Book Review: The Peshwa — The Lion and the Stallion by Ram Sivasankaran
Must read! Beautifully Written – so not a history textbook!
Honest Confession – I rarely read ‘historical’ books – but, I am glad I read this one!
What attracted me? – The Book Cover (that piercing warrior’s gaze!) & the urge to read something new & different!
The book was recommended by @Writersmelon & so worthy of a chance amongst the many book options available to a reader.
My thumb rule – I will give every book 50 pages to interest me or else I give up on it (sigh!)!
The Peshwa — The Lion and the Stallion by Ram Sivasankaran was a book which needed no rules and no thumbs !
The book isn’t about the love story (a.k.a the movie) or his childhood (a.k.a the new tele-series about his boyhood), but rather about what made a young man a warrior, a man worthy of being The Peshwa (The Minister) at a very young age, and ruling in such a manner than many a stories are written about The Great Maratha Warrior Bajirao Bhat. While it is a work of fiction, but I can now understand the fascination!
It is set in the 18th Century, in the times of the supremacy of the Maratha Confederacy and the decline of the Maratha empire (so now you know the ‘When’ of it!).
I began reading the book just a day before Diwali – a cup of fragrant coffee and I curled in for a little tiny break – before I knew it, I’d read 2 chapters and was THRILLED at what was going on! I definitely wanted to read MORE!
It’s the kind of book which flows like poetry and you can see the characters moving in your mind’s eye (may I mention – I LOVED the writing style). I’d be at work, and wish I could sneak in a page or four!
Demonetisation came to the rescue! Those long queues were the PERFECT reason for reading – the weather co-operated as did my co-queue-ers.
I enjoyed the clear way in which the story flowed, moved forward, and didn’t get preachy or get into boring details. The sketches interspersed made it interesting – especially for terms I was not familiar with or just the symbolic representation of what was going on.
I also liked, unlike some historical books that –
- I didn’t lose track of who-is-who, how many characters there are & what they were upto
- I got an insight into the reasoning behind what was happening
- The character development – I like knowing why someone is doing what they are, or why they change or what they are upto.
I fell in love with the relationship between father and son – It may not be perfect, but it made me glad to think that perhaps such relationships are possible (for only from possibility can an author create his book’s reality). The Love and respect between the two men is apparent – and it is written so beautifully, that you wish you knew such people for real!
The women may have a supporting role – but, each lady shines! Yes, they read as ladies – classy, committed & realistic – yet, hopeful, supportive and dreamy 🙂
The characters are well fleshed out and well written – there are no ‘useless’ characters – each has a role to play, a reason for being, and somehow responsible for ultimately everything which was happening.
The friendships and also the enemy-ships are written so well that you are in the story each page of the way.
I would love to read more by this author, and more about these characters – I want to know what happens next!
I hope you do give this book a chance – and be pleasantly surprised as I was.
I’d love to hear your comments and feedback.
Cheers to being a reader!
May you dream of books & words,
* I received a review copy from Writersmelon in exchange for an honest review.