Book Review: Ashwatthama’s Redemption

Heaven is not a place of unlimited wealth and pleasure. It is a place where your heart finds peace, and feels at home. It is not a place devoid of problems, but it is a place where you find peace in your problems too, for, without problems and obstacles, you can never grow.


Ashwatthama’s Redemption – The Rise of Dandak by Gunjan Porwal
Genre: Fiction, Mythology
Rating: ⭐⭐
Publication date: 15 September, 2018
Links: • AmazonGoodreads
Source: Author

Over a hundred years after the Mahabharata War, an ancient power threatens to destroy the new Age of Men, by establishing the Age of Terror of the asuras, long believed to be extinct. The only hurdle in its path is Guru Dronacharya’s son, the mighty but accursed warrior Ashwatthama, who lost all his power following Lord Krishna’s curse, and who unwittingly finds himself drawn into the quest of the lost bow of Lord Rama – the Kodanda.

As ghosts of the distant past return to haunt him, and the line between friends and the enemies blurs, Ashwatthama must fight his inner demons to emerge victorious. He undertakes a perilous journey – across the vast plains of Ganges, to the snowcapped peaks of the Himavant – where the price of the failure is a fate worse than death, and is a privilege not granted to Ashwatthama.

Is this all part of Lord Krishna’s great plan? Will Ashwatthama be able to regain his lost glory?


To start, I like the mysterious air it made. The very first page where Rana Pratap Singh is waken by a weird dream. I like the writing style in that first chapter but it didn’t go all around the book. I like the story, I like some part of it while some parts like that of journey and war was not so greatly narrated.

Though I wasn’t expecting much as it being a debut novel, but it was quite good. The characters were not very detailed and was not easy to picture, none of them feel like they are in the book for no reason. From the character of Ashwatthama to the minor role of Urmila, none of them gave me the feeling of why-you-are-here which is something to say as I find at least one such character in almost all the book I’ve read.

The narration was good until the little group was on journey. The difficulties of journey, the use of resources were not so thoroughly written and it was hard to imagine how they spend two months when I can count only a week.

The retellings of the Krukshetra War was told by someone or other of different times and places which I sometimes found unnecessary. There will be story behind everything which I’d have like to know myself but they were stretched for too long and even the minor details which could have caused no harm if ignored were narrated while the details from the group’s journey was not made that detailed.

The battle was also not so well written and there were several loopholes. Also I never felt the fear of Dandak that I should have felt of the mighty and evil asura.

All in all the book was mixture of good and not-so-good narration. The story was quite powerful and the sign that was so powerfully talked about in the first chapter will hopefully make itself clear in the second book.


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