Title: The Peshwa - War of the Deceivers
Author: Ram Sivasankaran
Ram Sivasankaran’s ‘The Peshwa: War of the Deceivers’ is the second installment in the Peshwa series. The story is set in the early 18th century when warlords marched their legions across and bloodied the subcontinent seeking territories, wealth, and revenge.
The book is all about how the Marathas, under the Peshwas, sought alliance with the Sikhs and outsmarted the Mughals and Nizam Ul Mulk. It is a fictionalised story of how the Mughals and the Nizam employed a legion of shadowy murderers, called Scorpions, and how the Marathas destroyed it. The beginning of the book deals with the most iconic events in the Maratha history and is followed by some subsidiary events before the fictional aspect unfolds.
Sivasankaran has done full justice with this novel. There is a nice blend of fiction and history in this book that promises a great reading experience just like its prequel. The author’s stark prose heightens the story’s tension and realism. The only real flaw of the book is the fact that some of the characters lack a real personality, especially the legion of shadowy murderers. They come across as two dimensional card-board renditions of stereotype assassins. That said, the rest of the story telling doesn’t experience any jolts and one keeps turning the pages till the end wanting for more. Right from its stylized cover and down to its narrative style — this book just keeps scoring brownie points.
As usual, history buffs will find plenty to ponder and casual readers will enjoy his storytelling manner as he continues to weave a colorful tapestry of the Marathas.
An all-round win for readers who enjoy thrilling tales, historical context, and contemplating the what-ifs of a time long gone.
Ram Sivasankaran was born in Madras, India, but has spent most of his life abroad, largely in the Middle East and the United Stated of America. He was brought up on stories from Hindu legend and the great epics and classics of both India and the West. In addition to being a passionate student of history in school, Ram has built a keen interest in stories of valour, heroism, chivalry, beauty, and romance.
A daydreamer of sorts, Ram believes deeply in the power of imagination---the mind being the canvas on which even the seemingly talentless can create new universes, resurrect eras long gone, bring the gods to life and even revive heroes and damsels of yore. Ram makes his debut with a historical novel on one of the greatest and yet, to an extent, less known figure from Indian history — Bajirao Bhat, Peshwa of the Maratha Confederacy, mighty warrior, hopeless romantic and one of the most dazzling examples of wartime courage, military readership and battle strategy.
I'd like to thank the author for letting me review the book. I do hope you end up liking the book when you read it. Thank you so much for stopping by, and happy reading!