20 August 2020 | By: Writing Buddha

Legend of Suheldev by Amish Tripathi (Book Review: 4.5*/5) !!!

1865th BLOG POST

27th Book of 2020!

Well, Amish Tripathi is one of the writers who have been associated with Indian mythology till now as he has written books on Lord Shiva and Lord Ram but if you have been going through his interviews, you must be aware about the kind of knowledge he has about Indian history too. Hence, the announcement of the book “Legend of Suheldev” came all of a sudden but it brought smile on my face as I always want Amish to write as much as possible because he writes really well and his stories have an emotional connect with the audiences. This time, Amish has written the book with the help of “An Immortal Writers’ Center” that he has developed who write it first and then it is being proofread and edited by Amish in order to ensure that the readers feel the same magic of Amish’s writing even while reading the books written in this collaboration. This is done so that Amish can share many such stories with audiences in his lifetime.

“Legend of Suheldev”- the book is of around 325+ pages which comes with a tagline of “The King who saved India”. This is a story based in 1025 AD and therefore, the story is a perfect combo to have Amish writing it. King Suheldev has been one of the historical figures who has been used by several political parties in fetching votes but if you would want to know about him, there is not much available to read. Amish has used his fictional imagination to write his story based on whatever true details he got from the history. In that sense, he got a good creative liberty to play with and I believe, it has been utilized very well to write a story which is powerful, patriotic, energetic, enthusiastic, terrific and what not. India has been invaded multiple times by Turks in the history and how King Suheldev takes a pledge of fighting against them to save his country is what basically summarizes the plot of this book.

The Battle of Bahraich that took place between King Suheldev and Salar Maqsud – the Turkish commander of Muhammad Ghazni is what this book basically covers keeping aside all the other stories in which few of the characters mentioned in this book are associated with – I am sure Amish shall write about them someday too. I liked how each and every character is given due importance rather than only talking about King Suheldev. Once again, Amish mentions Lord Shiva in his book very prominently which adds value to the story as it connects both- history and religious beliefs together to make it more valour and contemporary. The situations are written in such a way that you shall be able to correlate them with current situations and understand, where, we, as Indians, are failing.

The weapon of Amish is his philosophies which he uses to make his readers fall in love with his writings which is amply used in this story. Few instances such as the conversation between Chandrakirti and Ashvaghosh in the monastery which is their entry scene - talks about violence and non-violence. Similarly, the debate between Ashvaghosh and Abdul on Religion vs Patriotism is a masterpiece according to me. A detail conversational part between Govardhan and Kashinath talks about Hindu’s beliefs vs Muslim beliefs which is another contemporary subject out of which we can learn and adapt a lot of things. I like how Indian and Hindu culture from the 1st millennium is displayed freely telling what kind of great souls lived then who saved our country from barbaric invaders.

The war and fighting scenes are very well written – I was almost able to imagine all of them happening in front of me and felt like watching a Bhansali or Baahubali kind of a movie in my mind. The book also has few twists and turns which keeps you interested with the pace of the story. Also, I must say that Amish carries romance as well as he covers epics, mythologies, historical fiction – the chemistry between Suheldev and Toshani is very beautifully handled in this book keeping the respect and aura of the characters in consideration. Overall, this book gives us very great lessons about how we, as Indians, keep on fighting among ourselves which gives the outsiders, neighbours and invaders power to defeat us. If we can unite, we can defeat any power in the world. Kudos to Author Amish for portraying the concept wonderfully.

Now, talking about the drawbacks – I must say that I felt Amish to be writing very frankly on how a Hindu leader would be – I am very much impressed as he didn’t try to mince things there – but then showing him having Muslim as his close aid and trusting other Muslim who tried to get into his group from Turkish side seems to be an attempt in trying to show the King Suheldev as a secular king which I don’t know how true it is considering that there is so much angst between both the religions even now in the 2nd millennium. Also, I felt that few scenes are described too much which makes you skip sentences in between as you know they aren’t adding up anything to the story. Another problem that I face while reading is the way terms are used between the characters in the conversation – it is as if the characters of today are talking in a modern style. I believe the book should reflect the ancient history even with each word and sentence of the book – that is what had made The Shiva Trilogy so popular. Lastly, I believe many scenes where the protagonist has to act like a hero has been portrayed like a Bollywood scene rather than a real world. There should be difference in way books are written and movie scripts are drafted- I hope the Immortal Writers’ centre understands that.

Overall, “Legend of Suheldev” is one book that I’ll keep recommending to the people as there are so many anti-nationalistic voices these days that such stories speaking about hyper-nationalism, religious beliefs and Indian history needs to be promoted. This is one of the powerful books I have read which actually made me go back to that world and contribute myself. I give this book 4.5* out of 5.



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