Vicks‘s review (Delhi , India)
First books are always the tough ones and in the merciless world of publishing it can take a toll on the writers, yet our author took ample amount of time out of his busy schedule working for the navy and left no stone unturned to nurture this book, bringing back to life 18th century Hindustan.
The first question any Indian would ask why history?? haven’t we read in school enough already? yet ask anyone what happened to India after the death of Aurangzeb and they will rush towards British dominance; the 18th century nothing but a blur of events. Yet this century was important as we move through the pages of Sahyadris to Hindukush.
Hindustan produced many brave warriors who defended their lands from foreign forces, maratha cheiftains being some of them were crucial in building our national identity; this however was not free of its flaws as it often revolved around religion and caste, but maratha laws which dared to make a brahmin peshwa and a shepherd caste Holkar a pillar of its strength with many muslim fighters under their belt, were the reason for its success.
Our author correctly points out that 18th century India belonged to Marathas but he is no pushover, he lays out his lessons exactly the way history should be taught and read. The Mughal,Maratha and Afgan identities colliding in Hindustan and clever strategies by Peshwas and Vazirs who became more important than kings make the whole affair a cocktail of surprising facts. This is a lesser known part of history every Hindustani must know.
You will laugh at the way mughals made a mockery of themselves, be proud of maratha chiefs who showed extreme unity, learn about the artillery which has always been a problem for India, and most importantly look wide eyed at Afgan unity under Ahmed shah abdali, the progress of which proved costly for both the big powers clearing the way for the British in the long run.
The author leaves only a few parts of Hindustan untouched 70% of which came under direct and indirect maratha rule. Being a Delhiite my entire life i was surprised at the way the ancient city is described, every corner of the red fort visualized with perfection, and incidents in my city i never knew happened so much so that i found myself researching about history.
The book is a massive success for a first, it accomplishes what very few history books do, provide inspiration and hard lessons for the present and future; yet it is a pity that the publisher almost makes a mockery of it with repeated paragraphs and countless spelling mistakes, the bland cover of the book doesn’t help it either.
Finishing this great piece of writing i just hope Aneesh writes many more like these. He has the power to make school history book publishers bankrupt.
original review link : https://www.goodreads.com/review/show/630895743?book_show_action=false&page=1
Aneesh in this Historical Novel has covered and presented history of the Glorious period(Neglected by most researchers as they concentrate only on Panipat war) in Maratha Empire in a beautiful way.This book has been written with lot of research and studies.Politics within the Marathas, Politics of India during that period has been covered beautifully. This book covers pre Panipat period.Language used is simple and clear.Book has covered all the powers that were present in India.A empire that extended from Cuttack to Attock deserves many such inspiring books.Aneesh through this book has attempted to open the eyes of a generation who have been kept away from this glorious period of Indian history which showed the fight back of the Marathas.A must historical novel to be kept by lovers of History, students of politics and others.Well done Aneesh..
It’s evident that Aneesh has put in a lot of efforts into researching the topic. Also, most historical novels are either too rigidly structured, thus inducing boredom, or are too flowery which distracts one from the main subject. This novel has managed to dodge both which is a testament not just to Aneesh’s command over the language, but also to his understanding of History as a subject.