Chanakya’s Chant: Almost Wasted

I hate almost anything that comes up with a deadline. So when I signed up for the ‘Book-for-Review‘ program by BlogAdda, the only part I was skeptical about was the deadline set for writing the review. I have a long pending review for Booksneeze, which I’m planning to write this week. I finished the book almost instantly after receiving, but haven’t got much time to write about it.

Chanakya's_Chant_CoverSo, almost immediately signing up for the program and letting them know the interest for ‘Chanakya’s Chant‘, a historical fiction novel by Ashwin Sanghi (Shawn Haigins for western world), I received the book from BlogAdda. I have read ‘Rozabal Line‘, the first novel by the author, which was an intriguing one to buy his second one with out a doubt.

After being successful in writing (probably first India) a conspiracy theory thriller, Ashwin gets his hands into another uncommon genre amongst Indian authors – Historical fiction. And does a very decent job in it.

Chanakya was definitely a very clever and smart choice for a novel subject. Chanakya (Kautilya) is one of the most interesting personalities from Indian history – probably the best Indian contribution to politics. So when one picks up Chanakya, who lived in 4th century BC in India, as the protagonist for a novel, and sets half of the novel in contemporary India, the plot synopsis itself is enough for one to make a buying decision.

It would sound cliched and almost sounds a lie if I write the political visions of Chanakya is very relevant in contemporary Indian and world politics. But I have read Arthashasthra. Anyone who does that can’t help saying it. The novel skilfully masters the art of jumping two storyline with similar theme.

Another book, I can almost remember uses a similar technique is Delhi by Khushwant Singh. Though similarities cannot be drawn between these two – the former being far superior in storytelling, and Chanakya’s Chant almost losing it at times in the modern day plot – it indeed is a gripping read. I must say that the contemporary (fiction part) is as interesting (or as dis-interesting) as the history. For whatever the novel is not, it definitely is fast paced. If you are kind of person who loves reading for just reading sake – or even any kind – you can consider buying it.

I’ll have to disappoint you, if you were expecting a story synopsis or plot review in here, but for that you should go read the book. It’s no fun to read a paraphrased story. I’ve tried to write something without giving the plot away.

There are books that you can read in one sit, and then forget about it. Then there books that does that, makes you want to read it again – to try to see if you get a new perspective in a second read. There are books that requires great intellectual effort to read – where you’ll have to think almost after every line – and will never forget in your life. Then there are books that is almost impossible to read – some you’ll finish it fast, some you may give up half way, some you might finish with difficulty. Most of the books that I read falls into one of the above four categories.  And If have to put Chanakya’s Chant in there, it fits into category one. This is an excellent airport lounge companion.

This review is a part of the Book Reviews Program at Participate now to get free books!

[Image taken from, and copyrighted to, under the fair usage assumption. Rest of the post is licensed under WTFPL as usual.]

Comments (2)

[…] Dormitus. It might not be a witty as Dork, or as simple as Ineligible Bachelors or as thrilling as Chanakya’s chant, but it has something from all in it. It’s not long either, so you could finish it in one […]

DesertWind » The Krishna Key – Why, Oh Why?December 13th, 2012 at 4:42 pm

[…] as where Chankya was. This review is a part of the Book Review Program for Indian Bloggers! Share this:More […]