If history fascinates you then this novel "The Peshwa: The Lion and the Stallion" by Ram Sivasankaran takes you a few centuries back in Mughal - Maratha period. In the 18th century, when Mughals were loosing their grip over Indian sub-continent and Maratha empire was gradually taking control over Indian states, under the guidance of Chhathrapathi Shahu (son of late Chhathrapathi Sambhaji) and the leadership of Balaji Vishwanath Bhat (Peshwa of the Maratha Confederacy), the empire was rising and building a path to achieve Mughal free India for the Maratha generations to come. The events described in this book mainly revolves around the royal families of Maratha empire and Nizam Ul Mulk of the Mughal empire.
The story begins with Bajirao Bhat riding alongside his father,Balaji Vishwanath Bhat and some soldiers of Maratha Confederacy to Delhi for negotiating the release terms of Chhathrapathi Shahu's mother from Mughal captivity. After being beaten by Maratha Confederacy in several states of Indian sub-continent and under the weak leadership of Mughal emperor, Farrukhsiyar, the Mughals had developed the diplomatic ties with the Marathas to maintain control over their existence in India. Nizam Ul Mulk , the loyal nizam of Peacock Throne of Delhi is a sharp personnel who believes in the Mughal Empire's domination. He convinces the Emperor to demolish the Peshwa's plan to release the Queen mother of Maratha Confederacy but all his plans of assassinating the Peshwa fails and things fall against his will. Later on,with the motive to destroy Maratha Empire and to avenge for the wounds the Peshwa had caused him, the Nizam builds his army and due to an internal rebellion among the Maratha Confederacy, things fall in favor of the Nizam and then how things take turn? and how the Peshwa's son, Bajirao Bhat, comes in the picture and takes control of the leadership and deals with toughest of situations is what engages the reader to the core of the narration.
Now the things which I like about the book
1) The cover of the book is appealing and grabs attention at first glance.
2) The chapters are beautifully bifurcated and doesn't make things boring from a reader's perspective.
3) The characters are well described and never appeared to be left out throughout the narrative.
4) I found the storytelling very poised and engaging.
Now the things which I didn't like about the book
1) I found the font very small and difficult to read in some of the chapters where the text is written in italics.
2) Though the use of graphics in books is common these days but I didn't like them in this book, as the objects depicted were not of great significance.
Overall, I liked the book as it gives you a taste of history and makes you learn about some of the unheard and brave stories of the legends.
I give this book 4 stars out of 5.
A nice weekend read!
I received the copy of "The Peshwa: The Lion and the Stallion" from Writersmelon in exchange of an honest review.