Fifteen year old Ashoka, though rightfully the crown prince, has renounced his claim to the throne to protect his mother Subhadrangi from the vicious palace politics of her rival queens and the chiefs of the 500 tribes that make up the great Mauryavansh Empire. Ashoka is entrusted with escorting... show more
Fifteen year old Ashoka, though rightfully the crown prince, has renounced his claim to the throne to protect his mother Subhadrangi from the vicious palace politics of her rival queens and the chiefs of the 500 tribes that make up the great Mauryavansh Empire.
Ashoka is entrusted with escorting his self-centred brother, crown prince Sushim, to Taxila to negotiate with Pashtun rebels. When Ashoka exceeds his authority and ends the rebellion, instead of being appreciated, his actions are considered treasonous. Samrat Bindusara is busy continuing his campaign of conquest against the last pockets of resistance in the sub-continent, while young prince Tissa views the whole enterprise of war as brutal and inhuman. Aging and disgraced ex-prime minister Kautilya comes out of forced retirement to appeal personally to Bindusara’s better sense only to find that he has made a grave tactical error. Rani Khorasan and her mother the War Marshall of Mauryavansh have plans for the empire that do not include either Kautilya or his protege Ashoka – and they are willing to go to any lengths to achieve their ambitions.
Lurking behind the scenes but ever present on the theatre of politics is Alexander the Great’s successor, Seleucus Nicator. Through his daughter Apama, step-mother of Bindusara, and Dowager Queen of the Mauryavansh Empire, Nicator is playing a ‘long game’, one whose results will only be visible in coming years. The only people who genuinely care about the empire itself seem to be Subhadrangi, Ashoka and Kautilya, but in a shocking move, the Khorasans, with the tacit approval of Bindusara and Apama, decide to rid themselves of mother, son and guru once and for all.