the vicious palace politics of her rival queens and the chiefs of the 500 tribes that make up the great Mauryavansh Empire.

Ashoka is entrusted with escorting his self-centred brother, crown prince Sushim, to Taxila to negotiate with Pashtun rebels. When Ashoka exceeds his authority and ends the rebellion, instead of being appreciated, his actions are considered treasonous. Samrat Bindusara is busy continuing his campaign of conquest against the last pockets of resistance in the sub-continent, while young prince Tissa views the whole enterprise of war as brutal and inhuman. Aging and disgraced ex-prime minister Kautilya comes out of forced retirement to appeal personally to Bindusara’s better sense only to find that he has made a grave tactical error. Rani Khorasan and her mother the War Marshall of Mauryavansh have plans for the empire that do not include either Kautilya or his protege Ashoka – and they are willing to go to any lengths to achieve their ambitions.

Lurking behind the scenes but ever present on the theatre of politics is Alexander the Great’s successor, Seleucus Nicator. Through his daughter Apama, step-mother of Bindusara, and Dowager Queen of the Mauryavansh Empire, Nicator is playing a ‘long game’, one whose results will only be visible in coming years. The only people who genuinely care about the empire itself seem to be Subhadrangi, Ashoka and Kautilya, but in a shocking move, the Khorasans, with the tacit approval of Bindusara and Apama, decide to rid themselves of mother, son and guru once and for all.

 

My thoughts….

The book starts of with the introduction of the Grand city that Mauryas had made their capital . I was amazed by the descriptions of the city and river that tried ruthlessly to erode the city walls as it has everything else . I must admit the historical places were well described with a reality like presentation of how it must have been to live in the ancient world .

The book started out as incredibly descriptive, as mentioned above , and basically -to me- descriptive means something boring waits ahead . But guess what ? I was totally wrong there . The book was anything but boring . It had me hanging on the plots like I was hanging on a cliff . I love it when a book does that . Which book lover doesn’t ? And being a sucker for historical anything , I must say it was definitely one of the best historical fictions .

I would also claim that this book was what actually told me of Ashoka in detail . Yeah we have all read those textbooks . But all that I honestly knew was Ashoka brought peace upon his country bc he saw that many innocents died in wars . Yep . Pretty much . Heck , I didn’t even know that his father was Bindusara lol . So yeah , anyone wants basics on Ashoka ? Might as well look here . Want directions of old Mauriyan capital geographical features ? Sure . Look in here . You’ll find something .

But first things first , what hit me the most was how he made the ancient city look like what it really must’ve been . Unlike , ofcourse , so many authors who write thinking the ancient people were stupid . I respect him for that insight alone . I’m a believer that we’re not the most developed intelligence ever . Bite me .

What I didn’t like :

I know the complaint is silly . And yes I do understand it is fiction and all , but why was Ashoka so unbeatable …at everything ? Okay so at the starting itself , what made me wary was , how Ashoka killed two trained seasoned assassins though he was too young and not well seasoned ? I understand he supposedly was sneaking of , getting into street fights ..but even with all that , the character ‘s strength looked so..incomparable that really sounded fake . Yep . That’s all the complaint I’ve got .

                     I got this via Goodreads firstreads program 
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