Historical Fiction

Prithviraj Chauhan: The Emperor of Hearts by Anuja Chandramouli


Published: December 4th 2017

Publisher: Penguin Random House

Read Date: February 13th 2018

Genre: Historical Fiction / Indian literature and cultural

Pages: 350

Stars: 4.75 (That sums 5)/ 5

5 star_crop



{Prithviraj Chauhan or Rai Pithora in the folk legends, was an Indian king from the Chahamana (Chauhan) dynasty ruled from 1178 to 1192 CE.}


I’m warning you this review is my thought dumping. Whatever I felt or came in my mind while reading this book, I have just written it here.

Fate was already written for Prithviraj even before his birth.

This book was about passion, dreams, love, betrayal, political plots, family drama, and war set in early medieval period of India. There was so many things in the book, a very deep history and life story of Prithviraj, social and political issues in that era, people’s thinking, nature or lifestyle. Author has covered almost all the details in the book.


Prithviraj– was great warrior and a person as well. In the beginning I found him little overambitious and childish sometimes, his only interest was in winning over kingdom and war and little less in running kingdom, which was little hard to digest. But as story progressed this character developed nice and steady. He was sensitive and emotional guy and his ability of surrounding himself with great friends and people was great. They were ready to die for him which was most remarkable.

All characters mentioned in the book, whether small or the big one, they were so important in the life history of Prithviraj. Some I liked and some I didn’t. I specifically loved Uncle Kanha and Jaya and their thoughts. They were most likable and selfless characters of the book. Yogita and his wife Padmavati were also great.

What I liked_edited

Loved the beginning. It started with the dream telling Prithviraj’s mother about her son and his fate when he was in her womb. It made story more interesting as I wanted to know how it was going to happen and what will lead to his end.

It started with the family background nature of his parents and family and their good or bad sides, their feeling for Prithviraj and expectations. It covered the long lineage of Chauhans, their deeds, and how Prithviraj’s family has reclaimed the throne. Also the story of how four main Kshatriyas clan came into existence.

I loved all character’s point of view in third person narrative which was flawlessly written and made it easier to understand all the characters. The best thing about this or any book by this author is, both good and bad sides of the characters are shown. It’s not like that a character is villain so only bad side of him is represented or if it is hero only praises are written. I got to discover all the layers of characters in the book and for which I love the author. The teaching part of Prithvi and his friends made the tense and serious theme of the book light. It was relief in the book, I laughed out loud at some point.

Book also covered sensitive and political matter of medieval era- Killing and plotting against own family, clashes between queens and clans, kidnapping and harassing to save the king by people who supposed to be a good in eyes of king as well as people. How in the name of saving kingdom and birthright, royalties fought, did heinous crimes, and shed blood. Suffering of people and the differences between the royal and common people. And also the religious belief of people in that era, how it can blind men to an extent that they can’t see the wrong they are doing.

I loved all remarkable and extraordinary insights in the book like – How overindulgence of anything, even the love, can blind men and lead to destruction. When destiny is already written, no matter how much people try to change it, they can’t escape it and no one can help or can do anything about it. God never stay with those who shed the blood and causes the destruction and war never brings happiness (I loved that portion of the book, it was so mesmerizing).

Another thing that made me think for a long time even after I finished the book was- Prithviraj’s relation with his mother. I know she did few wrong things and I’m totally against it but I couldn’t see where his anger was in initial parts- was it because she was doing her husband’s work while he was drunk in alcohol and female or she couldn’t find time for him or treating him like baby. He could accept his father’s behavior, his grandmother’s sharp mind and her knowledge but not her mother taking care of things! This indicating the male ego/mentality;  ahh, the egos of mother-in-laws and how they treat their son’s wife; and wanting heir a son instead of daughter; cultural differences and strong opinions on that – all of these was there hundreds years before and it still hasn’t changed much! (Well, it is so sad that no matter how many warrior and heroes or good people trying to bring change dies, some things never change in this world.)

Climax was surprising, I didn’t see that coming. That end was so sad. So many thing happened between climax and end that it was so shocking. I don’t blame Padma for what she did. Action of Prithvi for that just surprised me, I was like how he could be so blind. I wish I can change it.

This is kind of book that I would love to re-read.

why not 5 stars_edited

Well, I couldn’t judge Samyuktya. I wanted to read her thoughts as well. She came so later in the story for such a short time that I couldn’t set mind for this character. Good or bad or was it just the same for her, fate already written! It was justified that why there was least mention of her but the point is the same, I couldn’t know her.

I want a family tree in this book. Wow, the ancestry was long and same names didn’t help it as well. It made me re-read few portion to know clearly the whole Chauhan dynasty.  And finally I googled it.

This is how it looked- (I got from google to make it easy for me)-

Image result for chauhan of ajmer family tree


Overall, this was steady paced, a fabulous precise history of Prithviraj Chauhan with brilliant and detailed point of view of characters and their part in the history. I recommend this book to all history lovers.


About Author:

AnujaAnuja Chandramouli is a bestselling Indian author and New Age Indian Classicist. Her highly acclaimed debut novel, Arjuna: Saga of a Pandava Warrior-Prince, was named by Amazon India as one of the top 5 books in the Indian Writing category for the year 2013. Kamadeva: The God of Desire and Shakti: The Divine Feminine are her other bestsellers. Currently all three books are being translated into Hindi, Marathi, Gujarathi and Bengali, a real achievement for one so young. Her epic fantasies called Yama’s Lieutenant and its sequel has received an overwhelming response.

Her newest books are on Kartikeya, Padmavati and Prithviraj Chauhan.
An accomplished orator, she regularly conducts workshops on Creative Writing, Story Telling and Mythology in schools, colleges and various other platforms. Her motivational speeches have also been well received. According to Chandramouli, her work with youngsters in the rural belt helping them improve their Spoken English and Writing skills has been wonderfully satisfying and enriching.
This happily married, mother of two little girls, lives in Sivakasi, Tamil Nadu. She is a student of classical dance and Yoga.

Buy here: Amazon.in / Amazon.com

*** Note: I received book from the author, in exchange for an honest review. Many thanks to author and publisher. ***

What do you think about the book and my review? Have you read this book already or any book by this author before? Have you read something similar to this book? Share your thoughts in comment-box below.

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Hi, I'm Yesha, an Indian book blogger. Avid and eclectic reader who loves to read with a cup of tea. Not born reader but I don't think I’m going to stop reading books in this life. “You can never get a cup of tea large enough or a book long enough to suit me.”


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