Aparna Prabhu's Reviews > The King Within

The King Within by Nandini Sengupta
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really liked it

With power comes great responsibility. Greatest power lies in not wielding it but in understanding how to use it. Power may enable a man supreme authority but at the same time may render him utterly helpless.

'The King Within' is the story of Chandragupta's rise to power, his helplessness against the will of destiny and the remorse he felt while turning against his own kin. It's the story of love, friendship, betrayal and how power can render even the most supreme man weak in his knees.


The characters were inspired from prominent historic figures from 373 AD. The author has depicted them in a different light. Even though there were many of them, but one could easily recall their names owing to the flawless characterisation.The dialogues were impactful elucidating the emotions felt by the characters. Special mention goes to the women characters. There is Dhruvaswamini, the chief consort of Chandragupta who tries to deprive Darshini, the courtesan, of her husband's friendship and company. Dhruva, not entirely selfless, her motherly love is evident towards all her husband's children from other women. Darshini loves Chandragupta deeply, but is forced to sacrifice her happiness for the sake of her illegitimate child. Both these women endowed with endurance and strength will definitely charm you.

The treatment rendered to Chandragupta's character was perfect in every sense. He was not depicted to be a person without flaws. Along with his bravery and intellect, his vulnerabilities were highlighted too.

The names of the places and kingdoms were backed by thorough research. There was also glimpses of Kalidasa's poetic translations that will definitely prove to be a treat to the poetry lovers.

I loved the way the fight scenes were written. The words beautifully articulated each move, almost bringing the scene to life.

The only flaws I found in this book are:

1) There were no clear indication of timeline and if there was, in few places, the pace didn't quite justify it.
2)The ending was abrupt

'The King Within' offers insights on the glorious reign of the Gupta's and has its own share of thrills. This book will definitely be a prized possession for History lovers.
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Reading Progress

Started Reading
January 7, 2018 – Shelved
January 7, 2018 – Finished Reading

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