Nandini Sen Gupta is a Pondicherry-based journalist and writer. She already has several fiction and non-fiction titles to her credit. After a chance trip to the Ajanta and Ellora caves in 2007, she began researching third and fourth-century India, initially out of mere curiosity and later out of interest, which quickly deepened into an obsession with India’s glorious past. Her three novels, The King Within, The Poisoned Heart and The Ocean’s own – part of a historical fiction trilogy on the Gupta Empire published by HarperCollins India are admired by many renowned writers.
The three books in the trilogy focus on three different emperors and are a must read!
The King Within
For a book which is around two hundred pages, ‘The King Within‘ is epic in scope. The story starts at a time towards the end of Samudragupta’s reign and continues through Chandragupta Vikramaditya’s reign till nearly the end. The King Within is a remarkable novel about the power of passion and the passion for power, and the difficult choices a man must make.’A wonderfully crafted, engrossing tale that takes us back in time.
The Poisoned Heart
This book is a sequel to the book The King Within and the second part of The Gupta Empire Trilogy. This book is of the historical fiction genre. The author has done a really amazing job with the narration of the story.
Like the previous book, this book also had amazing plot descriptions and some really strong characters. There was a perfect blend of thrill in the story which made me stay glued to the book till the end. The story told in ‘The Poisoned Heart’ starts more than forty years after the events of ‘The King Within’. There is a new emperor on the throne, Skandagupta, and it appears that there was some kind of trouble with respect to the succession, because Skandagupta was not the eldest son of his father. So even though he is the emperor now, his own relatives and brothers and uncles are doing things behind his back to bring him down.
We learn that something had happened a few years back and it had had a huge impact on the emperor’s life and the way he was now and the way he thought now. The book then takes us back to those years and immerses us in the events of that time.
The Ocean’s Own
The Ocean’s Own is a fitting and a grand conclusion to Nandini Sengupta’s extremely readable, rich trilogy set in the Gupta period. In this book, which is more a prequel, the author brings to life one of the greatest Kings, not only of this period, but in Indian history itself – Samudragupta.
The story starts with the newly married Prince Kacha (Samudragupta’s name before he became the emperor) going on his honeymoon with his young wife Datta with their best friend Harisena accompanying them. The young couple are enjoying the first days of their married life together, when they receive news from the palace, which is not good. Soon they are attacked by unknown people in the forest.
The subsequent action moves the story fast and we can’t wait to find out what happens next and who these unknown assailants are and as Holmes is fond of saying, what plots are afoot. To find out what happens next, you have to read the book .