TITLE: The Peshwa: The Lion and the Stallion
AUTHOR: Ram Sivasankaran
PUBLISHER: Westland Ltd.
GENRE: Fiction (Historical)



One of the best I’ve come across in recent times. It brings alive the Lion and his Stallion. It is not only rich in colours but mesmerizing too.



It is the 18th century and despite the dominant Mughal rule, the Maratha Confederacy has established itself as a force to be reckoned with in the Indian Subcontinent. The fragile peace between the two powers is threatened when Balaji Vishvanath Bhat, Peshwa of the Confederacy, foils the plans of Nizam Ul Mulk of the Mughal Empire, and asserts the power of the Marathas. However, little does the Peshwa know that he has dealt the Nizam an unintended wound—one with roots in his mysterious past and one that he would seek to avenge till his last breath.

When the Peshwa surrenders his life to a terminal illness dark clouds gather over the Confederacy as it is threatened by a Mughal invasion as well as an internal rebellion.

All the while a passive spectator, the Peshwa’s son, Bajirao Bhat, now needs to rise beyond the grief of his father’s passing, his scant military and administrative experience, and his intense love for his wife and newborn son to rescue everything he holds dear. Will the young man be able to protect the Confederacy from internal strife and crush the armies of the Empire all while battling inner demons?

Will he live up to his title of Peshwa?



PLOT/STORY-LINE: A historical fiction, the book deals not only with the coming of age of Peshwa Bajirao Bhat of the Maratha Confederacy but also gives an insight into the character and statesmanship of his father Peshwa Balaji Vishvanath Bhat. The story-line is engaging. It gives us an insight into a tumultuous period in Indian history in an interesting manner with all elements of human emotion served in appropriate measure. There is romance, there is hate. There is loyalty, there is deceit. There is empathy, there is brutality. But what touches the heart is the ease with which these emotions have been served.

As the events unfold, one feels one is actually a witness to the same. Such is the imagery that is woven into the story. The author has also not forgotten to share some profound knowledge vide his characters. One such knowledge is that of the importance of family and family ties. It’s not only relevant but one which the younger generation especially the workaholics need to be reminded of.

There are twists, there are turns and of course, the author has not forgotten to add an element of surprise too, one that I’m sure no one anticipated till the end.

CHARACTERIZATION: All the characters are well fleshed out thus making them interesting and easily relatable. One can easily relate to their actions and reactions.

LANGUAGE: Simple, crisp and lucid. The smooth flow of words makes the narrative not only easy but engrossing too. The author’s mastery over the language is evident from the terms he has used and the vivid description of events that unfold in the pages of the book.

PACE: Steady till the end. At no point does the author slacken the pace nor up it.

EDITING: Perfect.


Someone help!! I’m not able to pin-point anything that did not work for me.


RECOMMENDATION: What if I say, “I’d love to read this book over and over again?” I hope you’ve got the cue. Pick it up. You will enjoy it.

RATING: 5 on 5! Nothing less.



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Born in Madras (now Chennai) India, Ram Sivasankaran spent most of his life abroad – largely in the Middle East and the United States of America.

Introduced to the world of stories that included Hindu legends and the great epics and classics of both India and the West, Ram developed a keen interest in stories of valor, heroism, chivalry, beauty and romance.

A day-dreamer of sorts, Ram believes deeply in the power of imagination – the mind being the canvas on which even the seemingly talentless can create new universes, resurrect eras long gone by, bring the gods to life and even resurrect heroes and damsels of yore.

‘The Peshwa’ is Ram’s debut novel.



It’s always a pleasure to know others views books and reviews. Do leave your views on the book and this review in the comment box below.


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