WRITING STYLE: 3.5/5
ENTERTAINMENT QUOTIENT: 3.5/5
Last year Ravi had reviewed Aroon Raman’s debut book – The Shadow Throne. The book and the cover seemed very interesting to me and I had immediately made a mental note to include the book in my to-read list, but, somehow, I could never find the time to read it. But now, I consider myself privileged enough to read the author’s second book – The Treasure of Kafur. In this book, Aroon makes good use of his creativity and imagination to tell a story which is a clever fusion of the two of my most favourite genres – historical fiction and fantasy. The latter, though having only an underlining effect, brightens up the plot beautifully and makes the readers pining for more.
The year is 1580 AD, a time when most of the Indian sub-continent was under the able rule of the great Mughal Emperor Akbar. Though Akbar was loved by all, he surely had his fair share of haters especially those in the enemy camp and those whose filthy ambitions for money and kingdom were always kept under check by the benevolent king. One such Akbar hater was the ruler of Khandesh, an empire in the Deccan region, whose ambitions to crush the reign of Akbar had made him gather an army of thousands up in arms against Akbar. Asaf Baig, as the man was called, had only one missing piece hindering his plan, and that was the unknown location of the treasure of Malik Kafur, so as to pay for the army and mercenaries.
Legend had it, that Malik Kafur, the then general of Alauddin Khilji, the ruler of Dilli and a cruel warlord had chanced upon a treasure so big that it could buy armies to rule the whole world. This happened when he had looted the land south of the Satpuras. Having looted such a big treasure, Khilji knew that it was extremely unsafe to carry it all the way through Dilli, and thus Kafur, under Khilji’s bidding, thought of hiding the bounty somewhere in the country itself. Legend further goes to confirm that even after two hundred and fifty years of Khilji’s raiding, Kafur’s treasure is still lost and this is exactly what the cunning general Asaf Baig is after.
In between the quest for the treasure, an innocent boy Dattatreya and his old grandmother Ambu is caught in a whirlpool of events which will forever change the course of their life. Though a villager, Ambu is no common lady. She is the one, who to this day, has somehow managed to learn and safeguard the location of the treasure. The word that Ambu knows the location of the much-hunted treasure is out and now Asaf Baig is after her and her grandson Dattatreya. So will Ambu survive Asaf Baig’s torture? What will happen to Dattatreya? Will Asaf Baig be successful in uprooting Akbar and his kingdom? The answers to all these questions lie in this book which is an exceptional piece of fiction called The Treasure of Kafur, filled with just the right dose of history, action, drama and fantasy.