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Palace of Assassins by Aditya Iyengar

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Palace of Assassins by Aditya Iyengar begins with what happened post the Mahabharata war with the forgotten anti hero/villain Ashwatthama. He has been one of the most misunderstood characters of the Mahabharata and very little is known of his story after being cursed by Lord Krishna. What we know from the epic is that Ashwatthama who committed the heinous crime of killing the Pandava children in their sleep was cursed to roam the earth forever and his body would be covered by sores. As per Hindu mythology there are eight immortals (chiranjeevis) who still live on earth for various reasons. Most of these are blessed. But only Ashwatthama is cursed with immorality. The tragic story is captured quite well in this book which portrays him neither as a hero or a villain but as a troubled soul trying to find ways and means to end his miserable existence. The story goes forward and he tries to exact revenge on the pandavas with the help of a band of warriors called the Samsaptakas. They have a…