Book Review: ‘Varaha’s Vengeance: The Battle of Vathapi Book 2’ by Arun Krishnan

A riveting sequel, where loyalties are tested amidst the clash of empires

Book Title: Varaha’s Vengeance: The Battle of Vathapi Book 2
Author: Arun Krishnan
Publisher: HarperCollins India
Number of Pages: 408
ISBN: 978-9356999855
Date Published: Feb. 16, 2024
Price: INR 324

Varahas Vengeance by Arun Krishnan Book Cover

Book Review

Arun Krishnan presents another compelling tale in the exciting sequel to “Nandi’s Charge: Battle of Vathapi,” keeping readers captivated till the finish. Set in the seventh century, the drama continues the tumultuous saga of the Pallavas and Chalukyas, with youthful King Narasimhavarman struggling to carry on his father’s legacy amidst political intrigue and looming bloodshed.

Varaha’s Vengeance: The Battle of Vathapi Book 2” continues where its predecessor left off, diving further into the complexities of espionage and strategic warfare. As the Pallavas undermine their opponents’ preparations, emotions rise and relationships are challenged in the heat of combat. Krishnan’s great attention to detail brings the story to life, painting a vivid picture of ancient India and its complicated web of loyalties and conflicts.

One of the story’s noteworthy aspects is Krishnan’s dedication to realism, as seen by his extensive research and subtle characterization. From the characters’ private talks to the grandeur of military tactics, every detail of the novel is masterfully designed to transport readers to the Pallava and Chalukya worlds. Maps and character lists help readers navigate the narrative, offering a smooth reading experience despite the story’s wide breadth.

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Despite the epic conflicts and political machinations, the personal travels of the three spies—Elango, Muthuvel, and Kannan—remain at the center of the story. Their unshakable dedication to duty and honor, despite the obstacles they endure, gives depth and emotional relevance to the plot. In a fight against the Pallavas and their allies, King Pullikeshi must balance professionalism, moral responsibilities, and emotional responses.

The story investigates the ethical issues of conflict and humanitarian action, emphasizing the fragile balance between protagonists and villains. It is an engaging read for people interested in India’s civilizational history, including subjects such as governance, warfare, and moral behavior.

As the series progresses, Krishnan expertly tackles themes of love, loyalty, and sacrifice, encouraging readers to consider the ageless intricacies of human nature and the lingering legacy of ancient battles.

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