एक बुक जर्नल: Cuckold by Kiran Nagarkar

Thursday, January 1, 2015

Cuckold by Kiran Nagarkar

Rating: 4.5/5
Finished On: 2nd of May, 2014


Edition Details:
Format:Paperback
Page Count :609
Publisher :Harper Collins

Awards:
Sahitya Akademi Award 2000

First Sentence:
The Small causes court sits on Thursdays.

Cuckold is a historical fiction by Kiran Nagarkar. The book is set in 17th century mewar. The book is narrated by Bhoj raj who is the eldest son of Rana Sanga and the heir apparent. When Bhoj Raj got married to the beautiful Meera Bai, little did he know what he was getting himself into. On the night of marriage he's informed by his bride that she is already betrothed to somebody else. Who is this guy that Meera is talking about?? Also, Bhoj has to be wary of the constant ploys by the kings favorite queen Karmavati to establish her good for nothing son,Vikramaditya as the heir apparent. She never looses a moment to make Bhoj look bad and Vikramaditya exalted in front of Rana Sanga. So,will Bhoj find out about the secret lover of her wife? Will Queen Karmavati succeed in  removing Bhoj from the line of succession and planting her own son there??



The Cuckold by Kiran Nagarkar was an entertaining book. I've always loved historical fiction whether it be the conqueror  series by Conn Iggulden or Tatia series by Wilbur Smith. The lives of kings and princes have always been larger than life(at least they are shown so in the books).  Cuckold in the same way shows the lives of Rajput princes and kings during the 17th century,before Babur attacked India. It's a historical fiction , so the author has taken liberty with the actual events, by his own admission he has changed various event's timing to make them fall into the story. But apart from that the books is very gripping. It held my interest till the end. Bhoj Raj is a very interesting character. He's different from other Rajputs as he doesn't values unnecessary bravado. He thinks things through and is very unorthodox for his time.
Apart from Bhoj Raj, the book is also about Meera Bai. Meera Bai is one of the most famous saints of India. While buying this book, i had no idea that the book was about the husband of Meera Bai. The book captures the dynamics between the husband and wife. It also shows how Bhoj Raj, in spite of being rejected by Meera, is yearning for her love and tries every means to regain the love from her. The dynamics between husband and wife forms one of the main attractions of the book,as is clear from the book (Bhoj Raj is the cuckolded husband).
The book is not only about Bhoj Raj and his wife but also about the politics that brew among the occupants of the palace. Ranga Sanga had various wives and through them he had various children.The favourite of Rana is Karmavati who has a desire to see his son Vikarmaditya as the next Rana. She employs various means to raise the position of Vikramaditya in front of Rana and most of the times these means include making Bhoj Raj seem less worthy of the title Heir apparent. Bhoj know it but he can't take direct action against it. So this adds masala (intrigue/spice) to the story. How Bhoj without being direct tries to derail the plans of Karmavati, makes for an interesting read.

There were various things in the books that i liked and if i'd keep writing them then i'd be giving much of the story away and i don't want to do it. I didn't find any thing bad in the book. Some people may have problem with the language as the author has used modern English languages and phrases. But i think this makes it more readable and doesn't mars the quality of the book, at least not for me.


So to put it succinctly i enjoyed reading the book and i'd say it should be read once irrespective of whether you are fan of historical fiction or not.

You can order the book from any of the following links:
Amazon.in link for Cuckold
Flipkart's link for Cuckold

If you've read the book or want to share your thoughts or want to recommend books like these, please feel free to drop a line in the comment section. 

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