The poisoned heart by Nandini Sengupta

This is the second book in the Gupta Empire trilogy. But you do not necessarily have to read the first part to understand this book. Even though some characters are retained from the forst book, the protagonists are different.
The plot revolves around Skanda, the grandson of Chandragupta Vikramaditya and the emperor of the once mighty Gupta empire. The empire is slowly losing its sheen due to recurrent insurgency and infighting. Skanda’s elder half brother Puru belives he is the rightful hier to the throne and tries his best to use cowardly ways to get rid of Skanda. Everyone has some ulterior motive and wants to see thier kin on the throne. In such treacherous times Rohini enters the emperor’s life and catches his eye. The ever mysterious Rohini is a half hun ran away, who does her best to get as close to the emperor as possible. But what is her motto. Is she just a brave maiden in love or is there more to her than meets the eye?

The plot is complex and engaging and will keep you on the edge of your seat. The characters are well developed . The language is excellent and makes reading this book very enjoyable. I loved the character of Skanda. He is just the perfect mix of everything a emperor should be. Overall an excellent book to read if you are interested in Indian mythology/ historical fiction. If youve enjoyed reading books like the Shiva trilogy/ Tarikshir / Ashok and the nine unknown definitely give this book a try. Highly recommended

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