The northeast in what is unfortunately a little known facet of Indian history formed an important theatre of operations during the Second World War. But this is relatively absent from our history, despite the existence of war memorials dotting the northeast. The northeast by itself is another place—if it makes an appearance in fiction, it does in anthologies of folk tales which feature the usual stereotypes of tribal head-hunters and anthropomorphic gods.
The eight short stories collated in this book have been culled from Kipling’s two Jungle Books, arguably the best loved stories children read in my generation. Others like the Just So Stories and Kim were also avidly read, but the Jungle Books and Mowgli stories had a special fascination.
Historical fiction usually makes history more interesting and leads the reader into the social fabric of that period. The reader can visualize through the descriptive passages how history unfolds and highlights the prosperity and intrigues of a kingdom and its rulers. To this extent Devika has vividly described the events leading to the coronation and reign of the young king HarshaVardhana of the kingdom of Thanesar and Kanauj.