The Boy from Pataliputra- A historical fiction novel set in the 4th Century BC

It was an exciting time to be alive. Massive, contemporaneous changes were taking place across all fields of human activity. Long-established class relations were being disrupted by the nascent forces of urbanization and mercantilism; age-old heterodoxies were being challenged by new modes of thinking such as Buddhism, Jainism and the Ajivikas. Politically, with the emergence of the Mahajanapadas, the first state-level organizations had just come into being in the sub-continent and neighboring states were continuously vying with each other for supremacy.

As always in our country, self-serving leaders exploited these divisions even as the invasion of the Greeks under Alexander threw a new power into the mix, a power which strove to gain dominance by playing off neighbouring states against each other. This is the historical canvas against which ‘The boy from Pataliputra’ is set.

More importantly, this novel is about a period when India was at the very threshold of revolution- a revolution that would sweep the Mauryas into power and lead to the establishment of the first all-India empire in history.

But how did this come about? And what led to the sudden efflorescence of the arts, culture, sciences and religion that followed this period- a time which has been called the golden age of India and which lasted till the end of Gupta rule (6th century AD)?

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