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The Tree Bears Witness (Birbal, #2)

really liked it 4.00  ·  Rating details ·  282 ratings  ·  52 reviews
Barely a month has passed since the royal wedding of Emperor Akbar to the legendary Jodha, when the new queen’s brother, Sujjamal, is found murdered in the palace gardens.

With his honour and reputation at stake, Akbar asks his trusted advisor Birbal to solve the mystery. The murder has taken place in a garden, at a spot between two mango trees, and the two guards who are
Paperback, 250 pages
Published November 2nd 2017 by Westland
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Dec 06, 2017 rated it really liked it
“Wit beyond measure is man’s greatest treasure.”

----J.K. Rowling

Sharath Komarraju, an Indian author, has spun a riveting thriller set in one of the greatest Mughal Emperor Akbar's court in Agra in his new book, The Tree Bears Witness which is the second book in the series Birbal that revolves around Akbar's new Rajput queen's dear brother's highly suspicious death in the gardens of the court and to solve the mystery behind the death of a young and powerful Rajput prince, Akbar assigns his
Annette mathews
Mar 05, 2018 rated it really liked it
We have always grown up with Akbar and Birbal Stories. No Indians are Stranger to their Stories. Who wasn't bowled over by Birbal's Wit?
For those People who don't know, Akbar was the Emperor of the Mughal Empire in India and Birbal, his loyal advisor in the Court.I knew I had to read this book when I saw it up for Review,
A month has passed since the royal wedding of Akbar to Hira Kunwari when a murder strikes them. Hira Kunwari's brother is found dead in the Palace Gardens. No one sees anything
Pavitra (For The Love of Fictional Worlds)

Disclaimer: A Huge Thanks to Westland Books & Amazon Publishingfor providing me with a review copy. My thought, opinions and feelings expressed in this review are, however are my own!

Akbar andBirbalwere the amazing duo of my childhood; in fact for Indian children, they were theSherlock – Watsonduo of Indian children!

And the author,SharathKomarrajudoes a brilliant job of recreating these favorite characters from my childhood.

This is the second book in theBirbalMystery; but even if you are a
Shreya Vaid
Jan 07, 2018 rated it it was amazing
What happens when you receive a review copy from one of your favorite authors after almost 2 years? First, you laugh in a very weird manner (which makes people in the elevator stare at you like you are some retard) and then you simply cannot wait to get back home and read it! That's exactly what happened with me couple of weeks back when I received a copy of The Tree Bears Witness by Sharath Komarraju and I was simply elated!
The last book that I read of this brilliant author was the Hastinapur
Nitin Mishra
Jan 22, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
A wonderful read

Sharath has a way in his telling of a story. When I read his first book in the series Birbal mystery namely "Crows of Agra", I was impressed and I had a thought that he will produce a sequel to it. Well, he did. It's not exactly a sequel but it is. It follows the famous courtier Birbal's life after he solved the murder in the first book. The way he has changed, his looks, his dressing sense and people now refer to him as Raja Birbal. And he has a task on his hand again as there
Rakhi Jayashankar
Mar 09, 2018 rated it really liked it
We have all grown up reading Birbal stories. The brilliance of the minister has always astonished me. I used to wonder if these indeed are stories of the past or mere fictional crafts. While I got hold of the tree bears the witness I was initially apprehensive as to which category the book would come into. I even expected it to be a children's book.

Whether inspired from the earlier stories or a new creation from the author, I was pretty impressed with the work. To recreate an era which we have
Taanya Ahuja
Feb 15, 2018 rated it liked it
Title: Tree Bears Witness
Author: Sharath Komarraju
Publisher: Westland Ltd
Published on: 17th November 2017
Binding: Paperback
Pages: 250
ISBN: 9386850443


Barely a month has passed since the royal wedding of Emperor Akbar to the legendary Jodha, when the new queen’s brother, Sujjamal, is found murdered in the palace gardens.
With his honour and reputation at stake, Akbar asks his trusted advisor Birbal to solve the mystery. The murder has taken place in a garden, at a spot between two mango
Soumyabrata Sarkar
Nov 23, 2017 rated it liked it
The story opens on a fateful night with two guards and a shrouded air of mystery over a garden. A royal person killed (or was it a suicide?), and soon after the emperor calls upon his advisor to detect the cause and execution of the death.

Sujjamal, the deceased royal guest was however not dear to the people around him, only with the exception of the newly-wedd princess. Among the suspects are the two royal guards, the relatives of the deceased, and the emperor himself. Apart from them, there are
Srikkanth G
May 27, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Oh boy oh boy, what a wonderful suspense crime historical thriller. Once a while you come across authors, who are not as famous as they should be, writing some wonderful stories that's engaging and interesting.

The Tree.. is one such book. It brings back Birbal story written in eloquent manner that begs the author to write more.

