It is 326 BC and Alexander, the barbarian king of Macedonia, has descended upon Bharatvarsha with a multi-national horde of Yavanas, Pahlavas, Shakas and Bahlikas. As the invader advances relentlessly and wins bloody battles in quick succession, as local rulers fall over each other to shake hands with the enemy and as the students of Takshashila University break into open revolt, one young man is faced with a terrifying choice, a choice that threatens to tear his carefully constructed world apart. for Aditya is the boy from Pataliputra, the boy who was once a reckless and carefree aristocrat, but who has now been forced to become a man with a purpose to fight for honour and love. With a sweeping narrative and interesting everyday characters like the smelly old dhaba owner Tanku, Philotas the unlucky Greek soldier, the no-nonsense medical student Radha, Pandi the hard drinking mercenary and the lovely Devika, the Boy from Pataliputra is the mesmerizing story of a young man’s growth to maturity, but also, equally, a story about the rise of a nation.
Currently living in Mumbai, Rahul is an author masquerading as an IT Marketing Professional. When not toiling away at his writing, Rahul likes to visit his office to take print-outs, socialize and drink endless cups of free coffee. Passionately interested in all things Indian, Rahul is vociferous in his opinions about India, its people and it’s culture. Like many other fools before him, he believes he can change the world and influence people through his writing.
'Mitra’s narrative is detailed and his descriptions of Aditya’s swordfighting training as well as the Vasant Utsav horse race is so real, you feel you’re there witnessing the whole scene. Equally commendable is his characterisation, from the smelly, old dhaba owner Tanku to idiosyncacies of Rishabha, Charaka and Nala.'~ Indian Express
'Mr Mitra’s research for the book, which is the first in a trilogy, is mind boggling, as is his eye for detail. ' ~ The Asian Age
'' The story has within it funny, scary, violent, romantic, thought provoking, imparting knowledge, filled with anticipation and mystery moments; which in fact is the whole package. '~ The Pioneer
'The book excels in the way it depicts historical events. The sacking of Persepolis and the Battle of the Hydaspes, for instance, are brought vividly to life—so vividly, that one can almost hear the sound of battle, the trumpeting of Puru’s elephants and the screams of the wounded. The rain, the swollen river, the clash of arms, the smell of blood: Mitra does a superb job of taking his readers back in time.'~ New Indian Express
You can take one of the heroes from history or mythology and recreate their journey as your story. But creating a completely new character in parallel to a historic hero and taking your reader to this new character's journey with equal enthusiasm is a challenging task. Rahul Mitra in his book "The Boy From Patliputra" has done a wonderful job by creating the story of Aditya in the timeline of Chanakya and Chandragupta Maurya.
Aditya, the main protagonist of the story, is our boy from Patliputra. Being born in the upper caste families and brother of petrol guards of the city, Aditya was a spoilt teen. Roaming freely and carelessly was his favorite time pass. Even at sixteen when most of the people of his age started settling down, he was not serious about life. All he cared about was his horse and hunting with his Chandal (low caste) friends. Sometimes it takes just a small spark to destroy the whole forest. A similar fire had destroyed Aditya's life when his brother was sentenced to death due to corrupt and irresponsible governance in Pataliputra. Things that were taken place during that incident had changed complete future of Aditya. He left Magadha and went with a caravan to Takshashila. Life was never same for Aditya after he left Magadha. He went through the complete transformation. Things in Takshashila started on mixed track and shifted to better with passing times. But they say only change is constant. A threat was lurking on Bharatvarsha. The Alexander was preparing for a war against Indian ganarajyas. Aditya was about to get into this massive whirlpool.
I never say no to Historical or Mythological fictions. When I first got my hands on this book I was under impression that book might be about Chanakya or Chandragupta. But the author has completely new plot under his sleeves. This first part is divided into three parts: Transformation of Aditya, Progress of Aditya in Takshashila, Alexandar's entry into India. - I liked the way story evolved in the first part especially after Aditya left Pataliputra. His journey towards Takshashila reminded me Shiva's journey towards Nashik from Shiva trilogy. - The second part was mixed with medium pace along with one of two fast pace incidents. This part has more resemblance with one's college life. Well at the same time, the author has also maintained enough political and war tempo to remind user they are reading historical fiction around war. - As everyone knew the role of Chanakya and Takshashila University during Alexandar's seize, the third part had covered it till war of Alexandar with Porus (Puru). This part was like a fantastic cherry on a cake. I finished this part uninterrupted.
Though it was a historical fiction, the author has wonderfully portrayed few nostalgic points that can remind us our college life: - Aditya's hopeless love towards Devika can remind you many of your college friends who run after girls even after knowing they are not destined to be one. - Aditya's experience and fun in drunkard state. One can easily correlate with hostel fun. - Aditya's visit to Tanku's can remind you college canteen visit, where people sit gossip about various things. And Tanku will remind you that moody canteen owner.
