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Millennium Post

History lesson 101. Not.

I was spending my time re-reading The Hunger Games, till the alarm bells went off and I realised that I had another book to read. The Treasure of Kafur. Fortunately, the last pages allowed me to dive right in to this Mughal adventure. Aroon Raman weaves magic with history and twists the tale to create a story that pulls you in. I must admit that the prologue which lays the foundation of the book is not arresting. Perhaps Raman meant it that way, but the momentum builds up on in the second half of book one. Like a powder keg with a very long fuse. Whether it explodes or not - you have to pick this one up to find out. Keeping  the basic tenor of history undisturbed, Raman creates a story around Dattatreya, half guardian-half soldier who must brave the odds to keep his grandmother, Ambu, safe and while the fate of the Mughal Empire hangs in balance.

The Treasure of Kafur kicks off when Akbar is on the throne, 1580 AD, but twenty years of war has got him a lot of enemies. Especially Asaf Baig, the ruler of Khandesh. Baig us now gathering forces to destroy the emperor. The answer to all of Baig’s doubts lie in the treasure of Kafur and only a handful of living beings know where it is. To avoid giving away more spoilers, we say here that this book is a must read. Though there has been almost a windfall of historical thrillers in the recent time, this book stands out with the sheer strength of some incredible characters that Raman creates - Ambu, Aditi, Dattatreya, Sheherazad, Manas, Shukra, Ahliya, Dilawar and the list goes on. And yes the Taraks.

He never waxes eloquent, but each of the characters grow on you taking their time and soon the reader will find themselves rooting for them, though not the Taraks. The Taraks chill you to the bone. Raman celebrates history from the sidelines as Dattatreya battles on. Intrinsically, The Treasure of Kafur is not about Akbar, it is about Dattatreya so don’t pick it up expecting a precise historical crash course. I was still thinking about tributes and Hunger Games when The Treasure of Kafur happened. And I assure you - it was a good thing.
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