The Brahmin, by Ravi Shankar Etteth
Avishi and Abhaya are two historical fictions written by Sai Swaroopa Iyer. After reading them, I started enjoying historical fictions and was thirsting for more. That was when my father gave me The Brahmin written by Ravi Shankar Etteth. It is a murder mystery set in the time of King Ashoka.
When one of King Ashoka’s concumbines is murdered, the eponymous Brahmin, the head of the spies working under Ashoka, is sent to investigate. On reaching the murder site, he finds a red kovidara flower next to the body, which indicates that the dangerous assassin, famously known as the Red Flower is on the loose and is here to kill the king. When he informs the King about this, he is given seven days in which to find and capture the killer. The Brahmin along with his trusted lieutenant Hao decide to go to Ujjain, the residence of Queen Asandhimitra, as the war strategy plans are stored there. He stumbles upon sinister plots and his cunning is put to test when there is a chance that Queen Asandhimitra’s life is in danger too. How will he save Magadha when the enemy is always two steps ahead of him?
The whole book kept you on your toes. What drew me to the book was the solution to the whole problem. The way the author makes use of all the five senses to describe the scene is what helped me imagine the whole story playing in my mind. When reading the book, one thing caught my eye. While most books show King Ashoka in a favourable light, this one has taken a different view from the stereotypical version of Ashoka. They have shown Ashoka as a cruel and paranoid king who thirsted for war. This book is one of itself and is one of my all-time favourites.
© 2018, Anvita Agarwal. All rights reserved.