Alexander the great is on a mission to conquer the world. India, a Golden Bird, the land of festivals and diversity is his latest target and he will stop by nothing.
On the other hand, Aditya, a normal boy, spoilt as a teenager, never cared about his future, playing and roaming with his friends will have an unbelievable destiny. His brother is convicted with corruption charges and Aditya is forced to leave Magadha. What happens with him next is absorbing to watch.
The Boy from Patliputra feels to be a story of your own. Like a movie, it plays at the back of your mind. Apt narration creates an impact on its readers.
Writing historical fiction, takes a huge amount of research and creativity. This book presents you a well-researched and thoroughly written plot.
Nicely portrayed characters and an interesting point in Indian history equips the book with a depth that every historical fiction is entitled to. Spectacular and impressive. I eagerly wait for the release of next books by the author.
If you're interested in historical fiction, choose this one. If you're not interested in historical fiction, choose this one because you'll explore a whole new world of greatness, bravery and imagination.
A big thank you to the author for providing me a copy in exchange of an honest review.
It is well-written, entertaining, captivating and an excellent read for the historical fantasy readers. What could be better than sitting in comfort of your room and travel centuries ago? Well, this book will take you to time travel in 4th century BC.
The story set in the backdrop of 330BC. Alexander is on a mission to invade every kingdom and win over the world and become the mighty ruler of the whole world, a world conqueror. After invading and looting Persia, now Alexander is eyeing on India. Its innumerable treasures of gold and silver made it a dream of every ruler to conquer and attain undying glory.
The book is a part of a trilogy and two more books are about to hit the shelf. So, you have a fair chance to grab this book before the next read hit the shelf and be ready to travel again in the world of words with Rahul Mitra.
I would like to thank the author and the publishers for the copy in exchange of an honest review.
"The courageous man is not the one who sinks into gloom and depression over his troubles, but the man who takes up arms and strives against it."
Wow! The cover is beautiful but the content inside it is not so much.
As I had started the book, I was transported back to my sixth standard history class. The description of the world during 330 BC to 326 BC is good. The way author had explained the nitty-gritties of sword fighting was mind blowing. All the details of the battle were excellent. The author did show some sparks of brilliance.
"A man's got to know when to give up, Ajeet."What an oxymoron!
Don't you see the Kekeyans relentlessly provoking us with raids on our borders? And then they claim that these are the works of dacoits. Ah! Isn't it similar to the acts of Pakistan? Good!
Then this commentary about character - "You want respect but intimidation and force will get you only fear and resentment, they can never get you respect. That comes from character, from a lifetime of choices made and actions taken."
Additionally, the thoughts about relationships - "Relationships are not like sword-fighting Aditya. Love has no logic, and nor is it a goal you achieve with extra hard work and dedication."
The description and the details are brilliantly written. If the book had been an essay, I would have given it a solid 9/10. However, the book is fiction and fiction means good story. In fact, I generally look for a good story-telling experience. And that's what is absent here.
I could not get inside the head of the protagonist Aditya. I could not feel anything about him. Moreover, the other characters (apart from Rishabha who is Aditya's friend) are undeveloped. The feeling is like you are just trying to understand the character and suddenly the author changes the scene like a spider camera zooming out rapidly. I found it a bit irritating. Moreover, some of the scenes were unnecessarily stretched as if to just fill pages. For example, the scene when Aditya tries to stalk find a suitable way to approach Devika who is Aditya's love interest, is too long for my liking. I felt like skipping the pages.
Additionally, the author could have avoided words like eye of the buffalo and daughter fucker. The Hindi equivalents could have suited for the swearing.
It's the 4th century BC, Alexander is prowling around the boundaries of an India that is not a country yet, and a boy comes of age in the city of Takshashila. It's a racy romp through possibly one of the most exciting periods of Indian history - the starting point of the Maurya dynasty, and the concept of a unified Bharat. Mitra has a gift for bringing the times alive, the way your story-telling grandmother did. And en route, he manages to reflect contemporary times in the story he tells - universities as a hotbed of revolution, nationalism as a way to connect to the masses, political compromises that are a reality, the mingling of religion and politics. Proof that more things change, the more they remain the same. A fun, interesting read.
Fiction based on historical events/personalities is one of those genres which are gradually getting popular among Indian readers. As a result, Indian bookshelves are gradually getting filled by such books. Indian readers are enjoying these books. I am also one of those readers who love reading historical fiction. For me, historical fiction can be an amazing foundation for reading history or learning about historical events. Therefore, I became really happy when I got an opportunity to read and review The Boy From Pataliputra by Rahul Mitra. And, I am happy to tell you that I made a right decision by accepting this book for review. The book did not disappoint me. The book has been published by Fingerprint! Publishing.
