A historical mystery from Duckbill Books. Written by Natasha Sharma and illustrated by Tanvi Bhat, ‘Ashoka and the Muddled Messages’ is a historical mystery story.

King Ashoka, the great Mauryan emperor is flummoxed with someone messing around with the messages he wants inscribed on rocks and pillars. The messages are the exact opposite of what he wants inscribed and this makes him furious.

While he wants to inscribe the message that people should turn vegetarian, the message seems to say, eat only non veg, while he wants to stop animal sacrifices, the message inscribed reads as go and kill animals. In short, the messages create confusion. Hence he asks his female guards, called the Tremendous Ten, to find out who is creating this havoc all throughout the kingdom. How they find out the people responsible for this and who actually is the culprit forms the story line.

The book is a delight to read and dwells on historical facts combining fact with fiction. The book manages to hold you right from the start to the end, and you want to find out who exactly is doing this to the king.

What we liked about the book

1. The combination of fact with fiction and the small note which the author gives at the end of the book telling us more about the facts of the Mauryan king
2. The descriptions. Natasha Sharma has a way with words
3. The imagination of the author seems astounding. She has weaved the story so well around the facts, that I almost believed this would have happened
4. I didn’t know that in olden days kings prefered female guards. It’s really heartening to learn such facts which burst gender stereotypes
5. The way the mystery is solved, awesome
6. The great illustrations which are just apt for the book
7. The subtle sense of humor in almost every line. The book is funny without going overboard

Recommended for children above 10 years.


Read a sample of the book here.


Amazon USA:


Amazon India:



All image credits: Duckbill Books (Pictures clicked from book by R’s Mom)

Disclaimer: This book was sent by the author to IMC. IMC did not receive any remuneration for this book. The opinions expressed here are personal views of the reviewer. 


FB Comments