The Epic of Kautilya: Born to be King by Deepak Thomas is fantastic fantasy fiction. As the title says – the Epic – yes after reading the book, in fact mid-way, I began feeling that the characterization of the female protagonist Kautilya is worth doing something bigger in her life. Is she a born king, the novel possesses this question, and I must say that it answers it as well brilliantly. Grandiose work by the author!
So, basically the story is about reclaiming what she deserves and to set things right in a way a righteous king would do for his people. However, I was amazed by the antagonism presented in the book – I mean a king gets killed by his five (so called) sons and the daughter watches it meekly or helplessly. Otherwise in king-oriented stories, the king is either killed by ministers, brother, invaders, or outside enemies, well here they were his sons, quite interesting. Another wonderful aspect of the book is the fight between apes and humans. I would suggest you see the map of Bharat clearly before reading the book, and for god’s sake don’t flip by pages for at least first 20 chapters; otherwise you will grope for the real and exciting climaxes all the way.
In the story, Kautilya leads the path, along with murderous and highly ambitious villains like Dhanush. Legally, they are sister and brother. How – that’s interesting – you got to find out that. In fact, Kautilya has five raptor brothers but none of them is like her or supports her. They are different – more into war and glory. And Kautilya is just an anti-thesis to them.
The real challenge for Kautilya is to avenge his father Chandra’s death that got killed in the daylight by his own sons, or say brothers of Kautilya. As per the five raptors, the king was too timid or cold to rule the kingdom. To me they sounded logical, but my heart goes for Kautilya. Nevertheless, when she tries to revolt, she is imprisoned and almost sent to death chambers. But that’s the real point in the story, from there a new narrative takes birth – next you see that Kautilya is not only struggling to avenge for her father’s death, but also fighting for apes’ freedom. Will it be possible for the beautiful nymph like Kautilya to resist all this to see glory again in her life?
If you are roused by this summary, probably this is the time for you to pick up this book soon. And Deepak Thomas, kindly get it printed in paperback too. Though 288 pages on Kindle, I felt as I traversed through an era where I saw great landscape, forest, demons, apes, animals and of course greedy humans.
Deepak is a lovely writer with captivating narrative skills. Go on and write sequel to this – I know you have left a chance for the same too. Vocabulary, language usage, dialogues between characters, development of Kautilya since age ‘eight’ and other characters’ traits and all, believe it is filled with adventure, fun, and emotions, and not to talk about war wisdom. Great work…highly recommended.