My rating: 4.5 out of 5 stars
Series - Itihasa - Ashoka
The first book of 2016. What a start it is. Ashok Banker is India's mythology man. Now add history or as Banker likes to say Itihasa to his cap. Ashoka - The Lion of Maurya is the first of the series of books based on the greatest Indian Emperor ever - Ashoka Maurya. The 3rd in the Mauryan Dynasty, the man who laid the foundations of modern day India, a man whose deeds are still seen in various facets of Modern India.The Lion of Maurya is a bloody tale, it is a tale of war and the emergence of a single power through fratricide and bloodshed. History is witness, the empires of great men have been build on the blood of the people they have spilled to conquer and retain the throne. Nobody knows this better than the greatest modern day preceptor to have ever lived Chanakya, a man whose treatise and policies known as Chankyaneeti and Arthasashtra form the foundations of mordern politics and economics. A man comparable to Aristotle, Socrates and Sun Tzu. Now living in his old age Chanakya is seeing the very empire he forged for Chandragupta Maurya being torn apart by relentless machinations and greed of Samrat Bhindusara's chief queen and step-mother.
The heir apparent Prince Sushim is too indulgent in living a life of debauchery and wine. The only person capable of assuming the reins of the throne has vowed to keep himself away from it to protect his mother from the machinations of the palace politics. What will happen when enemies of the empire strike from within.
Every man has his limits and Ashoka's limits lay with his mothers well-being. When the same mother is imprisoned and tortured by the chief queen with the tacit approval of the King himself and when the King allows for his own son to be broken and left for dead what will Ashoka do?
This is where the Banker leaves us at the end of the Lions of Maurya, more questions unanswered than ever and the long tantalizing wait for the next book in the series.
Dear Ashok, you have me hooked to his new series.