Monday, 6 February 2017

Review of Ashoka Lion of Maurya

 ASHOKA - Lion of Maurya (Ashoka, #1) 

No of pages  248
Published by Westland ltd
Published on   2016
Author  Ashok K. Banker
Genre: Young Adult Historical Fiction
Author's link   Website   Goodreads   Facebook 

About the author:

Ashok is an internationally acclaimed author of mixed-race and mixed-cultural parentage based in Mumbai, India. 
        His Epic India Library is a lifetime writing plan that aims to retell ALL the major myths, legends and itihasa of the Indian sub-continent in an interlinked cycle of over 70 volumes. 
        This includes the Ramayana Series, Krishna Coriolis, the Mahabharata Series, the contemporary thriller Blood Red Sari and other works. 
        His books have sold over 1.4 million copies in 12 languages and 57 countries worldwide.

About the blurb.
The cover has got a brief and strong blurb.

We are not makers of history. We are made by history
Martin Luther king Jr.

My review

History is being always my favorite genre as it evokes all the emotions in me and the past events would enthrall me I prefer to read historical fictions.Especially if it deals with Maurya Era ,it talks about the iconic personalities like Alexander.
Asoka Lion of Mayrya is an adventurous and action-packed novel.It talks about the bravery and wisdom of Ashoka,  the great warrior.

Ashok k Banker , an Indian writer has woven a beautiful   tale equipped with a well versed scholarly craftsmanship .The  language is superb and the stylish prose is full of rhyme and rhythm to make the reading a pleasant experience on the historical hero, Ashoka.

The plot.
The story starts with the entry of Kavaala, a citizen of Lichchavi  camouflaged as a dancer in to Pataliputra. She was sent by Lichchavi Confederacy to carry out the task of assassination of Emperor Bindusara. Ashoka overheard two persons whom he believed to be Confectionery assassins, talking about the plan  and he fought with them in the pit where there would be fights to decide the fate of the fighters.Ashoka killed them and found the truth.

Why  the LIcchavi Confederacy hatches such a plan?
What is the role of Ashoka in unraveling the truth behind it and safeguarding the Emperor and his family?
Such sort of  questions arise  and to find out the answers you have to  read the book .

My favorite.
I adore Ashoka , the protagonist for his valour and wisdom. Other characters describe him as follows:
He is a cactus in the field of roses and a child of the jungle.He has a sharp ear and sharper mind. He sees goodness and hope in all humanity and does not see the ugliness and cruelty and pain that lies beneath it all. He is part-general, part -spy,part-soldier. He is almost ugly ,in fact short and slender,unimposing and unimpressive to look at. He is a role model to all our youngsters as he displays wit and wisdom by his thoughts , words and actions.

Also I like the episode involving the mature lioness called the Vyag and Ashoka. In the Hauned Forest the Vyag dragged  away Sushim , his brother and there ensued a fight between the Vyag and Ashoka. The author has depicted this incident so nicely that it melts my heart.     

Golden wisdom gems  from the book
Where there is a throne , there is always a conspiracy.
Thrones are thrones . Ambition is ambition.The colour or race doesn’t change basic human nature.

“Do what you can with what you have where you are.”said Alexander.

Violence is a two -edged blade.

We do not always get what we desire , and what we desire is not always what comes to pass.

There is nothing to be gained from arguing the inarguable.

Because there is darkness we desire light . Injustice is the norm , it is dharma that is the exception.

My verdict.
This period social drama  carries all the element of a historical novel like treachery, blasphemy, love, lust , sex ,  humour, eavesdropping, spying ,protocol  assassination and coup.The author has portrayed the characters in a grand manner and they are realistic and gender- sensitive.Women are bold and assertive .The book holds a great message and moral on virtues and vices.
I recommend this book to all young and old who have got a liking for historical fiction.

The cover design by Ermisenda Alvarez and cover illustration by Deepak S.V. are fantastic.

My rating : 3.5/5

Disclaimer: I am a winner of Goodreads Giveaway to receive the book in exchange of my honest review.

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