Saturday, 24 September 2016

Review of The Peshwa


         No of pages : 338
         Author : Ram Sivasankaran

         Year of publication : 2015

         Name of the publisher : Westland ltd

         Genre: Historical crime thriller 

 My unbiased review

History is a superb subject as it teaches various incidents occurred at several places at different times.When I studied in the school I cherished history as my favorite subject because it gave challenges to memorize huge data and to recollect them at the time of examination.

The Peshwa is a great historical and period crime thriller. As a voracious reader I like the book as the political tale is woven with a meticulous craftsmanship, in which words and sentences are arranged in a decorative way with the usual aspects like suspense , romance  , humour , thrills, twists, joy ,despair and shock . The prose has got a poetical approach to make it a delight to go through the book .It is a story of ambition, achievements,obsessions and defeats. Loyalty and treachery are exhibited in their true colour . Ways of war is depicted nicely.Right from the dress pattern and rituals followed by the people everything is written perfectly leaving no room for finding a flaw. The characters are portrayed in a grand manner and the drama is engaging enough to read it at one go.There are good and bad people but they are all intelligent and wise . I like the Besajirao the protagonist as he represents courage , wisdom and intelligence. The brilliant plots are worked out after due research which fact accounts for the hard work of the author.With a fire in his belly the writer has made all the efforts to make the novel a great success.

The blurb given by the Publisher Westland ltd has correctly put in that the author Ram Sivasankaran who saw a passionate student of history in his debut novel has woven a beautiful story on the greatest but a less known -figure from Indian history -Bajirao Bhat Peshwa of the Maratha Confederacy .

The Plot

It is a period novel revolving around the incidents took place during the 18 th century.

The incidents referred in the book are said to happen during the turbulent periods of Indian history when the Mughal rule was dominating .

In the 17th century during the war between the Mughals and the Marathas both the Queen Mother of the Maratha Confederacy yeusbai and her husband Sambhaji became prisoners of war . The Mughal Emperor Aurnagahzeb executed Sambhaji and the Yesubai was allowed to live in return for the cessation of Maratha hostilities against the Mughal empire. 

In the year 1718 the Peshwa namely  Balaji Vishvanath was assigned the mission to negotiate the release of Yesubai .He along with his son Bajirao who is the protagonist of this novel then he was 18 years old ,accompanied by two hundred men rode towards the North. On the way, the father taught his son various strategies implemented in the war even though he got military training.

Farrukhsiyar was the incumbent Mughal Emperor .Syed Hassan and Syed Abdullah called the Syed Brothers with the help of Marathas put him on the Peacock Throne . The Nizam is a prominent person in Delhi’s political arena . Whether the Peshwa was successful in his attempt to bring Ysubai back their place or not is the topic of the novel. In the mean time his life was threatened by the Scorpions who were the imperial saboteurs and assassins of the Mughal empire. How this attempt was foiled by the Peshwas forms another part of the story.

Gems of quotes from the book

Marriage at the right age builds a man’s character and sense of responsibility. Moreover , marriage to the right woman brings about happiness and stability.

Old leaves have to fall and make way for the new . Our family will grow but it must also shrink . That is the law of God.


The vibrant illustrations by G .Saundrarya are superb. The design and illustration of the cover by Kunal Kundu is fantastic.There is a wonderful map of The Indian Subcontinent 1718 . Also the Glossary gives a proper guidance for the novel The culture and traditions are described with scrupulous attention. The author has blended the emotions and events beautifully to keep the tempo of the readers. There are only two woman characters in the book. I wish more woman characters should have been included in the book as Mughal era women got a great say in the society by virtue of their wisdom.

My verdict

I recommend this book to all historical fiction lovers.

My rating of this book  4/5

Disclaimer I  received the book in exchange for my honest review . My sincere thanks to the Writers Melon for the same.

About the author

Ram Sivasankaran was born in Madras, India, but has spent most of his life abroad - largely in the Middle East and the United States of America. 

He was brought up with stories from Hindu legend and the great epics and classics of both India and the West. In addition to being a passionate student of history in school, Ram built keen interest in stories of valor, heroism, chivalry, beauty and romance.

A day-dreamer of sorts, Ram 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 resurrect heroes and damsels of yore. 

As such, Ram makes his debut with a historical novel on one of the greatest and yet, to an extent, less-known warrior from Indian history - Bajirao Bhat, Peshwa of the Maratha Confederacy.

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