The Lion And The Stallion
The Peshwa Series Book 1
The Peshwa Series
The Lion And The Stallion is the first book in The Peshwa series by Ram Sivasankaran. Before reading this book, I already read the second part which was The War Of Deceivers. It was a brilliant read which intrigued me to read the first part as well.
In the War of Deceivers, BajiRao’s mettle as a Peshwa was unanimously accepted in the Maratha camp and he was revered by his friends and feared by his enemies. The book was full of high voltage adventure and nail biting suspense. Obviously I was expecting the first book also similar to it.
The Lion And The Stallion is more about the formative years of the Peshwa. BajiRao, under the tutelage of his father Peshwa Balaji Vishwanath, learned many soft and hard skills required to handle the difficult times surrounded him, his family and the Maratha Confederacy. His capability as a Peshwa was yet to be tested. But soon Balaji Vishwanath died of chronic illness and BajiRao finds himself amid of threatening situations from all sides ready to gobble him raw and alive.
Now The Lion and The Stallion is the debut novel of Ram Sivasankaran. He has every bit evolved as a writer something so apparent after reading and comparing his writing in both the books. A novice in the first book, the author mastered all the nuances of writing a thrilling and captivating fiction keeping you on the edge at every page.
What I mean to imply The Lion and The Stallion was no doubt a thundering debut novel by the author, but the real thunder could be felt in the second novel of the series The War of Deceivers. So if you plan to read this one, then don’t ever miss the second one.
The Lion And The Stallion
Coming back to The Lion and The Stallion. Two stories run in parallel in the book. One was of Stallion which was obviously the Peshwa BajiRao. And another was of Lion. While reading it could confuse you the need for the second story and who was the Lion. But everything clears towards the climax. So that was a good mysterious layer in the story. Sadly, its effect was inconsequential on the story line.
The first real battle of BajiRao was engrossing to read, but nothing compared to the one I read in the second book. It was like any other battle scene which you could have often read. Few things were lacking like the minute details, vividness, a sense of urgency, ominous feeling of lurking grave danger and an icy seriousness in the episode that you will deny blinking eyes, afraid to miss some important details. These all elements you will find in book number two. That is the reason I said the author has grown as a storyteller. It is a historical fiction, so you can’t expect all the facts to be at the place. I couldn’t care less about it. What really matters the use of imagination in building the plot and the way the characters are sketched and the language in which they communicate. The author was bang on target.
All the characters were well rounded and clear cut behaving in the way as expected. They would be more evolved and cunning at best in the next book. Dialogues were real and according to the time period. I loved the conversation between BajiRao and his father Balaji Vishwanath especially the one about loving and taking care of your family. It was so heartening and felt like a real solid conversation between father and son.
The Peshwa series is definitely worth a read. The War of Deceivers was a brilliant read all throughout. So was The Lion and The Stallion - Good if not great. I am eagerly waiting for the third part where finally BajiRao meets Mastani.