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My Rating - 4 out of 5 stars

Publisher - Hachette
Genre - Historical Fiction
Publishing year - 2022
Language - English
ISBN - 978-93-89253-95-5
Pages - 296

Krishna Deva Raya: The Boy Who Would be King by Abhijeeth Hiliyana

Book Review -
 

The first book in the Krishna Deva Raya series, The Boy Who Would Be King, is penned by Abhijeeth Hiliyana. His work aims to deliver anecdotes of medieval Indian kings who are not well known. 

I considered myself a history nerd, and even I had never heard of Krishna Deva Raya. So, when I got the chance to read this book, I chose it immediately. 

I know it is fiction, but you know me, whenever I read a book like this, I research, try to find similarities, and get excited about the new things I learned. So, thanks to the author for writing this story and helping me expand my knowledge. 

The story is about the Vijayanagara empire and Krishna Tuluva, son of Narasa Nayaka, a faithful general and minister of the monarch Saluva Narasimha. It is a story of a naive boy who rose to the highest status through hard work, dedication, and adherence to the empire. 

Krishna and his half-elder brother Vira were sent to Gersoppa to save them from the Bahmani attacks from Goa. After succeeding and learning a valuable lesson, Krishna and Vira were asked to present in front of the king and receive their honor. 

While Krishna tries to bond with her lover Chinna, another important character in the story. Vira and his father, along with Prime Minister Timmarusu, also known as Appaji, worked towards strengthening the empire. 

However, amid all this, the king was captured, and the enemies-initiated assassinations of royals and ministers, leading to political turmoil and a weaker empire. That's when Tuluvas comes to the rescue. 

Loyal to the emperor and offering everything to support the empire, they realize that things have changed drastically over the years, and a new shift in power is required. 

Krishna is at a crossroads but soon realizes that the empire is more significant than the emperor. Hence begins a new era, but with the age-old rivals and political uproar, with casualties of kith and kin, Krishna Deva Raya needs to stand one more time for his subjects. 

This fast-paced story provides various heart-whelming ties between brothers, friends, lovers, and parents, but most noteworthy is the one with their homeland. This part of the series delivers details about Krishna Deva Raya's expeditions before becoming the sovereign. 

Abhijeeth Hiliyana provides engaging action scenes and beautifully captures the essence of medieval south India. Mostly I enjoyed the story, but a few things could have been better, like plot twists and the part where Krishna learned the truth about Vira. 

As a reader, I wanted to know why Chinna left Krishna. I hope to at least find the answer to this query in the second installment. Overall, it was an enjoyable read and if you love reading about Indian historical fiction stories, pick this book now. I recommend it. 

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