The news you have been waiting for (not really but I am an author living in my dreams) is here. Burden of the Crown is available for preorder.
Be warned. The story starts with heart-wrenching sadness. After I drench you in the rain, I let the clouds part at the end. You, my reader, expect no less than an emotional roller coaster from me. I am here to make the plunge deeper and screams louder.
Meera had no strength left in her to lift her head. She curled up like a child, struggling to breathe. “My queen,” a voice called, and she raised her head. A deep yearning filled her as she gazed at Rish’s silhouette outside her tent.
You saw him as a sixteen-year-old crown prince in Heir to Malla. In Burden of the Crown, King Jay is a father. The character growth over thirty years was a fascinating story for me to write. Yes, there is heartbreak involved. And hope. And lots of love. I am excited to share an excerpt from this book with you.
Chapter 1 – Jay
Salty air wafted in through the tiny window and touched my skin like a coarse fabric. The sea crashed against the ship, drowning the faint noise of sailors shouting on the deck above me. Picking up a scroll, I noticed the swirls in the honey-colored table revealed by the morning light. I traced the markings on the wood with my finger, marveling at the craftsmanship of Malla carpenters. From outside my door came a thud of footsteps and a knock. I glanced up as my son strode in with my nephew on his heels. My son, Vikram, resembled my younger self, captured in a portrait in Akash.
“Father, there are beautiful coral reefs around here, and Atul and I want to take a boat to explore,” he said. The waves rocked the vessel gently like I had rocked these boys when they fit in my palm. Vikram swayed on his feet, brimming with energy. He exuded easy confidence that I had not possessed at sixteen.
This book concludes the story of Meera and Jay and is a culmination of my eight years writing journey.
We first meet 19-year-old Meera and her 16-year-old brother, Jay, in Heir to Malla. In the first chapter, our protagonist dreams about marriage and love. The chapter ends with her learning that her brother has gone missing in enemy land.
What follows is a tale of love, adventure, and royal intrigue set in medieval India. From the gods worshipped to the food served at the feast, the book offers a taste of 9th to 11th century India. I enjoyed writing this coming-of-age story, especially Meera’s. At the start of the book, Meera is a traditional princess, content to let her father and brother manage the affairs of the court. Then things change for the worse, and she is forced to take charge of her destiny.
Meera and Jay return to face the consequences of their actions in War of the Three Kings, set a decade after book one. This book starts with another Meera chapter, showcasing her domestic bliss, with a peek at her heart in conflict, and plunges into chaos with a death of a beloved monarch. I loved the many storylines in this book, some happy, others tragic. One, in particular, tore my heart. My characters are not playing with blunt swords anymore. So the outcomes are unpredictable.
Burden of the Crown will wrap up Meera and Jay’s tales. This series has been a magical ride for me. Some of the arcs started in book one conclude in this book. It has been an absolute joy writing about this land, where I could let my imagination run wild. I will share an excerpt soon.
While there was a Magadha kingdom in ancient India, my book is set in a fictional land of my imagination. Yes, I made my own map.
Magadha, an ancient empire in India, situated along the Ganges river valley, prospered between the 8th century BCE and the 4th century BCE. Gautama Buddha resided in the Magadha kingdom for many years.
My story, though, is set in a fictional land of Magadha and consists of three kingdoms—Malla, Padi, and Saral. This tale emulates the culture, laws, and religions of the 9th century CE to the 11th century CE in medieval India.
Why did I not use a real kingdom for my setting? I thought about it. Since I am writing about royal families and their battles and power struggles, a fictional land allowed me to tell the story I wanted to tell.
Malla kingdom is a composite of many kingdoms in India, including the Chola empire of Rajaraja I. Chola rulers used the symbol of a tiger as their royal emblem, and I borrowed that.
“We write to taste life twice, in the moment and in retrospect.”
Land of Magadha trilogy
Heir to Malla: Missing brother. Broken father. Rogue prince vying for her kingdom. Princess Meera is fighting for her land. Will she have to sacrifice her heart to save it?
Historical fiction allows us to experience the lives of humans of the past and to draw parallels to our present. As you read my books, you will see it resonate with many of our present-day situations. You can emphasize what these men and women went through and see where we have made progress and where we still have ways to go. My books magically teleport you to medieval India from the comforts of your couch. That is the power of fiction. Happy reading!
What a journey this has been. Meera and Jay have been with me for over five years, and they feel like my friends. Friends who rule kingdoms and fight in battles. I am blessed to be able to share this story with you.
In this trilogy set in medieval India, I have mostly explored the conflict of the heart. There are plenty of enemies for my protagonists, but the ones that need to be slain are the ones within.
Meera has always done what is right for her kingdom and family. Can she do something that is right for her?
Jay thought ruling a kingdom was a colossal burden to bear. But being a father proves to be more arduous.
I cannot wait to share this conclusion with you in 2022. Wish you a very happy and meaningful New Year.
I am writing the conclusion to my Land of Magadha trilogy. Though it is hard to say goodbye to these beloved characters, the story is approaching the ending I had envisioned from the beginning.
This is when I have the most fun. Writing my story. Making my characters fall in love, despair, or rage. I have a rough outline for the tale, but I have already taken some detours. Sometimes, my characters surprise me with their fear, jealousy, or tenderness.
While I am editing War of the Three Kings, I have also started writing book three. I just wrapped chapter one of the finale. These characters have been with me for over six years now, so I am heading towards the finish line with mixed emotions. I want to complete the stories of Meera, Jay, and others. I want to write other tales about new characters who are whispering in my ears now. But there is sad music playing in the background (in my mind) as I think of the ending and bidding these characters farewell.
In some ways, this does feel like a mother or father sending their child off to college and mourning the lost childhood. In my case, I do have other stories I want to tell. Those nebulous ideas in my head now will grow into faint outlines and then characters with personalities and back stories and story arcs.
War of the Three Kings: Can Meera keep her secrets past and present from destroying Magadha and the men she loves?