The book takes you to the 4th century BCE and specifically deal with the events related to Alexandra’s invasion of India. However, the book is not about the renowned historical personalities of that time. While readers find mentions of well-known historical figures like Chandragupta, Chanakya, Charaka and Alexandra, this book is not about them. The author has created his own characters and placed them in this prominent time period.
The main protagonist of this novel is Aditya, who is living a peaceful life with his elder brother Ajeet in Pataliputra (capital of Magadha). Ajeet somehow gets entangled in a web of political conspiracy and losses his life. This leaves Aditya heartbroken and he pledges to take revenge. Circumstances, though, also make Aditya a criminal in the eyes of law. One of Ajeet’s friends helps Aditya to escape from Pataliputra. He manages to reach the city of Takshashila. The story moves to Takshashila and we see a transformation in Aditya’s personality. In Takshashila, he starts as a porter but gradually achieves a higher position in the society. From being an irresponsible and carefree aristocrat in Pataliputra, he becomes a man with purpose in Takshashila.
The book is filled with a number of other interesting characters. Though most of these have been sketched well, some could have been developed further. The author has done a brilliant job of mingling historical facts with fiction. Readers slowly but surely become comfortable with the time period the book under review is dealing with. The book deals with different aspects of daily life of this time period and, in this way, creates an authentic backdrop for this novel. This shows that the author has done good research and tried to achieve as much historical accuracy as much he could. At the same time, the book is not just a dumping of historical facts here and there. On the other hand, it is a fast-paced historical thriller and is impossible to put down once you start reading it. There is almost everything that a well-written thriller should have.
The book contains well-illustrated maps in the beginning and comprehensive notes at the end. The inclusion of these enhances the quality of the book. The cover also looks effective. The editing, on the other hand, could have been better. The book appears to be the first part of a trilogy. However, nowhere on the cover, we find the mention of the same. This, according to me, should have been indicated on the cover page.
Overall, this is a book that I enjoyed reading and will confidently recommend to all.
At first, I would like to thanks the author for providing me a copy of this book. Alexander’s invasion in India and his battles with various Kings is always an interesting part of reading in history. But when a great fiction merged with a history then we get to see the incident in different perspective. And this is what the author has done in this book.
The story starts in Pataliputra, Capital of the kingdom of Magadha. Ajeet and Aditya both are the brothers. Ajeet works in the local security force and contradictory to this Aditya is a nomad and an irresponsible boy who simply love to loiter. Though Ajeet doesn’t like Aditya’s behavior but he loves him more than his life.
Things were going fine until Ajeet become the victim of political conspiracy and lost his life. Aditya totally broken by the death of his beloved brother tries to take revenge from the perpetrator. But during all these, he becomes the criminal in the eyes of law. Ajeet’s best friend Navinda helps Aditya to escape from the Pataliputra.
Aditya is handed over and trained by Pandi, a merchant cum sword warrior who makes him be a responsible and learned man. With his efforts and great support from his friends Radha, Rishabha, Charaka & Nala he manages to get a reputed place in the society. There comes a Devika, a beautiful girl whom Aditya started loving.
He also manages to win a horse race in yearly Vasant Utsav festival and get a place in the army of King Ambhi. Now he has everything in life but what happens next really shatter his dreams. The rumored Alexander’s army managed to reach in India. King Ambhi has joined the hands with Alexander.
The University of Takshshila has broken into open rebellion under the ideology of Acharya Chanakya’s ‘Akhand Bharat’. Every friend of Aditya has joined the rebellion group, whereas well settled Aditya bound with his duty has to stand opposite to them. Aditya is now in the turmoil where he has to choose between his friends, future of Bharatvarsha and his well-settled life. What happened next is really interesting to read!
This book is a great piece of work. The author has brilliantly merged fiction and historical events. What I loved most about this book is the great narration of the backdrop; it will make you see it like a movie. You must have read various stories of Alexander’s invasion but you should definitely read this book to get a perception of the ordinary citizen through Aditya. This book gives journey of an ordinary boy, who makes everything from nothing. And I will suggest you to first read the notes in this book so that you will understand the various words used by the author. Without any doubt, I can say that the author has done numerous researches to create a plot. If you love historical fiction then do not miss this book!
It is impossible to tell a story without a point of view. This book retraces the revolt of students from Takshashila University, especially Aditya and his inner struggles along with the vision of a man who is still suspended between myth, legend and reality: Alexander. From the purely historical point of view the facts are very simple and familiar to anyone.
The characters that revolve around Aditya's life are interesting and thanks to these characterizations the messages come strong and clear which depict the most fragile side of this man and the shaded colours in a very nice book that you have to read that presents a surprising disenchanted vision to conceive the power of lucid realism to be applied to the problems and find a concrete solution to each of them.
