The Brahmin – Book Review

Author: Ravi Shankar Etteth

Kindle Edition: 265 Pages

Publisher: Westland (23 March 2018)

Language: English

Genre: Historical Fiction

ISBN: 978-9386850713

About The Book:

The empire is ruled with an iron hand, masterminded by Emperor Ashok. But his kingdom is under siege and even his able spymaster, the enigmatically named Brahmin, is baffled by the murders that have shocked the concubines’ quarters. Who is behind the gruesome deaths and what is their purpose?

Lush with historical detail and unforgettable characters, The Brahmin is an intelligently plotted novel that seeks to recreate a near mythical period in India’s past.

About The Author:

Ravi Shankar Etteth is the author of four novels: The Tiger by the River (2002), The Village of the Widows (2003), The Gold of Their Regrets (2009) and The Book of Shiva (2016). He has been a graphic designer, political cartoonist and editor of magazines and newspapers. He currently lives in Delhi and works as a consulting editor of The New Indian Express Group.

My Take:

A thriller fiction mixed with historical facts is a tough thing to pull off and this book does it brilliantly no doubt. The seamless mix of legends and facts blurs the line between fiction and reality. Book keeps the reader engrossed, giving the reader a new perspective on the already known history. The story is built on the foundation of the historical era of Emperor Ashok pre-Kalinga war.

The characters are limited and the story plays out wonderfully across these. The protagonist of the story, the spymaster, have been beautifully portrayed with the expected perfection and the unexpected but natural human flaws. Throughout the story, the thoughts and character of Brahmin subtly teach us that even perfection can falter at times. With fewer characters, the author focuses on those really well, though a little more depth into other characters could have been more relatable. Another character that leaves an impact is the Queen Asandhimitra. A powerful character yet susceptible to human emotions.

The plot of the story is simple and revolves around mostly on thing only, finding the murderer while the murders keep happening. The plot is nothing very unique and almost halfway, the reader can almost guess the culprit. The start of the story is a little unstructured and scattered and takes time and patience of the reader to stick to it until it gains strength. It could have been more fast-paced than it actually is being a thriller. The unexpected twists placed strategically makes the story interesting.

Throughout the book, what the reader finds impeccable is the historical details and the imagery of the then prevalent architecture. Through mere words, a reader can successfully imagine being in a palace or a forest that have been described in perfect small details and doesn’t bore the reader with too long elaborate paragraphs.

Bottom line: A brilliantly done book with historical details and characters.

My Rating:


Scale of Rating: 1– Ignore It!! 2-Don’t Touch It!! 3-One Time Read!! 4-Add To Your TBR!! 5-Read it NOW!!!

And now I’ll leave you with a few lines from the book…

“Power is an abyss that can neer be filled.”
“Fear is of no use. To be afraid of danger is to be wise, but to yield to fear is fatal.”
“Loyalty is a double-edged sword, its enemy is not betrayal, but love.”
“People see only what they are shown, not what they can observe.”

This review is a part of Book Review Programme at

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