The first 40% of the book is a gem. The build up, the characterization, voice of characters, historical setting are all top notch. There are few classic Birbal comments
Sonali Dabade
Nov 27, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Sharath Komarraju gets everything right in The Tree Bears Witness. He maintains the pace throughout the book, putting in you an eagerness to find out what happens. A curiosity that comes only with extremely well-written murder mysteries. He builds the suspense to a point where you feel you are in the scene.

At different points in the story, you start speculating about who the killer could be. Then you think, “No, it can’t be.” Then a thought comes to you. “Why can it not?” This loop can be
Sanjay R
Jan 13, 2018 rated it really liked it
Being an author, well-known for his refreshingly innovative ideas in fiction writing, Sharath Komarraju has made a successful attempt in this sequel by blindfolding the readers and letting them into an orchard to find and untie the knots of some invisible threads, tied around the trees that bear witness. Throughout the novel, the readers are let to have their own theories built, like castles in the air, and by the time the foundations are laid, the mystery is revealed in an unpredictable way. ...more
Nov 28, 2017 rated it liked it
Shelves: arc-review-copy
Actual Rating: 3.5
Being a keen enthusiast of the Mughal era this book interested me from the first time I heard about it. It is a whole new level to the Akbar Birbal stories that I've read and heard in my childhood. Sharath Komarraju weaves a skillful tale of mystery with a simple yet well structured writing style. Despite the easy writing the book keeps you hooked with its mysterious plot. Usually with any murder mystery the reader tends to try and guess the killer but in the case of this book
Jiten Upadhyay (Team ThinkerViews)
[ Detailed book review is available at: ]
I bought "The Tree Bears Witness" - A Birbal Mystery - a while ago from Amazon India, during a promotion; but got a chance to read it recently. It is comparatively a long book (usually, Birbal stories are smaller) where Sharath Komarraju (the author) tried exploring a murder mystery.

The Plot:
Emperor Akbar recently got married to Hira Kunwari. Most of the royal marriages are more of a political treaty and a
Nov 28, 2017 rated it really liked it
I have read a lot of stories about Birbal mostly through Amar Chitra Katha comics. They were a few page affairs that mostly ended as quick as they begin. Probably the first time that i was with Birbal for a lot more than 100+ pages. It felt good for sometime at-least.

The moment i saw Birbal, mystery, author from Bangalore and a thick book i just picked it up. Definitely not disappointed. As usual i won't write about what the story is about... what would be the point? Plus i am not writing a
Anugya Sinha
Dec 25, 2017 rated it really liked it
Wise is the one who doesn’t get influenced by anything…even by the truth

Tree Bears Witness (TBW), the name says it all. This Birbal mystery by Sharath Komarraju is an engaging suspense book. The building of the plot in interesting it keeps; as a reader you are compelled to get your grey cells to work.

Usually while reading a suspense book, we tend to get involved, we tend to get into this invisible race, to solve the mystery before we reach the conclusion. When you are unable to do that,
Nidhi Srivastava
Dec 11, 2017 rated it really liked it
I am privileged that I was amongst few readers receiving review copies from Westland Publication. Write Club Bangalore should be thanked for this, as one fine day my mailbox featured a mail from Sharath (the author). How cool! Yes, super cool receiving mail from the author just before the release of the book. Everyone isn’t a history buff or a history fan. We believed what the books taught us certifying it as boring. We believed what the television series telecasted approving it as fact. We ...more
Veena Soujanya
Dec 04, 2017 rated it really liked it
Shelves: sharath
"The Tree Bears Witness" is the second installment of A Birbal Mystery. After getting a place in the royal court and becoming a confidant of the Emperor, Birbal gets a chance to use his wits to solve another mystery again.

A few days passed since the marriage of Akbar with the Rajput princess Jodha and tragedy strikes in the form of the death of prince Sujjamal in the palace gardens. It is openly known that where Jodha loves her brother deeply, Akbar finds Sujjamal to be a traitor. When the death
Amit Pamnani
Apr 26, 2018 rated it really liked it
Set in the Mughal Age, this novel is an episode where King Akbar’s new wife’s brother Sujjamal is murdered in the Mughal Gardens itself. The murder is a mystery since it has only two witnesses in the form of the guards who again have conflicting views about the murder. King Akbar then entrusts this job to find out who the murderer is and how the murder was done to his loyal courtier Birbal.
The whole story revolves around this mystery and how does Birbal go about solving the murder and nail the
May 31, 2019 rated it liked it
This book totally confused me on whether I liked it or not. The plot was kind of mediocre. I expect a thriller or a book with murder on the premise to be unputdownable. The eagerness to know the murderer, the interesting ups and downs, nothing of that sort was there. It felt too linear or say flat for my taste. Specifically slow at most times and there were not enough twists and turns. I have even enjoyed the simple Birbal Akbar stories much more than this.
The plot is as described in the
May 13, 2018 rated it liked it
Akbar-Birbal have been interesting characters for kids over the years for folklore stories. In this book, the writer takes the same characters and weaves a suspense story around them. The writing is simple and easy flowing, with the book being a quick read. There are clues left along the narrative and if the reader is an avid suspense genre lover, then the climax can be easily guessed. The writer provides only the right amount of description of the times of the Moghuls and doesn’t go overboard. ...more
Chittajit Mitra
Jan 22, 2018 rated it really liked it
Rating- 4.5/5

