Title: Legend of Suheldev – The King who saved India
“Darkness does not win because it is strong. It wins because the lamps stop fighting.”
I just finished reading Amish’s new book that falls in the genre of historical fiction, a different trail from his previous works on mythological fiction. An interesting fact to note about the book is that it is not solely written by Amish, but is the work of his group of writers from The Immortal Writers’ Centre, as mentioned on the cover. From the foreword we know the idea of the book is Amish’s and the writers work on research and creation of the first draft. And as you read you will find the essence is similar to all his other works since the final verdict is of Amish’s.
The first chapter of this fictional-story-based-on-true-events takes us back to the year 1025 AD, when the independent Turkic ruler Mahmud of Ghazni invaded Gujarat. His army raided the sacred Somnath temple and demolished the Jyotirlinga, thus breaking the spirit of the Hindu devotees. As we delve into further chapters, we see instances when some kingdoms try to defend the ruthless Turkish army but in vain. We read pages after pages of the horrendous acts the barbaric Turks commit against Indian people and their land. Amidst the chaos, the prince of Sharvasti gradually transforms into the warrior. Suheldev leaves no stone unturned in his attempt to unite all the kingdoms and looking beyond religion, caste and geography to fight the ruthless Turks in the epic Battle of Bahraich.
What I really like about this book is it delivers to us the tale of an unsung hero. The saga of a fearless warrior about whom very few have heard before. Maybe it hasn’t had the impact like the stories of other warriors, but it certainly felt important enough to be written as a book.
The readers who have read the previous books will see his flavor. The writing style is easy, simple, the pace being medium but for me the impact wasn’t huge. This book failed to match up to the standards of Amish and unarguably lacked the magic The Immortals of Meluha had created. The expectations were to have a similar or greater appeal. The construction of the characters was quite underdeveloped. The depth in the characterization of the protagonist Suheldev, his companion Abdul and the antagonist Maqsud was missing. Also, the book was not heavy on action. I did certainly anticipate more intricate details of the battlefield. It failed to bring out the sentiments of anguish, thrill and ultimate sense of victory.
I would recommend this book to all the readers so that the struggles of the legendary King Suheldev resound once again on the Indian land which he once united.
“ahimsa parmo dharma. That non-violence is the greatest dharma. But they also say dharma hinsa thathaiv cha.’ Violence that protects dharma is justified.”