New Book: ‘The Pledge: Adventures to Sada’

I have a new book out!

The Pledge: Adventures to Sada has been published by Speaking Tiger Books, and has been written in collaboration with film-maker Kannan Iyer, of Daud and Ek Thi Daayan fame (yes, finally my blog gets linked, even if it’s a tenuous link, to more recent cinema).

This novel is the first of a two-part series called the Mandala Purana. It’s a fantasy adventure set in a mythical land named Mandala. Mandala, in the skies above which shine two moons—the Lesser and the Greater—and a constellation of six stars, known as the Brihan Punj. Mandala, which was once a single country, peaceful and beautiful, but which has been rent by schisms and hatred ever since: schisms which have resulted in the splitting up of Mandala. In this torn Mandala, a young law officer named Raibhu is reunited with his childhood friend Afhash. Together, the two of them set off to fulfil a dying wish of Raibhu’s father, Jaadum, once a very popular magician. Joining them on this mission of filial duty is a somewhat mysterious village girl, Inosa, who knows the wilderness better than most, and to whom the city slicker Raibhu and the equally babe-in-the-woods Afhash must therefore entrust themselves…

The adventure that follows takes the trio through the deepest woods of Mandala’s Wildlands, but soon, Raibhu, Afhash and Inosa realize that not all is well. Someone is following them, someone relentless and so merciless that they cannot hope to escape.

The story of how The Pledge came to be is interesting in itself. Actor and producer Amit Bolakani, many years ago, had read the Muzaffar Jang series and had enjoyed those books so much, he approached me back in 2017 with an idea: to co-write, along with Kannan Iyer, a novella to be based on a story idea that Amit had come up with. Amit’s story sounded interesting: it brought together adventure and certain values that I feel strongly about; so I agreed.

Kannan and I got started. For four years, we slogged over the story. We maintained the core of Amit’s story, but we changed pretty much everything else. We spent months simply discussing the basic idea of what we’d do, creating a broad outline to help us work. Once that was done, we got down to writing. And writing, and writing. The story grew by leaps and bounds, gaining complexity as it went. With Kannan in Mumbai and me here in the NCR, we would end up spending long hours on the phone, discussing every little plot point, threshing out every issue, trying to make sure we had a story we were satisfied with. It went way past a novella and burgeoned into a novel. Then, a very thick novel. Finally, two novels.

And now, it’s here. A book that’s been as much of an adventure to write as Inosa’s, Raibhu’s and Afhash’s trek through Mandala’s wilds is an adventure. The Pledge is part 1 of the Mandala Purana; part 2 will be released later this year.

You can order The Pledge through Speaking Tiger’s website, here; or ask your local bookstore to get it for you. Alternatively, of course, you can get it online, both in paperback format as well as an ebook, on Amazon. Amazon India offers it here, and offers it here (on, it’s yet only for pre-order; it’ll become available soon).


16 thoughts on “New Book: ‘The Pledge: Adventures to Sada’

  1. Congratulations, Madhu! Wish I’d known of this last week – I just had a number of books couriered to me. Now I’ll order them and hope to heavens someone is coming here before I come to India in Sep/Oct.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Actually, you may be just lucky (I hope you end up thinking so!), because then you might not have to wait too long for the sequel to this. It’ll be released probably about six months from now, so everybody who gets the first book now will end up waiting that long… though of course that’s assuming you think it worth the wait! :-D


  2. What a surprise! What a pleasant surprise!
    The theme of the book seems to be quite up my alley. I love the premise of it.
    Congratulations dear Madhu on the new book.
    I wish you and your co-author Kannan Iyer lots of success with this book. I will surely order it and gather it when I am next time in India.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thank you so much, Harvey! :-) I’m glad the premise of the book appeals to you, and I do hope you will enjoy it (and its sequel!) when you read. Thanks again, and happy reading.


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