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Pre-Independence Espionage! The Swaraj Spy by Vijay Balan. Book Review

The Swaraj Spy: A Novel

Author: Vijay Balan

Published by HarperCollins

Narrative Non-Fiction

500 Pages

MRP: Rs. 599/-

Review Copy thanks to @harpercollinsin, in association with @blogchatter

The Swaraj Spy by Mr. Vijay Balan is a compelling and well-written historical fiction novel that tells the story of Kumar Nair, a man who is dismissed from a British paramilitary unit for refusing to disperse unarmed women agitating for India's independence. After moving to Singapore, Kumar's business is destroyed by the Great Depression and the fall of Singapore. He joins a secret espionage school set up by Japanese Intelligence and the rebel Indian National Army in Penang, Malaya.

The novel is based on the real life of the author's uncle and this sense of authenticity is palpable throughout the book. The characters are well-developed and the plot is both exciting and informative. The reader is transported to a different time and place and the historical context is expertly woven into the story.

The novel is also a thrilling adventure story, as Kumar is sent on a rescue mission after several cadets trained at the school are betrayed by a double agent. The tension and suspense are palpable as Kumar navigates the dangerous terrain of war-torn Penang, Malaya. The reader is left on the edge of their seat as Kumar tries to save as many people as possible and hunker down until the war ends.

The Swaraj Spy is a novel that is not only entertaining but also informative. It offers a glimpse into a little-known period of history and the sacrifices made by those who fought for India's independence. It is a novel that will appeal to both fans of historical fiction and adventure stories.

Overall, The Swaraj Spy is a well-written, thrilling and informative novel that is highly recommended. Mr. Vijay Balan has done a great job in bringing to life a true story that would otherwise be lost to history. The book is a great read for anyone interested in India's independence movement and the espionage aspect of World War II.


  1. PLOT: 3.5/5

  2. Language: 4/5

  3. Character Arcs: 4/5

  4. Enjoyment Factor:4/5


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The review is a part of the Blogchatter Book Review Program.


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