Chanakya by Ashok K Banker Review

Chanakya by ashok banker

Chanakya was the most shrewd economist and diplomatic politicians ever witnessed by our Indian history. His thrilling life and stellar personality had so many layers that it always intrigued the authors and readers equally. Ashok Banker is the latest to join the list.

The Story In Brief

His book Chanakya: The Legend Begins is the first book in The Chanakya Trilogy series. This book is about the initial childhood days of Chanakya who was then known as Vishnu Gupta. Not much is known about the early days of Chanakya as a consequence the author has to take the help of imagination to create the storyline.


Vishnu Gupta was the brightest child in his village. He had an exceptional photogenic memory and a remarkable presence of mind and equally prodigious ability to grasp the situation and accordingly work out the solutions. It was rare among the seven year old child.

But Vishnu Gupta’s adversary Maha-amatya Kartikeya was also no less. He was the king maker and the real ruler behind the throne. He was evil and brutal and the real cause of ever increasing crime, corruption and injustices in the capital city Pataliputra.

What happens when the two meet?  The collision between the two will blow away your mind.

Apart from these two characters there is a third character that of Chandra which will soon find its prominence in the coming book. I expect him to be Chandra Gupt Maurya who will be the founder of Maurya dynasty and will bring justice to the Magadh empire along with the guidance of Chanakya.

The first book has been used by the author to lay the foundation of the two most important characters of the series. Vishnu Gupta is the protagonist and equally powerful is the antagonist Maha-amatya Kartikeya.

The author has put extra effort into the antagonist character. He is dangerous and I always have this creepy feeling whenever he comes into the picture. The author has successfully instilled fear for the character and it will be interesting to see how Vishnu Gupta deals with him.


As you can guess, it is character driven story, but this doesn’t mean there is no thrill in the plot. There are a couple of edge of the seat thriller scenes in the storyline which has been wonderfully written by the author. It will definitely give you heightened feelings of suspense and excitement.

Debate Scenes

There were a few scriptural debate scenes which was natural as Chanakya was also a great scholar . Such scenes need a little research and understanding which was clearly lacking in the story. The author seems to be reluctant to get into the details. Other authors like Ashwin Sanghi, Anand Neelakantan or Amish Tripathi would have grab such an opportunity and would have written a full fledged debate on a sholka or shastrarth debate.

The Writing

The writing of Ashoka Banker was at its best. It was lucid and descriptive. You can imagine every scene. The narrative flows seamlessly and effortlessly without any glitch. The plot was gripping right from the beginning.

The Verdict

If you are in a mood to read historical fiction, then definitely pick Chanakya. It’s a crisp read and is about Chanakya’s childhood. So there is something new to read. But if you are looking for some serious read on Chanakya then there are other books for that. This version of Chanakya by Banker is more of a historical fantasy. The author refrains himself in going deep into shastrarth debate and concentrate more on establishing it as an action pack thriller. Something which he has done with his famous Ramayana retelling. It is a four starer read.

About The Author Ashok K Banker

Ashok K Banker became a overnight bestseller author with his Ramayana series. It was an action pack thriller and adventureous version of Ramayana which became extremely popular, specially among the young teen readers. Since then it became his trademark style to infuse thrill in mythology and historical fiction.

Books by Ashok K Banker

There are total eight books in the Ramayana series by Banker. They are as follows

  1. Prince of Ayodhya (Ramayana, #1) 
  2. Siege of Mithila (Ramayana #2) 
  3. Demons of Chitrakut (Ramayana #3)
  4. Bridge of Rama (Ramayana, #5)
  5. Armies of Hanuman (Ramayana, #4)
  6. King of Ayodhya (Ramayana #6)
  7. Vengeance of Ravana (Ramayana #7)
  8. Sons of Sita (Ramayana series, #8)

All the books were unique in their own way. The author has used his imagination and didn’t hesitate to deviate from the original storyline to give new dimension to the epic.

He became more popular due to his Ramayana retelling. Encouraged by the success, Banker then came with the retelling of Mahabharata. There are total seven books in the series

  1. The Forest of Stories
  2. The Seeds of War
  3. The Children of Midnight
  4. The Darkness Before Dawn
  5. The Eclipse of Dharma
  6. The Sons of Misrule
  7. The Kingdom of Beasts

Parallel to Mahabharata series, Banker came with the enchanting series of Krishna. This is also a huge series with total seven books which are as follows

  1. Slayer Of Kamsa
  2. Dance of Govinda
  3. Flute of Vrindavan
  4. Lord of Mathura
  5. Rage of Jarasandha
  6. Fortress of Dwarka
  7. Rider of Garuda

After mythical genre, Banker began to write thriller in historical fiction and The Itihasa series became very famous. Till now four books have released in this series and many more is expected. The one which has released are as follows

  1. Ten Kings
  2. Ashoka: Lion of Maurya
  3. Ashoka: Satrap of Taxila
  4. Chanakya

He has also tried other genres like science fiction, crime thriller and romantic as well. He is the most versatile author of India. 

More and Similar Books on Chanakya

Radhakrishnan Pillai is best known for his Chanankya series which includes bestseller like

  1. Corporate Chanakya
  2. Chanakya in Daily Life
  3. Inside Chanakya’s Mind: Aanvikshiki and the Art of Thinking
  4. Chanakya in You
  5. Katha Chanakya
  6. Thus Spoke Chanakya
  7. Chanakya and the Art of Getting Rich

This list  cannot be complete without the mention of Chanakya’s Chant by Ashwin Sanghi. It is a historical fiction and political thriller where two stories run in parallel. 


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