The Peshwa by Ram Sivasankaran – Book Review

The Peshwa: The Lion and The Stallion



It is the 18th century and despite the dominant Mughal rule, the Maratha Confederacy has established itself as a force to be reckoned with in the Indian Subcontinent. The fragile peace between the two powers is threatened when Balaji Vishvanath Bhat, Peshwa of the Confederacy, foils the plans of Nizam Ul Mulk of the Mughal Empire, and asserts the power of the Marathas. However, little does the Peshwa know that he has dealt the Nizam an unintended wound—one with roots in his mysterious past and one that he would seek to avenge till his last breath.

When the Peshwa surrenders his life to a terminal illness dark clouds gather over the Confederacy as it is threatened by a Mughal invasion as well as an internal rebellion.

All the while a passive spectator, the Peshwa’s son, Bajirao Bhat, now needs to rise beyond the grief of his father’s passing, his scant military and administrative experience, and his intense love for his wife and newborn son to rescue everything he holds dear. Will the young man be able to protect the Confederacy from internal strife and crush the armies of the Empire all while battling inner demons? Will he live up to his title of Peshwa?

Book Review:

I love reading historical and mythological book and when the book is about heroics of the historic legend Bajirao Bhat, popularly known as Bajirao, then the pleasure of reading is doubled. Though many fictional elements have been added to the story to make it more appealing but it has not diminished the essence of the book.

The story of ‘The Peshwa: The Lion and The Stallion’ is about the journey of Bajirao Peshwa, rising from the dust to the victory in one of his first  wars against the Mughals with an introduction to his love interest with Mastani. The book also narrates Bajirao’s skills, both warfare and people management, his honesty and his dedication. The book is a refreshing read with a novel concept and a hero about whom not much is talked about out of Maharashtra.

The writing and narration style is interesting and the vivid descriptions of the battle field are quite impressive. While writing a historical novel, the author does not have much liberty while characterisation and in such a scenario the way the characters have been developed is laudable.

The journey of the great Maratha warrior is well presented in the book and the impact created is quite good. The lucid language of the author has been successful in creating a fast paced and captivating book which is a sure page turner. Anyone having interest in historical fiction will love the book and will be able to relive the era through the author’s pen.

Bajirao was not only a great warrior but he was also a great leader and this has been depicted beautifully in the book.

Another thing that I liked about the book is its cover. I just fell in love with the gorgeous cover image of the book which absolutely suits the story.  The author has done a remarkable job, more so over considering the fact that this is his debut book.

Overall the book is a captivating read and those who are interest in historical fiction will definitely like it.

** I received a review copy of the book from Writersmelon in exchange for an honest and unbiased review. **

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