22 June, 2021

Rolls Of Dice

A bodice ripper leads readers up a familiar path

Rolls Of Dice

The blockbuster Baahubali franchise changed the way mega films were made in India. Even with many tongue-twisters like Mahishmathi and Ballaladeva for the audiences in the north, director S.S. Rajamouli’s vision and actor Prabhas’s charm won all hearts and Baahubali became the highest earning film franchise across India. None of it would be possible without author Anand Neelakantan’s story-telling, on whose books the films are largely based.

Now Neelankantan is out with his next in the series: Chaturanga. It takes off from where Baahubali: Before The Beginning ended, with Sivagami, the warrior queen burning with anger to avenge her father’s execution as a traitor by the maharaja of Mahishmathi. There is a tussle between his two sons for the kingdom as well as Sivagami’s love.

In true Neelakantan style, the narrative is peppered with valour, vanity, love, lust, greed, nob­leness, palace intrigue, scheming ministers, plight of the common man. It’s a breathtaking read with so many twists and turns that the...

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