Book Review: Ashok and the Nine Unknown by Anshul Dupare
Published by: Rupa Publications
Genre: Historical Fiction, Mystery
My Rating: 3/5
You know what, the best revenge will be watching you failing to achieve your dreams. Do what you can, Ashok. The game has just begun!
Ashok wandered amidst the corpses, helplessly, looking like a dead man walking among the dead. The wailing of people who had lost their loved ones on the battlefield cut into his soul and it was then that he heard a cry for help.
As realization of the devastation of war seeped in, Ashok decided to dedicate his life towards the betterment of society and try his best to prevent any destruction of life. Realizing he could not do so single-handedly, Ashok created a secret society comprising nine chosen members, who were known as the ‘Nine Unknown’, to help preserve knowledge that, in the wrong hands, could be used to destroy humanity.
Little did Ashok know that the safekeeping of such knowledge had a high price to it; that shadows walk amidst us and that sometimes our actions unspool unimaginable consequences.
The first of two volumes, this book has the power to transform your idea of reality!
A historical fiction, set during the era under one of the greatest emperor, Ashok, and one of the greatest battle fought, the Kalinga War. It is because of this war that Ashoka became guilt ridden and was full of grief. The many killings and murders of people made him felt so. He then decides to work for the betterment of these people and dedicate his life to their well being. He created a secret group of nine people to accompany him everywhere and help him reach his goal of restoring humanity at the end. But like every other story, there is a villain here too. It is Amartya, who had lost his wife, child and his parents in front of his eyes. He thinks of taking revenge from Ashoka.
The author has done his part of research well. And having an enormous history helped the author add a lot of content here and there. But there were a lot of things that didn’t work for me. I particularly didn’t like the concept of Amartya, specially during the later half. I somehow felt he was forceful in the entire story. Then the Nine Unknown people. If you go by the name and the blurb, you will think that it has more to do about those nine people there in the book. But it is not till the end of first half that these people are introduced.
Also, the story at the start is quite slow paced. It is more about the enmity between Ashoka and Amartya.
There were a few grammatical errors as well which could have been avoided. Though the writing style was good, after a point it felt plain and boring.
But apart from these, it was a good mix of history, magic, fantasy and a lot of mystery. It was the mystery part which held me to complete the book.
I had a lot expectations from the book but somehow it didn’t work for me.
I would still give this book a good 3 ⭐️because the author does has potential.