Book Review: Porus (In the Shadows of Betrayals) by Roopesh Tiwari

As the tagline aptly says, ‘In the Shadows of Betrayals,’ the novel chisels the life stature of its eminent protagonist “Porus” not in the dazzling sunshine but rather he was shaped out of adverse situations; lived in the jungles, was forced to work as a benign outlaw, lost his family, suffered directly at the hands of Magadha king’s tyranny. He had lost everything. Yet he built from scratch. How? Roopesh Tiwari takes you on that roller-coaster historical ride that is brimming with subplots, sub-climaxes, sub-stories, and much more incredible jaw-dropping secrets.

Yet the novel is connective. It connects dots of the missing history. What could have happened in 4th century BC when Alexander was expanding his empire in the West, and how the crumbling Shahs of Persia were coping up. That is one corresponding side, but we have the focused and detailed version of “Porus.” The novel, likely first in the Porus series, is preparing heroes that may confront one another in the next phase of books.

It gives a pragmatic semblance, nothing is ostentatious or glorious. The evident historical heroes rise from rags to riches. In particular, the story is riding high on the tidal narrative that at times narrates inside-the-wall conspiracies, rebellious caravans disturbing the peace and larger plans of the kingdoms, adventurous taken by the fugitives…and…all that thing that you will love if you frequent epic historical series on OTT platforms.

If I had to sum up the story of the novel, I say it is about India, Macedon, and Persia – and their heroes that are Porus, Alexander, and that Shah Darius.

Often such history laden novels with lucid narration are written by Ken Follet, you keep reading, don’t feel banality interrupting your mood, and swayed by the inevitable adventure and state alluring at the turn of each page. I had similar experience with this novel of Roopesh. Glad…a part Indian novel by an Indian. A class book, however, only for historical book lookers. If you want to understand that chaotic period of the Indian history, I can recommend this for you.

The novel is always driving ahead, its pace is terrific, the way it unfolds secrets from one geographic location to another, in different country is something that I take time to appreciate. I took time to read it thoroughly. I feel proud now. I may watch out for next novels in the series…promise.

If you liked the review and feeling curious to peep in the world of Porus, Alexander, and many others, don’t hesitate to order your paperback copy from Amazon. The fun lies in paperback.

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