Book Review

Chanakya by Ashok K. Banker #BookReview

We all know of Chanakya as the Prime Minister of Chandragupta Maurya. He was a Jurist, Philosopher, a brilliant War Strategist and a Political Wizard. He had written the ‘Arthashastra’ which is considered a handbook on the governance of a country and is followed by students of Political Science. Chanakya was at first, a minister to the Nanda ruler Mahapadma Nanda, who was known for corruption, cruelty and his unruly ways. Chanakya aka Vishnu Gupta helped Chandra Gupta overthrow the Nanda Kings and build the Mauryan Empire. When I read the title and blurb of the book, Chanakya by Ashok K. Banker I was instantly transported back to my Dad’s class. He was my school history teacher and all thanks to his brilliant lectures, I still remember all about Pataliputra and the Maurya Empire.

Needless to say, I love reading about Indian History and I knew, I had to pick up this one. 

Chanakya! Does that ring a bell with you? Of course! He was the Prime Minister to Chandragupta Maurya, a Jurist, Philosopher, a brilliant War Strategist and a Political Wizard. He had written the Arthashastra which is considered a handbook on the governance of a country. When I read the title and blurb of the hook, I was instantly transported back to my Dad’s class. He was my school history teacher and all thanks to his brilliant lectures, I still remember all about Pataliputra and the Mauryan Empire. I love reading Historical Fiction and was glad to receive this review copy of the book Chanakya written by @ashokkbanker, sent by @writersmelon and @westland_books Thank you very much. . . A short and crisp read with simple and lucid writing, this book would be loved by children and adults alike. This is the first book of the trilogy and portrays Vishu Gupta’s childhood, as a seven year old pigtailed genius who shows conspicuous intellect. Read the full review on the blog. 🖇️Link in bio. . . . #MuffyRNair #MuffyTales #MufasatheGoldenRetriever 📓🐶 . . #bookstagram #books #bibiliophile #bookish #book #fiction #readersofig #reading #iamreading #amreading #reading #readingchallenge #currentread #bookstagrammer #bookstagramfeatrure #bookstagramindia #booksofinstagram #indianbookstagram #bookreview #goldenretrieverpuppy #doggosofindia #dogbookstagram

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The Plot:

Jurist, war strategist, kingmaker. Master administrator. Author of the Arthashastra.

But before the legend, there was the boy: Vishnu Gupta.

Chanakya- the Legend Begins‘ is the first book of the Chanakya Trilogy written by Ashok K. Banker. This book covers the childhood and young age of Vishnu Gupta. This seven-year-old pigtailed genius hails from a small village called Chanak. He shows conspicuous intellect and stands out among the students of his Gurukul.

Vishnu Gupta’s father is a learned scholar and gets an opportunity to attend a conference in Pataliputra, the capital city of Magadha. Vishnu Gupta is excited and he journeys with his family, consisting of his father, mother, and three sisters. But, alas! Little did he know that he would fall in the hands of the evil Prime Minister of Nanda Kings, Maha-amatya Karthikeya, secretly known as ‘Rakshasa’.

Maha-amatya is amused by Vishnu Gupta’s intellect and believes that the latter can pose a threat to him and the empire at a later stage. 

Chanakya by Ashok K. Banker – Book Review

“By the time he walked out of that chamber that day, he (Vishnu Gupta) had a single goal in mind: To use his genius to reshape the Magadha Empire into a better Empire. A just Empire. A place where Nyaya was respected and followed. The first step to doing that was to learn all he could about Nyaya itself. And what better way could there be to study Nyaya than to observe its opposite, Anyaya in action!”

The book started off with a bang. As mentioned before, I was intrigued by the storyline and was glad to pick up this historical novel. Being the first book of the trilogy, it focuses on the childhood of Chanakya. I haven’t read of Chanakya’s childhood before. Of course, I get it, that the book is fiction. Nevertheless, this part was definitely interesting.

The author’s thoughts, creativity, and imagination are worth an applause and the portrayal of Chanakya is astounding. Chandra makes an appearance in the book and I believe, he will have a more prominent role in the upcoming books. Reading about ‘Rakshasa’, the Emperor and his son gave a chill down my spine.

The story is short and crisp with only 154 pages. The writing is simple and lucid and therefore, the book can be picked up by children as well. There are many anecdotes and quotes that are brilliant in the book. Few mentions about trafficking and corruption are included which acts as a great subplot.

My only concern was that the book ended abruptly. I don’t know, it just ended. Just like that. Maybe, if the author didn’t give so much importance in making this series a trilogy and thereby cutting short the book, it would’ve been received without dispute. There weren’t any ‘major’ incidents in the book. Nevertheless, it is an easy read and I would love to read the next books of the series.

Favorite Lines:

‘It’s one thing to stand out in a certain situation where he has to use his intellect for some purpose, and quite another thing to simply show off just to get his own way.’

‘If he can’t use his great intelligence to get what he wants from life, then what good is it being so intelligent?’

‘If a street is already dirty, you are more likely to toss your own refuse there as well. Filth invites filth. If a street is pristine, you know yours would be the only refuse and therefore more visible. Even if you are not a good citizen, you would be cautious about throwing refuse because of the risk of being seen by the authorities and penalized or punished for the littering.’

Do I Recommend?

If you love historical fiction, then yes! 


three stars book rating

3 hearts on 5!

Details of the Book
Title: Chanakya Publisher: Westland Publications
Author: Ashok K. Banker ISBN: 978-9387578166
Genre: Historical Fiction No: of Pages: 154

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Chanakya by Ashok K Banker book review

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Thanks to Writers Melon and Westland Books for sending me a review copy.

Disclaimer: The views expressed here are honest, unbiased, and my own. No, I didn’t receive any monetary compensation for the review. This post contains an affiliate link, which means, if you make a purchase through the link, I will earn a commission at no additional cost to you.


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