Nilima Sinha
CHANAKYA: THE MASTER OF STATECRAFT by Deepa Agarwal Puffin Books, 2013, 165 pp., 199
November 2013, volume 37, No 11

The Magadha King Dhana Nanda had become unpopular because of his vile tongue, bad temper and greedy ways. The brahmin scholar, Chanakya, though learned and brilliant, could flare up in red hot anger, even when face to face with the mightiest of royal kings. Sparks had to fly when the two met. Dhana Nanda ordered his men to remove Chanakya from his court, all because he did not like the face of the brahmin. The furious Chanakya vowed to take revenge by removing the king from his throne.

The well known historical incident is handled deftly by Deepa Agarwal, who traces Chanakya’s journey from a rejected brahmin to a powerful kingmaker, transforming the book into a real page turner. The student who makes a face at mention of history becomes engrossed in the tale. And no wonder—the bare facts of history have been dressed up into a fast paced adventure story!

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