Reviewing this daring Historical Fiction book, “The Vedic Warriors Of 1857” by Author Nikita Khanna Pani has been a very special experience for me. It takes a leap away from real history. It is based on a fantasy, a ‘What-if’ notion, looking at history from a different perspective.
The book takes place in 1856-1857, a time we are all familiar with because of the Indian mutiny and tales of valour that we have heard. While, this novel by Nikita Khanna Pani, is based in the same era it is a completely fictional tale and presents an alternative historic account.
The canvas is impressive, the writing is detailed and the characters are complex and layered.
About the Author: Author, Nikita Khanna Pani is born and brought up in Mumbai. She graduated from Jai Hind College in Mass Media and did her post-graduation from Sophia’s Polytech. She started an exciting career in the Film and Television industry in 2006. This is where she discovered her passion for writing. Being a history buff, she was drawn toward India’s rich historical past. The French Revolution served as an inspiration and left her questioning India’s First War of Independence, which is popularly known as the Mutiny of 1857.
Her research on the subject shook her understanding of history as it had been told in history books. Thus, the idea of The Vedic Warriors of 1857 was conceived in the year 2010 as an ambitious alternate version of history; a fantasy many of us wished was true. For many years, the daunting extent of the subject kept her away from it. The pandemic locked all of us in and thus Nikita decided to pursue a long-standing dream of penning the book. Through the lockdown, she read and wrote and the Vedic Warriors of 1857 started to take shape from a mere concept to a full-fledged novel.
Book Title: The title of this book, “The Vedic Warriors Of 1857” is a catchy title and it compels you as a reader to pick up this book for a read. Once you go into the chapters, you get absorbed into the alluring world of secret revolutionaries, royal families and the imperialist British regime. It is an immersive universe that keeps pulling you back into it.
Nikita Khanna Pani has completely succeeded in choosing a perfect Book Title and her storyline truly justifies it. It is an apt title for a book belonging to the genre of ‘Historical Fiction’ and creates sufficient intrigue about the story.
Book Cover: The Book Cover creates a sense of mystery and adventure. The masked man on the cover instantly grabs the attention of people. Who is he? What is the story about? You know there is a layer of suspense in the book almost instantaneously. When you flip the book around and see the back cover, then men in dhotis with swords and guns instantly gives you an impression that it is going to be an action-packed thriller. Their costumes and weapons establish a feel of a long-gone era. Overall, the book cover is definitely mesmerizing!
Storyline/Theme: A magnum opus, “The Vedic Warriors Of 1857” covers a huge canvas, compelling the reader to employ their imagination and conjure a by-gone era. The story-line is exciting and unpredictable. What I liked most is that the characters don’t have a familiar trajectory. They are layered and complex and often guided by their own agendas, trying yet to remain true to a larger cause. It is a reflection of humanity and an insight into our past like never before. The research put in by the writer is visible. There are so many facets of 19th century India that most of us are completely oblivious to. The era has been depicted with vivid detail and authenticity.
The readers will find themselves deep diving into the world of the Vedic Warriors. They will find themselves rooting for their favourite characters and rooting for India. Author Nikita Khanna Pani has portrayed the fragility of relationships very beautifully. It will tug at the right places in your heart and you will find a lump in your throat at some point before the book ends. The forgotten pain of our colonial past has been brought out through the experiences of the characters and that of India as a whole. The book creates a sense of hope for the readers and will resonate will with every Indian!
Verdict: A Book like “The Vedic Warriors of 1857” is a Must-Read and deserves a chance. The way the author has penned down these marvellous characters and highlighted their crucial roles in her story is undoubtedly fabulous. You do not get to read books like this every day. The Author truly deserves appreciation for her hard work and imaginative thinking! Moreover, if you are one of those readers, who looks forward to read a worthy “Historical Fiction” story then this book is the most perfect fit for you. Author, Nikita Khanna Pani is a promising Author, who is very honest with her writing, which can be felt in her spectacular story.
Reviewed by: Neel Preet, The Literature Times