Book Review – Battle of Vathapi, Nandi’s Charge

My first interaction with the author was on April 1, 2012. When he told me he was a computational biologist, I told him, that I will get along with his biologist side but not with the computational side. When we met on the ISB campus, we became fast friends. Arun, in his typical style told me at the end of our MBA program that he didn’t expect to make friends at this stage of life and he was glad that he did.

Arun is brilliant, he was on the Dean’s list as expected. Ok, he was also irritating when he remembered math formulas that the Professor had forgotten๐Ÿ™„. Over the years, we realised that Dr. Arun Krishnan was a multi-dimensional multi-talented individual who was also very easy to get along with ! But, I wouldn’t have guessed that he would one day write an outstanding historical fiction book.

The first author that we discussed was Jeffery Archer and his book “The Sins of The Father” and Arun’s comment was that Archer knew how to “grip” the reader. Well, I will return the compliment to him and say he has the same ability to “grip” the reader. Boy, was I gripped while reading Nandi’s Charge as were several of our batchmates. You did us proud Arun.

Battle of Vathapi, Nandi’s Charge is the first book in the trilogy and if this is anything to go by, readers will be queuing up for the next book soon. I already want to offer my services as an editor just to get a chance to read up the next one sooner than others.

Book - Nandi's Charge

Pallavas, Chalukyas, Pandyas, Gangas, Lankans, Harshavardhana ….. names that we have all heard in the passing but do we really know about them ? This novel will make you want to find out more about them. The story is set in 7th century CE, the research is deep and the narrative is riveting. The spies are discovered unexpectedly by the readers and the characters etch themselves on your mind.

Muthuvel, Elango, Kannan, Murugan, Sanghamitra, Jamba, Maricha, Indumathi, Sadaiyan, Jackal, Naganandi, Ilan, Paranjyothi, Annamalai – characters that I could recall without looking at the list in the book and leaving out the known Kings ! Because I know the author as well as I do, I know that some of these characters are based on real life ones from current times. Am sure similar characters have always been around.

The plot is driven by the Pallavas and Chalukyas. Read the book to figure what that is. It wouldn’t be fair to give it away so soon after the launch.

Congratulations Arun and best wishes for your debut as a writer. Am sure this trilogy will stay on top of the bestseller charts. You have also ensured that the southern kingdoms get their due in India’s narrative and don’t remain as footnotes. Historical fiction was the way forward because in our country unfortunately history that is taught is fiction – your book is probably closer to reality than the textbooks.


Hats off Arun and here’s to many more books. You better release the second book in the next two months…. make that one month. Stop spending time on Tennis and cricket matches and get to it buddy ! ๐Ÿ˜

Highly recommended. Buy it at or on Kindle.

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