This is a creative product that possesses its dignity, placing itself well above recent ones where characters lose their historiographic truthfulness in order to bend inexorably to the ruthless market laws. It is not a book like any other, and not because of the peremptory title but, because of the high content it contains.
Although initially everything seems quiet, the tension grows with the pages. The story becomes more and more exciting as we push forward through the pages. I recommend it to anyone willing to read a brilliant and exciting narrative at the same time and among other things is not excessively long that can be read in a few hours!
A well thought out novel that is intense and each page contains mysteries and doubts as the reader cannot take their eyes off until the end of the book. But when finished, the mind will be still trapped between those lines, to live the intense moments. The characters are numerous, well-defined and interesting.
The book is well written and has a certain urgency that will urge readers to turn the pages and is never predictable. There is nothing superfluous, but everything is plain and simple. It is an enjoyable read, not to be missed.
In the history of the ancient world—and not just the history of India—the Battle of the Hydaspes in 326 BC, between the armies of the Macedonian ruler Alexander and King Puru (‘Porus’) is an important event. Important not just because of its political ramifications, but because it was to have an influence on the culture and society of that part of India for years after. It was to build Puru up as an icon of Indian nationalism centuries later, and it was to possibly result in the injury that eventually caused the death of Alexander, bringing to an abrupt halt a life that might have changed much of the Old World forever.
Rahul Mitra’s The Boy from Pataliputra begins with Alexander’s conquest of the Persian capital of Persepolis and reaches its climax with the Battle of the Hydaspes, but between these two bookends featuring the Greek conqueror is a tale set firmly in India. Aditya, the eponymous boy from Pataliputra, is forced to flee his hometown after his brother, an officer, is wrongly accused of a crime and summarily executed. With some help, Aditya joins a caravan heading westward and washes up in the city of Takshashila, where he comes in contact with a varied lot of people. The enticing Devika, daughter of a wealthy merchant; the students Rishabha, Nala, Radha, and Sameera; the drunken dhaba owner Tanku. And some characters whom history knows well enough, too: the surgeon and physician Charaka; Chandragupta, the future founder of the Maurya dynasty; his advisor and mentor, the canny Chanakya.
The Boy from Pataliputra excels in the way it depicts historical events and a historical period. The sacking of Persepolis and the Battle of the Hydaspes, for instance, are brought vividly to life—so vividly, in fact, that one can almost hear the sound of battle, the trumpeting of Puru’s elephants and the screams of the wounded. The rain, the swollen river, the clash of arms, the smell of blood: Mitra does a superb job of taking his readers back in time.
There are other instances of what has obviously been pretty extensive research: copious notes at the end of the book explain references in the novel and provide some interesting trivia. The maps at the front of the book, though visually cluttered and not easily decipherable, are an attempt, too, at explaining the political geography of the period.
The problem with the novel, however, lies in its unevenness. It is uneven in several ways. The characterization, for one, which (except in two cases—Aditya and his mentor, Pandi) consists mostly of one-dimensional characters: some of these, like the Greek Philotas and the dhaba owner Tanku, are almost caricatures. The plot is somewhat uneven, too: there are protracted descriptions of a handful of important events, interspersed with relatively uninteresting interactions between Aditya and those he comes in contact with (much of which, when between those of Aditya’s generation, read like a historical campus novel, romance and horseplay included).
Most jarring of all is the unevenness of the language. On the one hand, Mitra uses archaic words like agrahara, vihara, kautuhalshala, prahar and tamrapatra; on the other, he uses very modern words and phrases like fixers and movers [sic], awesome guy, and freebies, besides modern Indian words (like yaar and pahalwaan) which would not have existed during the Magadhan period.
Stricter editing and efficient proofreading would perhaps have helped iron out some of these problems.
"It came as a Goodreads Giveaway win" When you start reading a book, you expect it to hold you tight through the roller coaster of events that are going to develop in later pages. You expect it to compel your imagination and make you believe every alphabet engraved. Rahul Mitra, the author of the book has made an awe inspiring amalgamation of history and fiction. A story that starts with giving a backdrop of Alexander’s conquest, moves on to something that seems like a story of revenge. It slowly and gradually unfolds the transformation of the “Boy from Pataliputra”, Aditya. From being a carefree wanderer to becoming a well responsible, focussed young man; it is a story of transformation, battles and new learning. It is a story of constant struggle of Aditya to seek a balanced and settled life in a war torn country, where invaders are ready to capture and claim everything. It is a story of rise of Bharatvarsha from a mere idea of Acharya Chanakya to the hundreds of believing students of Takshashila. It leaves you with a lot of interesting characters that play their part appropriately in the story. From Pandi (guru) to Rishabh (friend), Tanku (the animated dhaba owner), Radha, Devika, twins etc. Not once you would feel unrelated to these characters. When these characters are interacting with your intellect, the author throws the real historical characters like Chanakya, Charak, Chandragupta etc interplaying with the above mentioned fictional characters. This book with its mesmerising storyline and strong characters will keep you hooked till the last page. Rahul Mitra has done an exceptional job in telling a profound story with simplicity and ease. It is not easy to play with historical events and knit a story around it. The author seems to have researched well and it shows through the book.
