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September 22, 2023

My Rating - 4 out of 5 stars

Publisher - Leadstart
Genre - Historical Fiction
Publishing year - 2023
Language - English
ISBN - 978-93-55590-87-9
Pages - 302

Siege of Panhala by Shreyas Bhave

Book Review - 

Shreyas Bhave returns with the second installment of The Legend of Bahirji-Naik trilogy in Siege of Panhala, transporting readers back to the tumultuous era of Maratha Swarajya in 1665. Much like its predecessor, Raiders of Surat, this book is also compelling and continues with our protagonist's journey.

Set against the backdrop of a besieged Purandar Fort, all seems lost under the menacing shadow of a colossal Mughal army led by the ruthless Afghan leader Dilerkhan and the renowned Rajput Commander Mirza Raje Jaysingh. Shivaji Raje, the visionary leader of the Marathas, faces the daunting task of strategizing their survival and commanding their spies to infiltrate the enemies' camp.

Marathas selects Shashidhwaj for this perilous mission, while Dilerkhan chooses his son, Toofankhan, offering him the incentive of Azamgarh as a reward. Both spies infiltrate the enemy base, raising questions about who can relay information more swiftly and escape unscathed. 

Amidst their intelligence operations, the Bahirji-Naik duo remains active in various opposition domains, collecting information and maintaining constant communication with Shivaji Raje. The story keeps readers in suspense as it explores how these informers will save their chief and devise strategies that outsmart the adversary.

The story depicts the unfolding historical events, including the audacious escape of Shivaji Raje from Panhalgad Fort, orchestrated by the intelligence team led by Bahirji-Naik. It offers readers a front-row seat to witness these unsung heroes' unparalleled courage and resourcefulness. 

Yet, this is not just about battlefield heroics; it delves into the intricate world of diplomacy through the Treaty of Purandar. Shreyas Bhave explores the complexities of forging temporary peace and the inherent sacrifices accompanying such agreements. As usual, the attention to detail is worth mentioning.

As for the characters, they are captivating and add depth and emotional resonance to the story. I can't wait for Shivaji Raje and Mughal Emperor Aurangzeb to come face to face and for Shashidhwaj to find his Umberkhind in this trilogy's third and last book, Escape from Agra

The author masterfully blends history and fiction, offering a fast-paced and gripping narrative. It narrates a pivotal chapter in Maratha history, their constant struggles, shifting alliances, betrayals, planning, and plotting with unexpected twists and action sequences. If you read the first book, reading this one is necessary. However, if you didn't, please read this series. 

Grab your copy from - Amazon IN Amazon US

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