The Mahabharata Secret: A Book Review
Book: The Mahabharata Secret
Author: Christopher C. Doyle
Year of Publication: 2013
Publishing House: Om Books
Plot Synopsis: The book follows the journey of Vijay after he returns to India on learning that his Uncle “Vikram Singh”, a retired nuclear scientist has been brutally murdered. Just before he was murdered, Vikram Singh leaves a series of e-mails with riddles and puzzles for Vijay.
As he returns, Vijay understands the significance of the said e-mails & riddles. Caught in emotions for his late Uncle, wishing to understand the meaning of his last message to him Vijay is soon caught in the web of new complexities present before him. Dangerous, life-threatening men follow him and his friends like a shadow while they continue their pursuit of the secret Vikram Singh had guarded with his life. Their trail leads them to places destinations and places, possibilities of which were unthinkable before. They visit the world of Ancient India when Mauryan Empire was at its pinnacle under the rule of “Ashoka the Great”; and mysteries, myths related to the stories of great Indian Epic “Mahabharata”.
What is that secret which Vikram Singh had to guard with his life? What is that mystery unveiling of which might pose a threat to the world? Who are those men who killed Vikram Singh? Why those terrorizing men are now after Vijay and his friends’ lives? These are the main questions around which the subject of the story revolves.
Context of the Story: The setting of the story alternates between ancient India (244 B.C.), 500 A.D. and to contemporary World. The main plot of story is set in present times. It artistically shows the connection between different time-periods; and how stories set in ancient times affect present day world.
My Opinion: First and foremost, the story idea of the book is worth applauding. The writer has merged historical facts, legends and mythical stories with fictitious parts really well. As a story, the book keeps the reader hooked all throughout.
The starting of the story was very promising. Though as the story proceeds, the plot (not the mystery) becomes predictable, monotonous. The ending of the story though is not extraordinary but stands out. All the characters of story add something to the story and make the reading worth the time. Yet there were one or two characters which could be easily made out.
The friendship shown between main characters of the story is endearing. Personally for me, the character which though had only a few scenes; but had the most impact was that of Vikram Singh. His character set out the most important base of the story and his unseen presence could be felt all throughout the book.
As far as the mystery part of the book, clues are concerned. It is fun to read them. One can see the hard work author has put in while writing those considering the fact that history and mythology has a major role to play in the story. When the characters solve clues, reader can feel the rush with the characters. Though one can say that the clues were shown to be solved a bit too easily at times. The author for me, was successful is making a reader feel the emotions with characters; their worries, the pressure and tension of being followed. The pressure of solving the clues at the earliest, the joys, hopelessness at times and even the anticipation of the characters’ fate, their future. All in all, readers who expect stories to be “realistic-realistic-fiction” might be tad bit disappointed. But if reader is someone who enjoys stories with “fiction-reality-entertainment” mixture, he will certainly enjoy the story.
A special mention is again made of the fact that hard work behind research in book, in mythological, historical aspects really shows in the book. It was something which made my reading experience pleasant and satisfying. the difference between fact and fiction was tactfully merged in a way, it renders one curious in the end of book which of the mentions in book is actually a fact or legend; and which is pure fiction.
Recommendation of Book: Yes. I shall certainly recommend everyone to read this book at least once, give it one chance.
Online Availability of Book: The book is available on- Amazon, Flipkart, Crossword, Infibeam.
Some More Information: In case you want to know more about the author or the book or both, here is the link of website of “Christopher C. Doyle”
About Mahabharata & Ashoka
Those who are not familiar with the names of Mahabharata and Ashoka, brief information is being given about them here-under: -
1) Mahabharata: Two great epics were written in ancient India. One is “Ramayana” and the second is ‘Mahabharata”. Ramayana principally follows the life of Lord Ram, Goddess Sita and Ram’s brothers while Ram shows with his conduct what are highest values in life, in relations and while doing duty. Whereas Mahabharata is a tale of war fought in Kurukshetra between two sets of cousins- Pandavas & Kauravas. Pandavas were five in number and represent good; Kauravas were one hundred in number and represent evil. Lord Krishna is the centre of Mahabharata though. Mahabharata is said to be “longest poem ever written”. Bhagwad Gita, which is divine discourse by Lord Krishna to Arjun on theory of “karmas”, duties, devotion, science of self-realisation; and lessons on practical problems in life forms its part.
2) Ashoka: Ashoka was the last of the Emperors in India who belonged to the Mauryan Dynasty between 265-238B.C. Also referred to as “Ashoka the Great”; he was a great administrator as well as ruler. He was a great warrior who turned to Buddha religion after seeing the destruction caused in “Kalinga War”. He had undertaken many steps for the spread of Buddhism. Some links for information on him are as follows: -
- Ashoka | emperor of India | Britannica.com
Last major emperor in the Mauryan dynasty of India. His vigorous patronage of Buddhism during his reign (c. 265–238 bce; also given as c. 273–232 bce) furthered the expansion of...
- Ashoka - Ashoka the Great, Emperor Asoka, Ashoka Biography, Ashoka Life History
Given here is the biography of Buddhist Emperor Asoka. Read on to know about the life history of King Ashoka or Asoka the Great.
- Ashoka Biography - Childhood, Life Achievements & Timeline
Ashoka was the third emperor of the Mauryan Dynasty and ruled almost the entire Indian subcontinent. This biography profiles his childhood, life, reign, achievements and timeline
© 2016 Charu Bhatnagar