Book Review: ‘Nandi’s Charge: The Battle of Vathapi Book 1’ by Arun Krishnan

"Nandi's Charge: A sweeping saga of honor, intrigue, and battle, set against the backdrop of Ancient India."

Book Title: Nandi’s Charge: The Battle of Vathapi Book 1
Author: Arun Krishnan
Publisher: HarperCollins India
Number of Pages: 544
ISBN: 978-9356995666
Date Published: Nov. 16, 2023
Price: INR 324

Nandis Charge Battle of Vathapi Book 1 by Arun Krishnan

Book Review

Arun Krishnan’s book series takes place in 7th-century India, with the historical Battle of Vathapi serving as the centerpiece. The first novel in the series, “Nandi’s Charge,” serves as a precursor to the approaching struggle, headed by the resolute Pallavan King, Mammalla, who wants to honor his father’s dying desires. As alliances are formed and plans are created, the story takes readers on a trip through political intrigue, military preparations, and personal sacrifices, laying the groundwork for an epic battle between the Pallavas and the Chalukyas.

Author Arun Krishnan’s rigorous attention to detail and vivid world-building takes readers to the heart of ancient India, bringing busy towns, beautiful temples, and huge landscapes to life. Despite the narrative’s intricacy, which includes numerous views and a diverse cast of people, Krishnan’s skilled writing delivers a smooth and entertaining reading experience rich in historical accuracy and vivid imagery.

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At the heart of the series is a gripping study of devotion, honor, and the unwavering pursuit of justice. Readers see the complexity of friendship, duty, and sacrifice through the perspective of heroes such as Commander Paranjyothi and his allies, who live in a turbulent age defined by shifting alliances and vicious opponents. Against this backdrop, themes of love, ambition, and civilizational conflict mingle, bringing depth and richness to the narrative mosaic.

Nandi’s Charge” is a compelling combination of reality and fiction, thoroughly researched and accomplished. While the pacing can be sluggish at times, especially at the beginning, the novel’s rich storytelling and convoluted storyline eventually gain speed, culminating in an exciting conclusion that leaves readers wanting for the next episode. With its vivid description of ancient India and intriguing array of characters, Krishnan’s series offers an extraordinary literary voyage through a watershed moment in Indian history.

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