Circa 403 C.E. In the thriving city of Nandivardhana, lives Shaunaka, a young man who yearns to go to Pataliputra to see the world and make his fortune. But he is forced to join his father's jewelry making business and soon finds himself in the workshop — a job in which his heart clearly did not lie. Thankfully, along comes distraction in the form of two extravagant Weddings — royal nuptials at the palace and another wedding at the extravagant corner house in the Buddhist quarter of the city. This house, known for its opulence and sheer size, is owned by Vinayashura, an affluent trader fabled to have mysteriously deep connection to the royal family. Shaunaka is given the charge to work on the bride's jewellery at the corner house, but instead of the mundane task at hand, a morbid sight awaits — The Trader's wife's bloodcurdling screams bring Shaunaka to Vinayashura's bedroom where he is found murdered and lying in a pool of blood!
A unique story. A different time line. History and Fiction is blended beautifully. Set in Circa 403 C.E this one revolves around the mysterious incidents happening in Nandivardhana. A curse is what the story starts with. Are the incidents and the curse related? Who is Anuganga? What is the curse? Read the book to find out.
Shaunaka, son of Vishnuveera , a famous goldsmith although born with the talent and knowledge of the family business, his heart is not in this. He has a curious, analytical and intelligent mind. Amidst royal wedding in palace and another extravagant wedding in the corner house in the family of mysterious Vinayashura he finds himself in the muddle of complexities. Vinayashura, has some mysterious connections with the Palace family and he is murdered ruthlessly. The first one to witness him lying in pool of blood is Shaunaka. How will he solve this mystery? Who has murdered Vinayashura and why?
The characters are developed well. Especially the female ones are given strong personalities. The queen who makes decisions after the King's death and runs the kingdom efficiently. Tarinika, wife of Vinayashura who has a strong personality and courage to stand for truth and say it loud. The story develops beautifully with mystery angles sprinkled liberally as it progresses. The thread of past and present are weaved intricately.
The end is unexpected, the book holds your attention till the last page as the suspense is built nicely as to why and who does this. The narration is different with use of Sanskrit words which enriches the reading experience.The writing could have been crisp, as in the middle somewhere it loses its pace and sounds dull. Overall a good attempt.
I would rate this 3.8/5.