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Wednesday, December 18, 2013

The Mahabharata Secret by Cristopher C. Doyle

Title: The Mahabharata Secret
Author: Christopher C. Doyle
Category: Mythological Fiction 
Publisher: Om Books
Date:  2013
Price: Rs.295

Snapshot: As the name suggests this story is about a hidden secret since the times of Mahabharata. As the legend goes it was discovered by Asoka-The Great, who believed that it would be dangerous to let it out, as it had the power to destroy the world. Hence he formed a nine member brotherhood called "The Nine" who were sworn to protect it. The secret falls in danger when when one member embraces the dark side and kills all the other eight. The last member killed leaves a series of 4 emails for his nephew who then embarks on the journey to find the reason for his uncles death and to reveal the secret unlocked for 2000 years.

Detailed Review:  As mentioned earlier the ancient secret is one of the texts of Mahabharata that goes missing. When Asoka-The Great discovers it (in the later part of his life when he is transformed towards goodness), he finds it too dangerous for humanity to ever know about it and hence from the most learned and diverse, chosen men of his kingdom is formed "The Nine" - a brotherhood sworn to secrecy and protection of the secret as well as their identities. This legacy continues, however as none of the brothers have all the components of the secret, they cannot unleash it and it just becomes a legacy. However when the Taliban blast open the Buddha statues in Afghanistan something is discovered. Something that has a hint that the legends of Mahabarata were not false. A concrete proof of weaponry that existed at that time and mechanisms, that were built by Kaurava's ally the king of Magadha with a  power to destroy entire army of Pandavas. 

An Indian nuclear scientist Vikram Sigh is killed brutally. He left four emails for his nephew, Vijay.  These are riddles to many questions "Why he was killed?' "What was he guarding?"  "What is the Mahabharata Secret?". Who hunts for it? The ultimate question being "Why do they want this sort of powerful weaponry?" "What was their target?" 

The journey of Vijay, Colin (his friend and business partner), Dr. Shukla - Vikram Singhs friend and a man you really need in the plot to decipher ancient scripts and his daughter Radha set on a journey to unravel the answers to all the questions above. Will they find it? Read to find out...

This book has  a very original concept and plot, the clues, the involvement of Ashoka finding it, the connection between Mahabharat, to Ashoka to Taliban is well thought. As far as the writing is concerned it was good but if one would compare him to the best in the filed "Dan Brown" that all I can say is that the crests and troughs could be sharper. However, a very good read especially from a debutant.

Positives: First of all a very attractive coverpage. I started reading it the day I received it. Also everything was scientifically accurate and very well researched upon. I really admire authors who really do an exhaustive research and write accurately the scientific principles underneath.The language is simple. The concept and story fresh. The best part is the mystery exists till the last page, clearly surprising the reader in the end.

Negatives:  As I said earlier the jolts were mild they could have had a greater impact. the writing style overall needed to be more crisp ( I am not saying it wasn't, it was good). The jokes between Vijay and Colin about "who is smarter" were redundant and off-putting. Also there could have been something more in the end about Vijay and Radha, that part felt incomplete.

The Verdict: All said and done, I have just been very strict with highlighting the negative as the author has an undoubted caliber to deliver a much more intense mystery. I hope he does write another historical fiction again as I thoroughly enjoyed the freshness and novelty of this one. The best part was he doesn't disappoint you when he gives away the secret. A must read for lovers of this genre. 3.5 stars on 5. 

About the Author :
Christopher Doyle graduated from St. Stephens College, Delhi, with a degree in Economics and studied Business Management at IIM Calcutta. Since childhood, his literary mentors have been Jules Verne, HG Wells, Isaac Asimov, Robert Heinlein, JRR Tolkein, Robert Jordan and Terry Brooks.

Christopher has written articles on management and business for several publications, and is regularly invited to speak at conferences. He worked with leading multinationals before setting up a strategic consultancy in India in partnership with a US-based firm. He is also a certified Executive Coach and works with senior executives to help them achieve better results in the workplace.

Work aside, Christopher is a musician and lives his passion for music through his band called Mid Life Crisis which plays classic rock.

He lives in Gurgaon with his wife, daughter and two dogs. The Mahabharata Secret is his debut novel.

I thank the author for a review copy.


  1. excited to read the book just ordered

    1. Thats great. Do tell me how did you find it, once you have read it.

    2. Its a good book to those who love Ancient History, especially to those who like exploring about the knowledge and the high minds which our ancestors had.. Book captures your mind quite effectively

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