The story is set during the golden era of Mughal dynasty under the leadership of Emperor Akbar. Few weeks after Akbar got married to Rajput princess Hira Kunwari to form an alliance between the Rajputs & Mughals, the newlywed queen’s brother, Sujjamal is found dead at the palace gardens under mysterious circumstances. With the alliance in danger & the reputation of Mughal dynasty under radar, Akbar seeks help from his favorite courtier Mahesh Das AKA Raja Birbal. As he
Swagata Tarafdar
Mar 23, 2018 rated it really liked it
I received a free review copy of this book, alongwith a letter from the Marketing department of Westland Publications Pvt. Ltd. mentioning to share the feedback. Though I was a bit late to finish reading the book, but sharing feedback is almost an obligation to me. I thoroughly enjoyed reading the book. What seemed like an impossible murder mystery in the beginning, came to a logical conclusion at the end. Set in the Mughal era, the famous courtier of Emperor Akbar, Birbal, fitted the missing ...more
Pradeeta Mishra
Dec 03, 2017 rated it it was amazing
After reading Crows of Agra, I jumped up and got this book! And loved it more than the #1 one. Birbal, or Mahesh Das as we know him, is presented with an invisible murderer, amidst the wedding celebrations of Jalal and Jodha. The death of the important guest was seen by two guards and according to them, the two mango trees where the body lay. The trees hold the answer.

The pace of the story is fast and engaging. I finished it in 5 hours straight! Loved the fleshing out of characters and the
Tushar Mangl
Dec 23, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Sharath Komarraju's book Tree Bears Witness was released last month and I just copy last evening. Liked it so much, I finished it in a single sitting. So what's the book all about?

Emperor Akbar has just married the Rajput princess Hira Kunwari and one of the wedding guests ends up dead. The man, Sujjamal is also the princess's favorite brother but disliked by most of the party. That he is found dead in mysterious circumstances in his own palace could have serious implications on the political
Nov 28, 2017 rated it really liked it
#review copy
There are two things I appreciate the most in a story book.. They are its plot and its use of language. Sharath Komarraju usually scores well on both points. The present book is very well-knit. No wastage of time. No extra information to unnecessarily baffle the reader. The language borders on the elegance of classics. The plot is neat, intriguing and it is definitely a page-turner.
BUT, I found the solution predictable. Moreover, the motive of the culprit is not made clear at all.
Danesh Hussain Zaki
Jul 06, 2018 rated it really liked it
The book is in the lines of Madhulika Liddle's Muzaffar Jung series with Birbal playing the central character of a detective. While the plot in the book is adequately complex and the narration is fast paced, there could have been more attention to detail. For instance, the city and its surroundings could have been a bit more elaborately described. Since the investigation is mostly in the palace or with royals, the book does not provide a glimpse of the life outside.

Overall, the book is a good
Dec 03, 2017 rated it it was amazing
If there can be so many tales written by others about Sherlock Holmes, why do we not have more tales about Birbal, Tenali Raman and so on? Sharath Komarraju's 'The Tree Bears Witness' fills this need and is a great read, and reminded me of Agatha Christie. The language is good and tempo is well-maintained, though I felt the crucial clue could have been revealed later in the plot.
With suspense, wit, history, and well-written characters, it is a great read that reveals Sharath Komarraju’s growing
Sonia Bhattacharyya
Dec 05, 2017 rated it really liked it
Very well written mystery fiction set in the time of Akbar, suitable for all ages. The books takes you to the days of Akbar the Great and gives you a vivid picture of the Emperor's palace and the lives of people living in it, some of them really interesting. It also portrays, very convincingly, the relationship between Akbar and Birbal. However, these are, but bonuses. The plot itself is a very clever one. You would have to be cleverer than Birbal to guess whodunnit. Very enjoyable reading.
Dec 17, 2017 rated it really liked it
The book has an interesting plot where things are coupled tightly. The death of the queen's brother triggers a set of fascinating events governed by the deep rooted relationships and principles of the royals.

The best part being it seemed like an Indian version of Agatha Christie's "Hercule Poirot" wherein our favourite childhood hero Birbal takes the charge.

A wonderful plot, accompanied by the right set of words provides a really good experience.
Shivani Arjun
Jun 14, 2018 rated it really liked it
Perfect read during travel and better editing when compared to the first one. The book is fiction and cannot be confused with history. Ending was expected and not really shocking.It is the second book i have read by Sharath komarraju and i would recommend it to any book lover. The descriptions in the book were detailed and managed to set the scene in your mind. Amazing read.
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Sharath Komarraju is an author of fiction and nonfiction based in Bangalore, India. Once a software engineer, now he writes for a living, and on lazy days he watches cricket and talks to his wife (often at the same time).

His most popular work to date is the Hastinapur series, in which he speaks into the silences of the Mahabharata story through the epic's many women characters.