The first time I saw this book, was at Anubha’s place and I immediately started reading the summary on the back cover. The amount of enthusiasm with which I’d picked up the book was inversely proportional to what I understood after reading the summary, because frankly I knew nothing about Chanakya. Why only Chanakya? I hardly know/ remember anything about Indian history. That too, of 2300 years ago, when India was called Bharat. I mean, really, who wants to know how was life back then?
Certainly, historical fiction was one genre I hadn’t tried my hands on, ever. So, I was really skeptical about registering myself in the ‘Book Review Program’ at BlogAdda.com. I’d almost made up my mind against doing so, as I thought, I wouldn’t understand anything and therefore, won’t be able to do justice to my review about the book. That’s when Manish Ahuja said, “It’s the author’s job to make you understand what is the book about. Yours, is just to read”. I couldn’t agree more to what he had to say, whereas I still wasn’t sure if I could pull it off. Somehow I convinced myself, registered and I’m so glad I did. The author, Ashwin Sanghi, did what a good author is supposed to.
Chanakya’s Chant is one of those intuitive and awe-inspiring novels I have read so far. The book runs parallel in two plots: one which was set 2300 years ago, the story of Chanakya and his protégé Chandragupta; and the other which is about modern India, the story of Gangasagar Mishra and his protégé Chandni Gupta. While the first story is a fiction revolving around an actual person, Chanakya, who manipulates people with his ruthless strategies; it is the story of Gangasagar Mishra what makes the book, that it is. It is how, the author has weaved the story of Gangasagar Mishra in the modern day India will make you fall in love with the book even more, and rightfully so, because we relate to the circumstances and the characters better. Though Gangasagar Mishra did the same thing as Chanakya, which was manipulating people to reach his ultimate goal, there was a huge difference in the way he did it. The circumstances were different, so were their ways to tackle the obstacles and get things done their way. How was Chanakya’s strategy different from Gangasagar Mishra is for you to find out. Not giving away any spoilers.
Talking about the writing style of the author, as mentioned earlier, the story runs parallel in two plots which (I think) has it’s pros and cons. While this style helped to understand both the stories and the similarities in ’em better, it also made it very easy to get lost and confused in the midst of so many characters. Speaking from experience, I myself lost track of the story at one point in the middle of the book, and I had to go back to the end of the previous chapter of the same plot to connect the dots. I wouldn’t actually call this a con, because it eventually depends upon the reader and his/ her concentration and dedication towards the book. So yeah, if you think you would like to read this book just for passing time, refrain. Otherwise, it’s a must read. It will definitely keep you hooked from start till the end.
I remember, when I was just 100 odd pages into the book, I was so impressed by the author, his immense knowledge, his way of depicting a brilliant story, that it is, I instantly decided on reading ‘The Rozabal Line‘, the author’s first book. Can’t wait to read and probably write a review too. I cannot stop recommending this book to all the people I know. The book is definitely going as one of my favorites on my shelf in Shelfari.
For all those who are still not sure about giving this book a try or not, watch this YouTube video which would give a clear view of the book’s theme.
Feel free to share your views about the book.
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