It’s a wonderful concept. Combining history with fiction. ‘Akbar and The Tricky Traitor‘ is the first fiction based historical novel for children I have read. And I must admit I found it very interesting.
Written by Natasha Sharma, and aptly illustrated by Vandana Bist, ‘Akbar and The Tricky Traitor’ is a very interesting twist to King Akbar’s stories. As a kid I have always associated Akbar’s problem solving with Birbal’s wit, but this book moves away from the usual Akbar Birbal and talks about a Super Six team of men who have been sent to missions by King Abkar. I loved this twist to be honest.
The book is in the same lines as Ashoka and The Muddled Messages by the same author.
King Akbar is angry because someone is leaking all the secrets of his court to the King Adhbhut, who is then spreading all kinds of lies about him. The King wants his super six to find out who is the mole to King Adhbhut and why are all the lies about him being spread all over the place. The story is fast paced and I practically turned pages as fast as I could to finish the book. The author’s imagination is something I have to admit, I admire immensely. She has taken up notes and taals from music and weaved in a plot so superbly that I couldn’t help but gasp at the end of the story. And then of course, the subtle sense of humor and the easy flow of language along with the funny incidents make the book a wonderful read.
While Duckbill Publishers put this book under the younger readers category, I think to understand the humor and subtle nuances of the book, it would be appropriate for kids 10 years plus. While a 8 year old may enjoy the book, the nuances may perhaps be lost for the kid.
What I liked about the book
1. The fact that King Akbar has someone else apart from Birbal to solve mysteries 🙂
2. The story line, which left me totally admiring the author’s imagination
3. The detailing in the book. How the King actually went for a hunt, the food the King ate (which left me hungry 🙂 ) and the actual description of incidents with the super six which made me laugh aloud
4. The illustrations are apt and not over the top.
5. The simple English which makes it easy to read without compromising on the language.
And for all those who think history is boring, read this and change your view. I think this book should be recommended in school libraries for children to have a different view of history and enjoy it.
Read a sample of the book here
All image credits: Duckbill (pictures clicked by the reviewer)
Disclaimer: This book was sent by the author to IMC. IMC did not receive any kind of remuneration to do this review. All the opinions expressed in the review are personal opinions of the reviewer.