The Brahmin by Ravi Shankar Etteth Book Review by Frost At Midnite

Book Review – The Brahmin by Ravi Shankar Etteth

Phew! That’s exactly what you think after finishing this book. And not because it was a cumbersome read, it’s because The Brahmin was gripping and had me turning pages in anticipation.

The Brahmin by Ravi Shankar Etteth is the perfect mix of historical fiction and a thriller — a historical thriller so to speak. The Brahmin takes us back to the time of the Emperor Asoka. A king who carved a monumentally solemn identity for himself and his reign. A book on Asoka, the king who would become the emperor, could have gone both ways- good or bad. But, Ravi Shankar Etteth manages to portray Ashoka’s ambitiousness, ruthlessness and viciousness with aplomb. The particularly superior power that made a boy neglected by his father single-handedly carve his path to the throne comes through in good measure every time Ashoka features in a scene in the book. And to compliment him, his queen, Queen Asandhimitra is perfect. The ying to his yang. With a poise that makes the ideal veil to hide her intelligence and a grace that masks her intentions, Asandhimitra makes a perfect queen. Not the singing, dancing, coy specimens that are written about so often. Again, she wouldn’t have been so in The Brahmin, if it weren’t written as such. Etteth has done justice to the historical figures.

The plot involves a spymaster in Ashoka’s court following the trail of a murderer. Known as The Brahmin, Ashoka’s trusted spymaster gets involved in solving a few murders, following a mysterious murderer who leaves behind a token with every dead body. But a kingdom does not come to a standstill because of a few murders. And when a kingdom functions so too do its people. With an unmaskable rivalry and hatred with the prime minister, Radhagupta, the Brahmin has to be on his toes if he wants to stay ahead of the game.

Radhagupta’s hatred for the Brahmin, a plot against the kingdom and the king, keeping a vicious weapon hidden, solving murders, avenging slain friends, so many things happening in this one small book. Yet it, at no point, feels cluttered or overwhelming. With all of these threads running together, The Brahmin still manages to tie everything off neatly. There are no loose ends or questions left unanswered. It was worth reading the mystery when the explanations were put forth succinctly. The Brahmin being a descendant of Chanakya’s is an excellent character and has an omnipresence in the book. For a book that’s filled with subterfuge and political intrigue, The Brahmin was well paced. (Though I did feel it was a bit slow in the first couple of chapters, the rest of the book was fast.)

Overall, an excellent read! You will not be disappointed.

You can pick up a copy of The Brahmin here – Amazon, Flipkart.


The BrahminThe Brahmin by Ravi Shankar Etteth

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

View all my reviews


Thanks to Writersmelon for the review copy. 


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