Spread the love

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

Buy here:

Paperback: https://shorturl.at/devBH

Kindle: https://shorturl.at/zRTX9

My take on the book:

Nandi’s Charge is the first book in The Battle of Vathapi series by author Arun Krishnan. A historical fiction novel set in seventh century India, the story begins with the young Pallava King Narasimhavarman promising his father Mahendravarman on his death bed about two things — avenge the Chalukyas for the defeat from two decades ago in Pullalur and build magnificent temples along the shoreline.

While the world believed that the King was busy building temples in Mamallapuram(now known as Mahabalipuram), three of the most competent Pallava captains are sent on three missions — Elango to forge alliances with the Pandyas and Gangas, Muthuvel to secure support from the exiled Lankan King, and Kannan to infiltrate the Chalukya capital, Vathapi, as a spy. Each of them had a different journey ahead navigating diverse route, terrain, and mission at hand.

The story impresses as it is narrated from the point of view of the generals and soldiers than the Kings, as it builds on the themes of loyalty and duty, rather than the ambition and egos of the rulers alone. The world building is impeccable as the reader will be carried to seventh century India — the Kingdoms, the war and spy tactics used in those times, the transport facilities that existed.

The story also reflects the politics of those times, how alliances were built and who betrayed whom. Along with the political landscape, the author builds the characters highlighting their individual struggles and growth over the timeline of the story. The story also explores the religious atmosphere, trade practises, scholars travelling the length and breadth of the country, et al.

The only drawback is the substantial number of characters which can be difficult to keep track of for novice readers. I tend to stay away from big books and those with many characters, but this book is an exception. The author has an amazing style of writing which is easy to follow even when the story has multiple threads running in parallel.

Since this is the first book in the series, it establishes the characters and the road ahead for them, while more action can be expected in the next parts, the looming war between the two most powerful dynasties — Pallavas and Chalukyas.

Overall, Nandi’s charge is a very well written book, especially in the historical fiction genre. Highly recommended.

My rating:


This review is part of the Blogchatter Book Review Program.