Tuesday, 8 March 2016

Asoka Trilogy, The Prince of Patliputra, Book 1 by Shreyas Bhave: a review

The prince of Patliputra- that is the name of the Asoka Trilogy written by debut author Shreyas Bhave and trust me when I say that while reading the book, you will never feel that you are reading a book written by a debut author. The interesting map on the front cover is something that would catch your eye. I am sure that at first glance you will fall for the book. Then you would like to go to the back cover and see what’s there in store for you.

According to the back cover- 272 BC BHARATHVARSHA, LAND OF THE ARYAS. Samrat Bindusar, son of Chandragupta and the second Samrat Chakravartin of all the Aryas rules over the massive subcontinent from his holy seat in Patliputra. Almost five decades ago, his father had laid the foundations of this vast Samrajya guided by the famed Guru Arya Chanakya. But now, the wealth and glory of the past has subsided. As the Samrat’s health continues to decline due to an unknown illness, problems are arising all over his realm. There is infighting and rebellion. No clear successor to him is present. Ninety nine of his sons stand in line waiting for his throne. Bharathvarsha needs a Chandragupta once again. And it needs a Chanakya too. Can the young Prince Asoka, who is the least favorite son of the Samrat, fill the boots of his grandfather? Can Radhagupta, a mere councilor of the court be what Chankya was to all the Aryas? Begin a new adventure with the first book of the Asoka trilogy as you read to find the answer to one great question- That who shall be the next Samrat of this holy land of the Aryas?

I used to read history as a child. More than reading, I had interest in the subject. Asoka was one king who always had my interest, apart from all the other characters I liked while studying history. But back then, I never knew that there will come a day where I’ll read the life story of such a person in such detail and that too in a novel and not a history book. Trust me when I say this, the book had me from page 1.

I would be very frank here. When I started this book, I started with a blank mind. I didn’t know what to expect from this book because I haven’t read about Asoka yet in any other novel. But it would only justify my feelings if I say that the pages turn itself once you start reading the book. There, inside the book, you feel mesmerized with the story telling. There hasn’t been any point in the book where I felt like closing the book and keeping it away.

The story, well… The characters are something we all grew up knowing about. Every conquest, every feel makes you go back in time and relive the moments when you learnt about them. Applause to the writer for knitting out this wonderful story out of the incidents and coming out with this book. The conversations that were a part of the book made me feel that I am listening to them speaking and so did the scenery. The storytelling skills have been well polished and there wasn’t even a single dull moment in the book.

To speak of the cons, I am clueless. Was there any con? I wonder! 382 pages of pure bliss. The only con that I can think of is it being a trilogy. Apart from that, I felt that the relationship Asoka shares with his mother could’ve been written in more details (I am sure the author would do that in his next!) and a bit proofreading was needed. That apart, I didn’t want the book to stop at any given point but the Epilogue to the book made the book give me the much needed closure and the urge to wait for the next one. Even though I badly want to give the book 5 stars but the wait for “The scourge from Taxila” makes me give this book a 4.5 out of 5. (I really have high hopes from the second in the trilogy! A highly recommended book!)


  1. I'm glad that you loved the book. :) It was great to discover your blog and I enjoyed reading your articles and especially your poems. Great!

    1. You write well, Shreyas. Looking forward to Book 2! :) and Thank you for the compliments.. :)