The Chant of The Kingmaker

Adi Shakti, Namo Namah
Sarab Shakti, Namo Namah
Prithum Bhagvati, Namo Namah
Kundalini Mata Shakti
Mata Shakti, Namo Namah

Politics is a a dirty game. And Chanakya’s Chant further strengthens this opinion. It is a fast paced novel, based around the topics of power, betrayal, love and ambition. Perfect ingredients for a masala potboiler.

Two plots run parallel to each other. One set in the present and the other 2300 years in the past. The story set in the third century BC, follows Chanakya the wily Brahmin who used every trick and mind games to ensure the unification of Northern India under the rule of Chandragupta Maurya. He is cold and calculating. And he is fueled by his rage for the King of Magadha, who has wronged him and killed his father. As you read through the pages, you are disgusted, amazed and awed by the wicked brain of a genius.

A simple Brahmin, uses the power of his brains, to build an empire. He preys on the mind of his foes, pits men against each another, orders assassinations, uses every trick possible and does something that no one had done before then: he unified the small kingdoms into the glorious Mauryan Empire. The end justifies the means.

Chanakya is reborn in the present age as Gangadhar Mishra, a brahmin who becomes street smart under the tutelage of his first employer. He too has ambitions and he uses Chandini Gupta, the daughter of a pan shop owner, for his purpose. The story follows him, as he takes the woung girl under his guidance and through every guile and trick, take her from being a slum dweller to being the Prime Mininster of the Nation.

The situations in both the eras are same. Corruption has eaten away the state, the men are divided on some pretext or another. There is infighting and the underbelly rots.

Ashwin Sanghi has done good research on the life of Chanakya and it shows. The book is fairly accurate in its historic account. For the present age, he has used some of the latest scams to add on to the masala value of the novel. The plot is fast and the writing is crisp. As a matter of fact, it is a good script for a future movie. This was the only negative point I feel goes against the book. Too much masala in between will make you think it was written for a Bollywood flick.

This is Mr. Sanghi’s second book and the style is similar to the first one (The Rozabal Line). The going back and forth between two ages and basing it on a historic event; Ashwin Sanghi maybe India’s answer to Dan Brown.

Overall, I will give it 7/10

Statutory Warning: Not meant to be read on a lazy Sunday afternoon.

This post is for the Book Reviews Program at

8 Responses to “The Chant of The Kingmaker”
  1. there …my next book! plot looks interesting….ye note karo cruella

  2. Pzes says:

    Although I won’t read this book, I really like your review. I’m not so much of a history based book kind of person.

  3. purbaray says:

    That was a good review Prateek. Most commit the folly of giving the story away, thankfully you did not. Didn’t specify why it’s not meant for a lazy Sunday afternoon – harms digestion?

  4. Bhavna says:

    I have always loved Indian Authored Books, will look forward for this one and Chanakya was great in this time and marked for his wittiness, lets see how Gangadhar Mishra helps the new Gupta to the thron of India…..will be fun to read

    You have a nice blog buddy……..

  5. Deboshree says:

    Nice review SL… seems to me you enjoyed the book too.
    I have to agree about the masala part. Now that I hear, it has actually been bought some production house.

  6. Sapna says:

    Hmmm will pick up the book some time later. A very well written review!!

  7. Alka says:

    If you know Samadrita has also reviewed the book and given it 3.5 on a 5. No one was ready to publish Ashwins first book, “The Rozabal line and look where he is now…

    Great review.

  8. Ammy says:

    I am beginning to read the book very soon

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