373 AD. In the thick forests of Malwa, an enigmatic stranger gallops into an ambush attack by bandits to rescue a young courtesan, Darshini. His name is Deva and he is the younger son of Emperor Samudragupta. That chance encounter, first with Deva and later with his two friends, the loyal general Saba Virasena and the great poet Kalidas, forges a bond that lasts a lifetime. From a dispossessed prince, Deva goes on to become one of the greatest monarchs in ancient India, Chandragupta Vikramaditya. But the search for glory comes with a blood price. As Chandragupta the emperor sets aside Deva the brother, lover and friend, to build a glorious destiny for himself, his companions go from being his biggest champions to his harshest critics. A sabre-rattling tale of love, revenge, friendship and ambition, The King Within is about the often-difficult choice between the power of passion and the passion for power.
Vishy the Knight
Nandini Sen Gupta breaks new ground here, and presents eight historical short stories in this collection. The most fascinating thing about these short stories is that they are not pure fiction, but are based on facts, on actual happenings. Many of the actual events behind these stories are less well known – atleast for me – and so they make the reader see the past with new eyes.
Poesy in Chrysalis
I loved the choice of words in this book. The language has that medieval feel to it and the writing is supported with thorough research. The writing style is descriptive. It’s smooth and allows generous amount of time for the characters to shine. Even when I am not a big fan of historical fiction, the realisation of the fact that I actually enjoyed reading this book surprised me.
Read on Goodreads
The characters were inspired from prominent historic figures from 373 AD. The author has depicted them in a different light. Even though there were many of them, but one could easily recall their names owing to the flawless characterisation...The treatment rendered to Chandragupta's character was perfect in every sense.
Nandini Sengupta's Conversation with Sudesna Ghosh about the release of her book The King Within, and snippets of her journey as an author of historical fiction.
Vishy the Knight
I don’t know how the author managed to pack in so much in a book of this size...Clearly the author has done her research very well. I loved Nandini Sengupta’s prose – it flowed smoothly with an elegant touch, page-turning during action scenes and slow and thoughtful in contemplative scenes.
In Conversation with Nandini Sengupta
I loved the depiction of the life of that ancient era in the book. Reading this book made me want to read more about the history of that period. That, I think, is one of the great achievements of the novel – making the reader want to read more.