Ashvamedha – The game of power, is the debut novel of Aparna Sinha. Published in 2016 by Srishti Publishers, Ashvamedha is a political thriller set in present-day India. The story encapsulates the journey of Ashwin Jamwal from his college party office to the corridors of power in Delhi and beyond.
The story starts offs brilliantly, a plane crash in the midst of a desert in Rajasthan which kills the occupant, a Union Minister. As the television channels play out the breaking news, there is another person apart from the country and the political parties keeping tab on all the news, Hades. The death sets on roll a huge upheaval in the corridors of power, heralding Ashwin Jamwal into the limelight.
Ashwin Jamwal, 30-something, honest, dashing, social media savvy, smooth-talking, dark glasses sporting PM face of the Nationalistic Party who wants to bring change, enough to herald him into the seat of power? or maybe not…
Almost parallel to Ashwin runs the story of Hades, a shrewd, anonymous man with a twisted brain, who is planning the destruction of the world or is he?
I must admit that when I picked up the book, I assumed it to be just another political thriller, haven’t we all seen and read enough already? I was wrong however; the author very deftly weaves a nail biting tale with enough twists and turns to keep the reader engaged. Not only is there enough politics at play, but she takes the stakes much higher with an impending virus attack that Jamwal needs to save the world from [her skill lies in making all of it convincing] and amidst all of this she throws in a tale of friendship, loyalty and love, A blockbuster won’t you say? While you might find certain aspects predictable and stereotypical, but she still manages to keep up the suspense till the end.
Though overall the novel is well written, I felt the author wasn’t able to handle some of the twists early on in the novel with as much elan as she does towards the end. Her characters are very well written though, her eye for detail is commendable and helps bring the characters alive in your mind. The last few chapters are especially racy and I was not able to put it down till I finished it.
Do I recommend this book? Ofcourse, who would mind a 30-something dashing Indian Prime Minister, someone who is rumored to be having an affair with the US president [Oh yes, the glass ceiling is finally broken], well that’s what the fictional grapevine says atleast 😉