The Boy from Pataliputra is a unique historical fiction. Its uniqueness lies not in the story but in the choice of protagonist – a common average boy from the city of Patliputra. This fact alone takes this book out of the race of other contemporary historical fiction. Writing from the perspective of a king or a notable character of Indian history is pretty easy but Rahul Mitra bravely attempted the unconventional approach. Tracing the life of a common boy Aditya and interlacing the incredible story of Indian struggle to stay united and strong against the foreign forces along with it.
With a fluent and lucid style of writing, Rahul Mitra did full justice in portraying accurate social, economic and political picture of 4th century Bharat. Scenes of narrow lanes of Takshhila, horse racing, army expedition were alive in my head as if I am witnessing them, thanks to the minute detailing of events.
Novel starts with adolescence of Aditya and his perilous journey from Patliputra to Takshila. This journey beautifully depicted both physical and emotional evolution of a boy to a man his brother always wanted him to be. Generally, when we hear names like Patliputra, Magadh or Takshila, stories of Chanakya and his disciple Chandragupta Maurya cross our mind. This book is developed on same plot but with a twist. You will find different shades of well-known characters. Ambhi, the naïve king, Chanakya, the thinker, Chandragupta Maurya, the budding leader, Charaka, the mad scientist, Puru, the brave ruler.
I would also like to appreciate the simplicity with which author embed complex philosophies and ideologies. Be it debate on need of akhand Bharat or fragile political balance or feud between kingdoms of ancient India. Rahul Mitra flawlessly explained both sides of the coin.
There are some editing mistakes scattered here and there but it will not spoil your reading experience.
All in all, ‘The Boy from Patliputra’ is a well-researched book with a gripping plot. It compels you to deep dive in historical drama of war, love, betrayal, friendship, struggle and nationalism. I will eagerly wait for the next 2 installments of the trilogy.
About Author : 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. (Source : Goodreads)
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