‘Deftly recreates the world of the Gupta Empire … widely regarded as the golden period of classical India’ – Sanjeev Sanyal. 461 CE. Skanda Gupta, the grandson of the great emperor Chandragupta Vikramaditya, is at the helm of the still-mighty Gupta Empire. Brave, noble and a living legend, the emperor is fighting hard to save his legacy from wave after wave of invasion, intrigue and insurrection. The borders are restive; the palace is swirling with conspiracies; and the Huns are back. Into this cauldron steps Rohini – an enigmatic half-Hun runaway. She is a riddle Skanda cannot crack. Might she be an assassin, or a spy? Or has she come to the court with an agenda all her own? As ambition crosses swords with affection, Skanda and Rohini must learn a painful lesson: as in war, so in love, victory always comes at a price. The second book in the Gupta Empire Trilogy, The Poisoned Heart is a saga of tragic love, treachery and hard-won battles in the inner reaches of a once-mighty empire.
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.