A gripping book with a racy narrative. The story of transformation of a brat to a revenge seeker to a responsible adult and finally a nationalist hooks you. The turbulent times are aptly described and you get the feeling this story is part of the history of those times interwoven with real events. A must read. A good book from a debut writer. Would look forward to more of his works
Wonderful. It's way better than what I had expected. A well written historical fiction.
The story revolves around Aditya, 'the boy from Pataliputra', who was forcefully sent away to Takshashila after the execution of his beloved brother Ajeet. His life wasn't easy as before. The life in Takshashila was transforming him into a new man. By the end of the book, we see the battle of Hydaspes, which was between Alexander and King Puru. Adita and his friends from Takshashila were part of King Puru's army. The book concludes at a cliffhanger, hinting the possibility for a sequel.
This book won't disappoint you. It is an amazing read and will take you back in time.
Pataliputra is a familiar name for people – at least in my generation and earlier – well of course, if you attended your History classes dutifully. So, when you read the title ‘The Boy from Pataliputra’ you have a few usual suspects that come to your mind. But as you speed through the pages, you find out that you are in for a surprise. I find this has given the book and story a different perspective. The Boy from Pataliputra written by Rahul Mitra and published by FingerPrint fictionalizes the history set in the context of Alexander’s invasion of India circa 330 BC. Ajeet and Aditya, brothers are at the historical city of Pataliputra, capital city of Magadh at the start of the story. Ajeet is a security officer, and Aditya a carefree boy. A political conspiracy changes their life and Aditya had to flee with the help of some of his brother’s friends to city of Takshashila. The story moves to the new place talking about the transformation of Aditya to a young adult from a boy. Several more characters move into the life of Aditya and into the political environment of India and Takshashila. While Aditya gets trained in khadga and trade, makes new friends, the Macedonians enter India after the Persian success. King Ambi allies with the rampant marauder - Alexander. A revolt at the University of Takhshila ensues. You hear slogans for ‘Akhand Bharat’. Rebellions follow. Aditya who for some time is caught between two worlds, decides his stance. Rahul has done quite a bit of research to understand the historical background, intersperse it with fiction. I liked some of the sword fight scenes the details of which helps the reader visualize. The modern-day reader who likes a narrative that moves fast with twists and new turns coming up at regular intervals than the literary prowess will appreciate the flow of this book. His notes at the end are very descriptive. This helps even a historically-unaware reader also get into the time-period. I am not sure when Rahul wrote this novel. However, an observer of India politics and its actors can draw some parallel between the events and characters in the book to modern day happenings. Was that coincidental or does that talk about the perennial nature of some of them? Did you notice the mention of university I mentioned, some jingoistic slogans?
I received a copy of the book in exchange of my honest review, and I am glad I did! The boy from Pataliputra by Rahul Mitra is a nice historical fiction, which takes you to ride through 400 BC. The very well known episode of Indian history, The attack of Alexander the great, is taken as the base here. However, we follow an 16 years old ordinary boy from Pataliputra, Aditya. This is a story of his life, his relationships, his emotions and his growth. All the characters in this book is so well written and perfectly thought of, that it is impossible not to care for them. Author does not hold back on expressing any of the feelings or emotions of his characters. we feel the strength and hold of the emotions in all the relations through out the book, even in the middle of a war! See this one:
"Love has no logic, and nor is it a goal that you can achieve with extra work and dedication." This comes from Aditya's sword fight teacher!!!
The most mesmerizing part of the entire book is the writing style! Author has done great research on every tiny details for the plot, it is clearly visible through out the book, and also, excellently paid off! He did fantastic work in describing each and every event so minutely and wonderfully, be it in the market or in the race of horses! Also, the real characters from the history like Charak and Chanakya, are introduced at such a perfact plot timing, that keeps us turning pages!
All in all, a great book, a solid start to a series, and a very recommendable book to anyone who likes a book with a strong plot line and excellent character development! I am so looking forward for the second installment of this trilogy, Rahul!
People respect wealth and power in this world, my friend, and no one cares for a man with no position and no wealth, no matter how idealistic they may be.
Set against the backdrop of Alexander's invasion of India, The Boy From Pataliputra is the story of Aditya who, under unfavourable circumstances, goes from being a carefree boy to a man having a purpose. A purpose guiding him to hustle. The book is divided into two parts; The first part is all about his elder brother Ajeet, their relationship, and the one incident that turns his life upside down. The second part sees the beginning of a new Aditya in Takshashila.
