THE FLUTE AND THE SWORD BOOK REVIEW
The Flute and the Sword by Karuna Sinh and Randhir Sinh is the North Indian version of Game of Thrones. It has everything that a perfect Historical Fiction book should have. You will get love, friendship, action, drama, and suspense without getting bored for even a second.
The two main characters of this book Meera and Jaimal will win your heart. The characterization is so good that I can see this book becoming one of the greatest Indian TV series. The plot is wonderfully-crafted in such a way, that you will be updated year by year about the changes in the plot and its characters.
Fresh and authentic, The Flute and the Sword had me engrossed from page one. The book is based on the true events and stories of 16th century North India. All the major events taking place at that time in North India are beautifully covered throughout the book.
The Siege of Chittorgarh is what made this book stand out of the box. The detailing of the war, the movements of the characters, the emotions, the feel, each and every word of it was epic. The battles, blood, revenge, strategies, will blow your mind.
The book truly captures the challenges of Rajasthan in the 16th century and the dark side of Akbar, making this a worthwhile read. It’s a great pick for a History lover. Even if you think History isn’t necessarily your thing, you might be surprised.
It not only captures the personal journey of Meera and Jaimal, but it is also a reminder that self-respect is more important than money. No matter if you are in the 16th century, or 21st century, your self-respect can keep you alive even after your death, the money will vanish.
I loved the characters of Meera and Jaimal. Meera was the biggest influencer of her time. She had the power to influence people to have faith and look at the bright side. On the other hand, Jaimal was a team captain and coach, who had the ability to win any battle with a never give up attitude.
I have always believed Jauhar was not a good ritual. Jauhar, sometimes spelled Jowhar or Juhar, is the act of mass self-immolation by women in parts of the Indian subcontinent, to avoid capture, enslavement, and rape by foreign invaders when facing certain defeat during a war. But after reading this book, after understanding the emotions of the women of the 16th century, I believe it was the most daring thing to do.
Overall, The Flute and the Sword captures life, death, violence, and grace - all at once. This book is one of the best Historical Fiction I ever read, and I believe that you will enjoy it too. So, go ahead and buy this book from Amazon now!
PUBLISHER: VIJ Books
GENRE: Historical Fiction
ABOUT THE BOOK
The book, though fiction, follows an authentic timeline as it tells the story of the two remarkable grandchildren of Rao Duda, Meera, and Jaimal. Meera was a gifted child, recognized for her intellectual brilliance and piety from her childhood. Her devotion to Lord Krishna was intense and never changed, even though she was married to Bhojraj, the son of Maharana Sanga. The book traces her life until she reaches Dwarka and is finally absorbed by her lord. Jaimal, on the other hand, remained constantly at war, struggling to preserve his kingdom against powerful forces ranged against it. The constant struggle against Marwar finally leads to the destruction of Merta with the curtain coming down with Jaimal indomitably leading the defense of Chittor against Akbar. Teeming with characters well known in history, the book offers a slice of it in painful though valorous detail. Despite their tragedy, the Mertias are a force to reckon with but as the Authors put it, in the 16th Century they created their own Camelot which rose and fell within three generations.
ABOUT THE AUTHORS
Karuna Sinh is a highly qualified individual with an MA in English. She is from Rajasthan and is well acquainted and related to the descendants of some of the personalities figuring in this book. She has done the research and is knowledgeable on the period as well as on the personality and songs of Meera.
Maj Gen Randhir Sinh has a biography of Lieutenant General Sagat Singh to his credit, which was a bestseller on Amazon. He retired after 37 years' service in the Army and has studied military history in detail. His knowledge of history and the period has enabled him to take suitable advantage of the research and work on the novel.
KARUNA SINH INTERVIEW
Q. Tell us something about your book, The Flute and the Sword?
The book is historical fiction about the 16th century Rajputana. It depicts the life journey of Mirabai and her brother Rao Jaimal and, at the same time, also highlights a turbulent period of that era. A struggle collectively faced by men, women, children, rich and poor.
Q. What do you think makes The Flute and the Sword a good story?
The story is about devotion and duty. Both the protagonists play the role with full conviction while performing their duty with utmost dedication.
Q. What inspired you to start writing?
Firstly, the history of the 16th century in India which underwent a lot of turmoil. To weave a tale about such a vast span of that period in a single book was a challenge. Secondly, the portrayal of Mirabai through one's interpretation. Thirdly my maternal connection with the legendary generation.
