When Foes Fraternize.

the shadow throne Title                The shadow throne

Author             Aroon Raman

Publisher;        Pan Macmillan .co. in

ISBN               978-81-923-9800-6

Genre              thriller.

A spy versus spy tale.

A mysterious body found at the Qutub Minar.

A legend that promises a saviour to a lost forgotten tribe.

An ace journalist is roped in by a friendly cop…  What begins as a whodunit slowly emerges as international conspiracy to change the Asian geopolitics. With the ISI, a history professor and Indian Intelligence bureau forming a cohesive team.

To me the use of history, like the lost race of Kushans, the use of Milinda panah, creating an intentionally disfigured skull, like the shaka’s who had disfigured hands was interesting. The lost race loosely rests on the concepts of asuras, that is tall long limbed and powerful.  The silent symbiotic working of ISI with intelligence bureau is definitely great. The use of precise historic terms like Tamga, the Yavanha Jataka, the legend of Kanishka, it all is great. The existence of Asian-Greeks and Asiatic –Bacterian Empire. All beautifully used. The pace is racy and the icing on the cake is absolutely no side tracking with an irrelevant romance or depressing relationship issues of the characters. The story line is about the threat to Asian countries and overcoming it the author refuses to be side tracked.

To understand and execute a difference between a labyrinth and a maze was quite interesting too, though I would have expected an intelligence officer to do it, than a journalist.

All the same it was quite confusing the number of investigating,  intelligence, counter whatever to follow, the IB, the RAW, the cops a low rank cop who is in reality a high ranking military official. An honest Muslim cop suspected of ISI link (a bit of a cliché here) well takes effort to follow. The actual missile assembling and the climax kind of sounded like a bit of detailing was missing.

The Bamiyan Buddha’s and their mystery, a link to the lost Kushana race was very interesting. But somehow I had to fight hard the feeling that I was reading a Christopher Doyle probably since the writing style and characters were quite similar.

A great book for all history and geopolitics buffs, the combination of history, politics and war strategy is just adequate.

About the author. Runs an research and innovation company out of Bangalore, working the area of materials science. He divides his spare time between trekking, advising and supporting NGO’s.  More about him on http://www.aroonraman.com


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