The plot is strong because it's just not another re-telling of history as it may appear. The story has been intricately woven in the historical timeline, making it a realistic read. The narrative is detailed and lively, transporting one to that era as how many other people have suggested. It's a historical fiction, and there's no unwanted twisting of facts implying thorough research, a big plus. The author has retained the colloquial Hindi terms, keeping the essence intact. Another plus for me. The character buildup is smooth, with just enough details to keep the readers engrossed.
I definitely will recommend it to everyone. Every single person. This book explores more than just the history; you'll find glimpses of your own life at some point in the book.
The first thing that hits you when you read this book is how much research the author has done to represent the historical background accurately. In the front of the book, three maps are included to give a broad understanding of ancient India. Also thorough notes at the end of the book are very helpful for readers like me who are not well versed with Indian history. Mr. Mitra has used many ancient words in the story which was a little confusing for me. But the notes at the end of book helped me a lot.
When I received this book for review, I thought that the story might be about Chanakya or Chandragupta. But set against the backdrop of Alexander's invasion of India, this tale is actually about a boy Aditya (from Patliputra) and his journey from being a wayward aristocrat to a dignified man with principles.
Story is divided in three segments; the first part is about Aditya and his elder brother Ajeet who works in Magadha's task force. They live in the capital Pataliputra. Though Ajeet reprimands Aditya for his carefree behavior, he also loves him to bits. Everything seems fine until one unfortunate incident turns Aditya's life topsy-turvy and forces him to live a life of a runaway.
Part two is all about how Aditya with the help of his friends, takes the reins of his life in his owns hands and changes his destiny. He lives in the city of Takshashila now and has finally achieved everything; a fine job in King's army, reputation in society and a beautiful girl whom he loves.
But just when everything seems alright, a new dark threat in the form of Alexander hovers over Bharatvarsha. After the conquest of Persepolis; capital of Persian empire, he is on his way to conquer and obliterate India. As all the local rulers shake hands with the enemy, the students of Takshashila University including Aditya's friends declare open rebellion to upheld Chanakya's ideology of Akhanda Bharat. Aditya is in a quandary. What will he do in such a situation? Will he tear apart his carefully constructed world for the future of India?
Author has perfectly amalgamated fantasy with reality. I loved the fact that rather than distorting the actual historical facts and the stories of real historical figures from Maurya Dynasty, Mr. Mitra crafted a tale of a completely new fictional character set against the tumultuous backdrop of Alexandar's invasion of India in 4th century BC. Also there is a lot of information about India's internal politics of that period. For example, though fictional it gives us an insight into turbulent relationship between Kingdom of Magadha and Bauddha Bhikkshus . It was also interesting to read author's viewpoint on 'As a King treats another King' in the notes section.
I liked the language used by the author, which is a blend of modern day vocabulary with ancient words. The narrative would have turned into a boring essay if he had only used archaic words. The usage of modern day words made the conversations interesting. However my only issue with the story is its underdeveloped characters. Apart from the main protagonist, most of the secondary characters lack depth. To spice up the story, there should have been a little bit more focus on atleast some of the characters.
Considering this is author’s first book, he did a fantastic job of merging history with fiction. The story surely didn’t disappoint me. Also the cover of the book is enchanting. I am eagerly waiting for the next book in the Pataliputra Trilogy.
In essence the book is an interesting read and flips through the pages of history in a convincing way. It virtually plays out well and by the end leaves its readers almost daring to wonder how the course will occupy an entire saga after this for Aditya. The writing and narratives are strong compelling its readers to stay hooked till you reach the last page. I would also like to appreciate the author for going through the meticulous research and introducing and knitting his characters so well into the story that it looked so real.
The book traverses around the ancient Indian landscape with actual names of kings and places. Interesting way of depicting the way of life of that time and the commentary in satire is great. All in all an enjoyable read
I have just started reading this book today, and I am really very impressed with the narration and research that has been done for this book. The writer deserves accolades for this honest piece of work. All the mythology and fiction fans will rejoice this great piece of writing. Splendid so far. I will update my detailed review after reading the entire book. Quite engaging read. Good job.
When we hear about PataliPutra, Magadha and ancient times, we mostly think about the tales of Chanakya and Chandragupta and eventually Samrat Ashoka. And when added reference of Alexander (aka Alaxendra or Sikandar), we apply the “theory of deduction“ and comes to the conclusion that it is about Chanakya and Chandragupta only.
The title of this book, thus will make you to imagine that.
However, the story explored in this book is quite different as the protagonist is just another boy from Pataliputra.
I will try to avoid other spoilers, but there can be some, so please read ahead with that consent. Aditya and Ajeet are two inseparable brothers. While they have difference of opinions, they men the world to each other. Ajeet believe the rules and keen on doing the things in right way. And in that, he considers everything followed by the society as a way of living, should be followed. And thus he care about who should be befriended as well. Aditya on the other hand is happy-go-lucky guy who find caste or color of a person just another attribute. His friends can be from the lower castes, he don’t mind it. And he love horses too.
