- Title – The Great Mogul
- Author – Rajeev Jacob
- Publisher – Lancers Books
- Genre – Fiction
- Pages – 222
- ISBN – 817095131-3
- Price – 450 INR
Blurb on the Book – Two young scholars delving into the role of mercenaries in eighteenth century Indian wars discover more than just pages out of history. Through the world of musty old archival records and clues hidden in a minor British poetess’ love lines, Irene and Jason find themselves chasing the elusive trail of The Great Mogul – one of the world’s largest and India’s greatest diamonds, the brilliance of which is matched only by the depths of mystery surrounding its current whereabouts.
Along the way, they find out more about a dissolute English mercenary’s perilous and exciting quest to seek a great fortune. A journey that takes him across the length and breadth of India and nearly leaves him dead. The great Mogul is a 900 carat diamond which was last seen by jeweler Travenier in the hands of Mughal emperor Aurangzeb in the seventeenth century.
Review – The book has a hard cover and a very impressive quality of paper has been used to print the book with a very reader friendly font. Giving a deeper look to the cover illustration I feel the overall look can be improved with a deeper thought and better blending of the images used.
The book has been divided into fifty-seven short chapters that take the reader for travel over centuries. The chapters have been dated with location specified to let the reader get a grasp of the story as it progresses at a rather irregular pace.
There are frequent jumps in the narration that help in changing gears on one hand and also serve to distract from some wonderful and vivid historical descriptions.
I wish to congratulate the author in having done a commendable job in keeping the various characters connected through out, stirring up a plot that’s layered and derives beauty in spanning over different eras.
The book opens on an intriguing prologue that failed to maintain my interest in the book as the following pages do not support the developing plot. The profane sexual references in the first chapter were a major put off. I had to muster courage to push myself to finish the book after having been seriously disappointed right in the start of the book.
The chapters could have been made longer with better care taken to maintain uniformity in the tense of the narrative. The language is lucid but loses its impact owing to repetition of words and phrases on more occasions than can be overlooked.
I see a sincere effort made in creating a historical fiction plot but the abruptness of the climax stole the ‘all’s well that ends well’ cornerstone rescue opportunity of the book.
The book needs a thorough proof reading to eliminate the grammatical errors and to tighten the loose strings in narration. The ‘raw feel’ if eliminated would surely make this book a better read and bring to fore the merits of the plot which were easily forgotten in the present case.
I feel the book is overpriced at Rs 450 with the hardcover only adding to the weight of the book and not serving to impress the reader.
About the Author – Educated at Jawaharlal Nehru University, New Delhi, where he was a Junior Research Fellow in International Relations, Rajeev Jacob is a senior Sub-editor with The Hindu newspaper.
His first novel was ‘The lunatic from Multan’ and this is his second book.
Rating – 2.5/5