Rebel Sultans: The Deccan from Khilji to Shivaji is Manu Pillai’s second book. Pillai won the 2017 Sahitya Akademi Yuva Puraskar for his book The Ivory Throne. His book Rebel Sultans is a riveting narrative of the Deccan from the end of the 13th century to the dawn of the 18th. The book travels through time from the age of Alauddin Khilji to Shivaji’s ascent, witnesses Vijaynagar’s rise and fall, intrigues at the Bahmani kings’ courts and the scheming of the Rebel Sultans who overthrew them.

Here are some reviews which might get you interested in reading this book as well!

Sunil Khilnani, a scholar of Indian history and politics and the author of The Idea of India, says:

“Deftly and with great vividness, Manu S. Pillai takes us through 400 years of rolling history and returns the Deccan to the centre of our attention — where it belongs.”

Akshay‘s review on Amazon says,

“The book is a culmination of 400-years of history cramped in 200-pages. Starts with the first violent inroads by the Delhi Sultanate in the Deccan in the early 13th century and ends with the beginning of the Maratha Empire by Shivaji.
I doubt many of us knew anything in depth about the different sultans in the South. History books in schools gloss over the medieval part as if India started in Delhi & ended after the death of Aurangzeb. The author does a commendable job of interlinking the ebb of North India with the chronology of the South.
While the book is littered with lots of insightful events, they are fragmented and do not give a deeper narrative of the characters involved in the picture. Yet, this is a very good book to get a brief understanding of the rich cultural, religious & outward outreach of the kingdoms that ruled the Deccan.”
Hari Narayan Nair‘s review on Goodreads says,
“Supremely brilliant book. Perfect example of how to make history informative, interesting, gripping and unbiased.
Author has done unbelievable amount of research and detailing. I could not believe that the so much of minute information about the delhi sultanate times and the Maratha era are recorded and available to reproduce as history. If you love history, this is must read.”

This is what a blogger had to say,

Readers do not always opt to read histories unless they are engrossed in it. At first, I was sceptical whether it would lead to the reading slump. But the way the author has narrated the whole history of Deccan is applaudable. Throughout the reading, it kept the boredom at bay. Timely use of humorous incidents of the reign included the intriguing factor of the book.”

Read more here.

Another Amazon review by Mohak,

“Never expected that history would involve me so much so that I read the whole book in a week’s time”

Another blogger review says,

“If you already enjoy reading history books, this will be a gem in your collection and if you are like me, and aren’t much into it, you can still read and understand it for a better understanding of the history of Deccan.I personally would not have picked this book, but now after I have read it, I am wondering if I should read the Ivory Throne as well.”

Read more here.

Liju Kuriakose‘s review on Goodreads,

“Yet another beauty from Manu Pillai. The book, much like his previous one, is a page turner and would leave the reader amused at the sheer brilliance of the writer…”

Read more here.

If you still haven’t read the book, then you can read Manu Pillai’s Rebel Sultans: The Deccan from Khilji to Shivaji here.


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