A farmer, one day lodges a complaint to Indukalpa, the kotwal of the city, about illegal grabbing of his land by some Buddhist monks who started building a monastery there. Known for his no-nonsense approach in such matters, Indukalpa ordered the soldiers to get the land free and hand it over to his rightful owner, and allowed them to use force when needed. Ajeet tried to execute the orders in the most composed manner.
The things went worst when a monk was dead during the operation.
Indukalpa was promoted as the chief justice of the kingdom and Ajeet is now the new kotwal of the city. You may believe anything but often the religious places are also buried in politics. The things eventually took some unexpected turns and eventually Ajeet became a scapegoat. He was executed to death and his brother is wanted now!
How Aditya moves forward from this point, who helps them in his journey, how he find his best friends, and much more is explored in the rest of the story.
Views and Reviews: Rahul Mitra is courageous as an author. Nowadays when there are many authors who write crap in the name of entertainment (and their books became bestsellers too), it is tough to choose a topic where you can add the flavor of imagination to history. His writing style is good and at places you can compare it with the way Amish have written Shiva Trilogy books. The mixture of modern and ancient times. The book contains some nicely written lines like the following; --------------- It’s not easy to make one’s living Aditya. Life is tough and one has to put up with a lot of nonsense, swallow humiliation, and stress, from time to time, and work very, very hard. You need to understand this. --------------- “Hey dev, I am but the dust beneath your feet.” “Then tell me, how do I bless you, O dust beneath my feet?” --------------- I know you want revenge, but this is not the time, son. You are not strong enough. First take care of yourself, become something in your right, and then when you have the power and strength you will also get your revenge, if the gods will it so. Till then, be patient – watch and learn, keep your mouth shut, and your eyes and ears open. You’ll do that, won’t you now? --------------- The bond between the brothers is explored nicely. The true meaning of friendship is at the heart of this book. The way Aditya was helped by Ajeet’s friend after Ajeet’s death will make you believe the famous saying: “A friend in need is a friend indeed”. The journey from a boy to the man Aditya became, was not easy, and was never perfect. This type of exploration of the tale makes it more realistic.
The bond between man and animals is also weaved nicely in the book.
Rahul is good at building scenes and explaining war details, and that will delight you as a reader. His efforts in research arena are quite visible in book throughout. He also acknowledges the support he have received from people associated with him. You should not skip acknowledgement section of the book.
The cover page of the book is simple yet effective.
There are some loose ends in the book through, as reader may want to see Aditya is making Indukalpa pay for his deeds at the end of the book. Also the first chapter of the book and Tanku’s Dhaba chapter could have been written better. At places a space between words are missing, we consider that at proof reading mistake.
Summary: A historical fiction with a substance, read if you can revisit historical stuffs with open mind.
The Boy From Pataliputra by Rahul Mitra is a book set in the 4th century BC. It is about the journey of one boy, from Pataliputra, and his personal transformation through new experiences and affiliations that he comes across. The story is adventurous and straight, and at many places thought provoking.
The book begins with the introduction of two brothers, Ajeet and Aditya. Being the elder of the duo, Ajeet is the responsible one, pushing the care free Aditya to steady up and make something out of himself. But Aditya learns it the hard way when Ajeet is framed and executed for a crime he did not commit. Shocked and resentful, Aditya is sent away to Takshashila under the guidance of Pandi, a merchant with excellent swordsmanship.
Takshashila opens up a new world of learning and opportunities for Aditya. Where on one hand Aditya is getting the pieces of his life together, on the other, Alexander is planning a startegic attack on the Indian subcontinent. The book ends with the Battle of Hydaspes between Alexander and King Puru, whose batallion also includes students from Takshashila such as Aditya and his friends.
Personally, I liked the book. The story is mainly about Aditya and his life which is sandwiched between Alexander's victory in Persia and the Battle of Hydaspes. Set in history, it is a fresh perspective from the author's eye who has included characters like Chanakya and Chandragupta into the story. The narrative is moderately paced and rightly so. There are some situations that need the subtlety and it is adequately provided.
The story is strong and interesting, making it a compulsive read till the end. The climax is definitely asking for a sequel. These kind of books would be great for a series, in my opinion. Anyway, The Boy From Pataliputra doesn't disappoint and is a result of some deep and thoughtful ideas.
A couple of quotes from the book may help support my conclusions.
"The point at which the mob realizes it's own might, is the crucial point of inflexion."
This quote was in reference to revolutions that have taken place since ages but there is a pattern to it that the elites are unaware of. It is so beautifully explained, worth pondering over. Another example:
"The struggle is not easy, it is hard and it takes time. Changing any situation takes time, whether it is that of your own life or the condition of our country."
