A historical fantasy set in the backdrop of Nalanda and end of Gupta Empire depicts the horror of Hun invasion and power struggle between smaller kingdoms to gain control over Uttarapath, the longest trade route of ancient India, in an alternate universe bounded by magical reality. The early epoch of the ancient university and the last days of the mighty empire are still obscure in mystery. The story started during King Kumar Gupta III’s (530 CE) reign when a fresh Hun invasion ransacked the very foundation of Magadha Empire and the kings of the smaller kingdoms were conspiring against each other to gain the title of ‘Uttarapathapati’.
Two powerful kingdoms of Aryavarta (ancient North India) Thaneswar and Kosala were matrimonially allied to the Imperial family of Magadha.
However, in the east, Chandraketugarh or Vanga kingdom had an ambitious ruler, who had the power to challenge Magadha and its associates for claiming its control over Uttarapatha. Hun spies secretly planted in Pataliputra fuelled enmity and created a devastating battle between these four kingdoms. It gives the Huns an opportunity to invade the land of Indus from the west.
During the political turmoil, Kumar Prakashaditya, eldest son of King Kumar Gupta III vouchsafed to save his motherland from foreign invasion with the help of Nalanda’s intellectual teachers and the secret knowledge of Divyastra they were carrying for ages. He was quite sure about the Hun’s access to Elementary Weapons, that could create devastating fire anytime in the battlefield, The prince wanted to discover its counter weapons, secretly hidden among a group of scholars known as ‘Custodian of Knowledge’ for avoiding possible misuse.
However, palace intrigues and sibling rivalries compelled him to renounce his claim to the throne. He embraced the life of an ascetic for a greater cause. Determined to join Nalanda under eminent alchemist Acharya Budhaditya’s mentorship, the prince discovered that the university itself held mysteries within it that could change the world forever.
Unaware of the baffling power of his enemies, the young prince entrapped in political intrigues of Chandraketugarh and found love in an unexpected way. Under the guidance of his mentor, he overcame all odds and finally reached to his objective, but just before the final battle, he faced the dilemma of choosing duty over love. A young prince’s journey from palace life to the simple monastic life unravelled the universe’s greatest secret that can change one’s attitude to love, duty and life forever.
Mala Mukherjee is an academician by profession and fiction writer by passion. She loves visiting historical monuments, listens to their sagas and weaves stories of begotten days. Her profession requires lots of publications in academic fields, but for fiction, she gets little time. However, in spite of busy schedule, she does not allow her hobby to go backseat. In the silence of the night, she loves to read fantasy novels and creates her own fantasies for enjoyment. At last one day, she decides to share her untold stories with rest of the world and started sending her writings to the publishers.
Her short story “Lady in the Graveyard” was published online at https://ginamc.blogspot.in/2016/10/lady-in-graveyard-by-mala-m.html (On October 3, 2016).
Another short story “The Commitment” was published online in Alephi magazine (September 21, 2016), the online link is http://alephi.com/2016/09/21/the-commitment/
The author’s full length novel “Mars underneath: the Sceptre of Eternity” is recently published and available in Amazon. As an aspiring author, she hopes that the Nalanda series will give pleasure to the millions of fantasy loving readers living across the world."
*Overview and Biography written by Mala Mukherjee