Q. What kind of research did you do, and how long did you spend researching before beginning this book?
The research was extensive and took almost one year. I read all the books, materials which were recommended or provided to us on the subject.
Q. What were the key challenges you faced when writing this book?
The accuracy of the timeline, facts about lineage, the authenticity of character names, and the characterization of Mirabai. We are two independent thinkers who argued a lot while portraying Mirabai's character.
Q. If your book was to be made into a movie, who are the celebrities that would star in it?
Well, I never thought about it. The characters are very pious, so don't know who can do justice.
Q. Future of SALISMANIA.com through your eyes?
Encouraging a lot of potential writers to showcase their hard work and talent to a broader audience. To bring out the hidden gems amongst Indian writers, every effort made by Salismania counts.
RANDHIR SINH INTERVIEW
Q. Tell us something about your book The Flute and the Sword.
The Book is a historical fiction that follows an authentic timeline of 16 Century Rajputana. It starts off with the founding of the Principality of Merta and traces the life of its two principal protagonists, the mystic saint Meera and her cousin Jaimal. Their life intersects through the turbulent period of the first half of 16 Century.
Q. How did you come up with the title of your book?
The title of the book is connected with the two heroes; Meera and the flute of Lord Krishna and Jaimal and his struggle to save his kingdom and secure his family.
Q. What is the key theme and/or message in the book?
Rajputana was in the cusp of a major political upheaval. On one hand, was the invasion of Babar and on the other the struggle to withstand the expansionist designs of the Sultanates of Malwa and Gujarat. Within Rajputana itself, the Rajput kingdoms were far from united and their constant struggle against each other led to their ultimate downfall. The history of that era shaped the history of the rest of India.
Q. Does one of the main characters hold a special place in your heart? If so, why?
The two main characters hold a special place. Meera seems to call out through the centuries. Her love for Krishna and deep mysticism strikes a deep chord. On the other hand, Jaimal is the epitome of a Rajput warrior, whose chivalry and exploits even now resonate through time.
Q. What was the best money you ever spent as a writer?
I have hardly any income as a writer. The expenditure was generally more than the income. Most of it was spent on research.
Q. How many books are in your house?
I have approximately 3000 books in my house.
Q. Future of SALISMANIA.com through your eyes.
It fills a vital niche which gives encouragement to writers to project their talents as well as their effort. It gives good publicity and establishes an Author’s marketability and status.
DID YOU KNOW?
Mirabai मीराबाई, (1498–1556) was a 16th-century Hindu mystic poet and devotee of Lord Krishna. She is a celebrated Bhakti saint, particularly in the North Indian Hindu tradition.
Mirabai was born into a Rajput royal family in Kudki, Pali district, Rajasthan, Mira then spent her childhood in Merta, Rajasthan. She is mentioned in Bhaktamal, confirming that she was widely known and a cherished figure in the Bhakti movement culture by about 1600 CE. Most legends about Meera mention her fearless disregard for social and family conventions, her devotion to Lord Krishna, her treating Lord Krishna as her husband and being persecuted by her in-laws for her religious devotion. She has been the subject of numerous folk tales and hagiographic legends, which are inconsistent or widely different in details. Millions of devotional hymns in passionate praise of Lord Krishna are attributed to Meerabai in the Indian tradition, but just a few hundred are believed to be authentic by scholars, and the earliest written records suggest that except for two hymns, most were written down only in the 18th century. Many poems attributed to Meera were likely composed later by others who admired Meera. These hymns are commonly known as bhajans, and are popular across India. Hindu temples, such as in Chittorgarh fort, are dedicated to Mira Bai's memory.Legends about Meera's life, of contested authenticity, have been the subject of movies, comic strips and other popular literature in modern times.
Jaimal Meratia (1507–1568) was the ruler of Merta. He was the half-brother of Meera and became the ruler of Merta after the death of his father, Rao Veeram Dev. His father was perceived as the strongest king of the east in his time. The Amar Kavya records that Udai Singh II granted Badnor along with 210 villages to Rao Jaimal. In 1553, Jaimal resisted falling under the chakri (service relationship) of Maldeo of Marwar.
The Siege of Chittorgarh (20 October 1567 – 23 February 1568) was a part of the campaign of the Mughal Empire against the kingdom of Mewar in 1567. Forces led by Akbar surrounded and besieged 8,000 Rajputs and around 40,000 peasants under the command of Jaimal in Chittorgarh.
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