The above quote is from a speech given by Chanakya. He urges his followers to keep patience and re equip themselves with zest, after they lose many comrades in the battlefield. The logistics and startegies of this revered acharya haven't found a match yet, as we all know.
All in all, the book depicts the story of a careless person being moulded into a grounded and confident one through courage, humility, discipline. It is a great read and I would definitely recommend it.
*** This book was sent to me by the author in exchange for an honest review. ***
An amazing read that will transport you back to ancient India, in 400 BC. A gripping story, with each page which makes it even more difficult to stop reading. Looking forward to more by this author.
Reading this book was like taking a journey back in time. I was amazed by the author’s ability to seamlessly transport the readers to the ecosystem of the story-line. Set in the 400 BC, this story deals with the life of a boy from Pataliputra, who finds his way to Takshashila, as an invasion takes course. This story talks about one of those portions of history which not that much spoken about. Standing out on its own amongst the usual tropes of Indian historical fiction, this is a great debut novel by the author, Rahul Mitra.
One of the things that I loved about the story is how descriptive some of the scenes were, such as, Aditya’s training with Pandi, the attack on the borderlands of Magadha etc. The imagery of these scenes is a treat of its own. Apart from this, we also get to brush up our history lessons. This book talks about the various groups of people such as the Yavanas, Pahlavas etc, as well as the significance of religions such as Buddhism and Jainism in ancient India. We also come across various historically significant figures like Chanakya, Charka and Chandragupta, who influence the citizens of Takshashila immensely; to an extend that the students of the university break into a rebellion, under the impact of Chanakya’s words. Though part of a fictional/fantasy universe, these characters remain truthful and unaltered.
A thoroughly researched book with a fluid language, A boy from Pataliputra tells the story of Aditya and the wild transformation he has from a careless teen to a responsible youth. What makes the story unique is that it is set in the times of Alexander's Indian invasion and the era of the intellect of Chanakya. Indian readers will always be indebted to Rahul Mitra for this interesting concept and a refreshing genre of Historical fiction which was either missing or not highlighted till date in India. Beginning with the characters and the backdrop of the story, one could only say that Mitra has tried to adjust many characters in short time. His technique works for Aditya and Pandi, but unfortunately fails on many other interesting characters which could have been developed in better way. The backdrop is really great considering he chose one of the most important and bloody phase of Indian history. A history enthusiast would love to read the way Mitra has painstakingly described and tried to include in the flow of story the different scenarios of Indian society and structure at 326 BC. A task well done. Coming to the language of the book, one could say that flow is impeccable and doesn't break the interest of the readers. But on the same note I would like to say that Mitra has explained few scenarios or incidents in such minute details that few readers may get annoyed or may skip few pages. I understand that Mitra has got a 3 books deal on this plot and that he has done a lot of research work to be as accurate as possible, but then writing couple of pages just to describe a scene is frivolous and unsought for. It broke my flow at least at three places and annoyed my patience. Apart from that one could notice the careful attempt by Mitra to portray the story in a bollywood way. Especially the youth and the random stuffs of student life which may suit few readers but could have been avoided. Similarly, few of the description about the war and the preparation of war are so long and irrelevant that it bores the reader. May be, Rahul had to do this, along with the inclusion of many characters, because he has received a three book deal and much has to be shared. Readers are strongly recommended to read the Notes written in the end where Rahul Mitra has explained many situations and terms in detail. That is a most satisfying read for a history enthusiast like me. Also, the mention of Jain, Buddhist, and Ajivikas have provided a very accurate description of the time. If one notices the parallel that is being drawn in the current context then the story becomes even more exciting. Over all, a wonderful read. Go for it!
actually there is a saying don't judge the book by its cover but when it comes to publishing a book the publisher, writer has to do lot of thinking to give a first and best impression to the book by designing the cover very well in that rahul mitra and his publisher has done a great job giving a an apt cover and a better binding. so coming to the content of the book i read lot books of different genre each genre has different hurdles collecting facts, proofs, and a plot to connect those, on that context when a genre is historical fiction it is bad to present wrong historical facts so the facts are all right with this one except some i think i may be wrong. when it comes to writing words are in flow writer should able to visualize sequence with his writing technique and i visualized every line when i read so it is done good job rahul mitra on that. book has taken lot of characters giving some a good length and some i personally feel underplayed like devika, navinda, sameera, notably i liked pandi's character, sumuka was a good villain, chandra gupta was missed in war scene, radha was cute i feel booze is used too much. so i read it loved reading it is good but could have been even more better at some places my fav line in this book "you feel that society has wronged you by murdering your brother,isn't it? you think that you don't owe anything to anyone, but they owe you, right? that's why you only think about yourself, don't you? it's the intelligent thing to do."