Porus by Roopesh Tiwari is a gigantic historical novel. Its basic objective is to portray Porus in a new revised shaft of light. You must have read many novels on the transcendental stretch of Indian history from ancient to medieval to independence struggle. However, this one is entirely different but at the same time it may intrigue you. This story follows the great epoch in the history that binds India, Macedon, and Persia. Not only history it was an utterly different civilization then. With a lot of characters at each turn, the story is fast paced, mysterious, and must have kept many hooked to the edge of seat.
One of the strongest points of the story is its multi-layered plot. It jumps from one setting to another and yet you can easily connect all the incidents together. Within the first few pages of introduction and preface, the author reveals the major incident that takes place in the upcoming books. And yet, he has crafted the narrative so beautifully that it will keep you glued till the last page. Crux of a good historical thriller always lies in maintaining the suspense. The moment you start reading, one may want to know each and every terrifying secrets hidden by kings and kingdoms. Even when there were only few pages left, one can wish that somehow author will divulge every secret in the last few pages. But it’s good that that he maintained the suspense and left the big reveal for his next books.
There are so many characters in this book. Not only the protagonists but each and every minute character is meticulously developed. Porus and Alexander both are smart, bold, beautiful and intelligent and yet they are so different from each other when it comes to their king-like aspirations. You may like auxiliary characters from the lot. But when it comes to well-developed characters, the antagonist takes the cake. You can’t create an epic hero without an epic villain. For that you might fall for the cruel Ungrasen. He knows how to use his mind and body both as a cruel weapon. One of the best written characters in this story is Vikrodhana. But there is a very little focus on his storyline. The book is 350 pages long, surely a little bit more focus on him wouldn’t have hurt.
The language is lucid and easily understandable which makes the timeline jumps easy to understand. With a genre like historical fiction, things could have horribly wrong, if the author had tried to imitate stories from other sources. Luckily, he stayed true to his roots and delved deeper into Indian history, traditions, folklores, and culture. So many Hindi and Sanskrit words are marvelously amalgamated in the tale.
The description of state and cities is so lively that it forms a clear picture in readers mind. The minute details can tickle imagination and paint a picture in readers head. The historical facts are not hundred percent accurate. But this is not a history textbook and taking creative liberty is not a crime. The conversation between the characters is smooth and optimum, not disrupting the flow of the story. The cover of the book is one-sided, it has one mighty warrior, and by looks it’s none other than Porus. However, there was a scope for an enhanced and diversified cover page since the book rolls out a long carpet of historical characters. One might feel that both Porus and Alexander are portrayed overly perfect to fit the part of protagonists. Otherwise rest fills the gaps.
|The Asian Review Rating||8 out of 10|