Monday, 27 June 2016

Book Review : The Crossbow Code by MC Raj

Book- The Crossbow Code

Author- MC Raj

Editor- Sanjeev Mathur

Genre- Fiction (Historical/Saga)

Publisher- Panther House Paper and Digital Publication LLP



Kris is a handsome boy, a bit lonesome and in the need of shelter. His journey takes him around the globe. But his travel always brings him under the spotlight. He is associated with the biggest names and is part of hasty advancements.

He reaches the ashram of Mohandas and his findings make him question things beyond the comfort zones of the others.

What happens when the big game turner is out? Will Kris move on the path he has chosen with ease? Who all are creating chaos for Kris and others?


Title and Cover-

The title promises a lot but doesn’t deliver the requisite meaning and greatness. It is just a small part of the story, though it delivers important results. It fails to tickle the nerves.
The cover has some important images like that of Jesus Christ on the Holy Cross, a city in the background, dice and a concealed face. All the elements bring together the whole concept very nicely.


Abundant amount of characters the book has. From the very start it was clear that the book was no less than a saga of old times. There were rich and quite different characters. Antagonist and protagonist were clear from the very start and it made me quite judgemental in a good way.

From the major protagonists I loved Kris. He had all the qualities of being the lead; he had a strong and opinionated voice which made him stand above all in the hierarchical order.

The minor characters had lot of potential too. I loved Rhea and Fatima, they had very different traits still they seem going hand in hand with perfection. Also, I liked Bhim, Alice, and Mataji. They opened another world of thinking for me in the book.



Being in third person, the complexity was handled well by the author. The chapters were crafted well and the layers were opened with ease. All the phases were in great symphony with each other. The author was clear-headed and the result was this book.



The book covers three phases; number one is around the Pope of high esteem and the lead Kris. This particular part of the book made my advancement and grasping power slow. There was a lot in author’s mind when he was penning this particular sequence. I wasn’t expecting all that I read but I won’t say that it was not beneficial. The topics which the author has picked are interesting and very deep. The dialogues hold the book till the very end. Kris is the man of words and it is his worthiness which makes the whole scene very lively.

Small advancements were often made in different chapters which were of great help to relax my mind a bit. The book was literary sound. I could inspect some elements of high order like the details which are hard to hold on. The whole aura was created with great care and thus the usage of peculiar things and the addition of foreign language added a lot of beauty, in accordance with the place which was mentioned in the story at that time.

I was highly impressed with the way author has made a background of the story. The connections were neat and unexpected and I was often drifting from different cities with the characters. One important thing which is highlighted in every section was the different treatment to different classes of people. The vintage quality can be sniffed easily through this, which adds some brownie points.

Much involvement from my side happened when the story shifted completely to India in the second phase. I could feel the things closely and thus I was indulged more and more with every moving chapter. The way author has impregnated the story with certain tones is harsh yet blissful. It was not another blabbering version of what all say about the condition of India before partition, it was different.

The dialogues are very energetic and you can feel the rage rising from your cheeks to your eyes. The life in the ashram with Mohandas (Bapu) is the high point for me. The details and the hidden meanings are well pointed. I was amazed beyond normalcy.

Finally the third phase takes Kris to Germany and again what holds it immensely are the dialogues. I loved the way the concept of Buddhism was kept in front. There were many jaw dropping factors in this phase, like the speech of Kris, the realization of Bhim and the unexpected end.

Summing up- The novel touched the rims which were unthinkable. The theoretical approach which author picked was unusual. He played with his words quite well in the form of strong dialogues, verdicts and speeches throughout. The book had a unique and strong flavour which is not seen much in the midst of casual tales which are narrated these days.



· “Soul is the truth and body is only an illusion.”

· “Your unusual silence is very loud in my ears.”

· “Heavy atmosphere in a simple ashram. Enclosure without fences! Boundaries without walls! Closed without doors!

· “Truth exists by itself objectively and does not belong to anybody.”

· “Great men have greater weakness and greater reasons to hide their weaknesses.”

· “When you go below the ordinary than you are an extraordinary being from below.”


I loved the things which Kris spoke. He had that charm which made every chapter fantastic. There were many moments when I had to stop and re-read the whole thing because it made sense. The conversation between Pope and Kris, Mohandas and Kris were the best part of the book. Vast and deep study which the author has done can be seen in the precise chapters which are penned by him.

Also, I loved the rage of Mataji, it was unusual and I had no idea that something of that sort would be waiting for me as I will advance.

The small phrases which author used at the end of the paragraphs were a complimentary treat.


Well, I was really impressed by the cover, title and blurb of the book and that is why I said yes to this book without second thoughts. But sadly I completed this book with great difficulty. It was a heavy mixture of History, Religion, Spirituality, Social Dogmas, with a little bit of story here and there.



Need something strong and powerful to read, The crossbow code can be your pick but only if you have a lot of time to devote.


About the author-

Winner of the Ambedkar International Literary Award, MC Raj has authored 21 books to his credit. A notable social activist, he was bestowed with the prestigious Ambedkar award from the Karnataka Government and also prompted a German filmmaker to make a film on him that was telecast in Austria. Part of the Writers’ Retreat in New Zealand, Raj has also featured on CNN, Newsweek and NDTV for his brilliant work.

Buy the book-

Amazon link-

1 comment:

  1. Beautiful review. Well read and serious reflections from your side gladdens my heart. I was indeed looking out for a review like this and am happy that finally you have done it. Thank you and Congratulations


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