The Indian Defense

A Historical Political Saga (ONE HUNDRED YEARS OF WAR Book 5)

Fiction - Historical - Event/Era
578 Pages
Reviewed on 02/28/2023
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    Book Review

Reviewed by Asher Syed for Readers' Favorite

The Indian Defense: A Historical Political Saga by Jay Perin is book five in the epic One Hundred Years of War series, preceded by The Maltese Attack, The Manhattan Swindle, The Cuban Gambit, and The Beijing Blunder. The novels in the series follow three primary families that are deeply interconnected at the crux of the heartbeat of power, money, prestige, and international affairs and have their fingers in pretty much every pot of conflict and wealth to a certain degree globally. Each book mostly represents a slice of 20th-century history and the shaping of how the world turns, based on who is handling the marionette strings du jour. The dynastic families are in perpetual danger and deadlock with no shortage of enemies, including factions of each other, world leaders, criminals, gangsters, and all those who believe they are owed a debt—payable solely in blood.

I never thought I'd find myself a little choked up while reading an action scene taking place in the prison halls of Sing Sing, or at least not to the same degree that a grieving mother giving up her son sings to him as she breastfeeds him for the last time, but Jay Perin is exceptional at forcing the most difficult choices on his characters. Those choices carry with them consequences, both good and bad, and this is what sets The Indian Defense and the whole of the One Hundred Years of War series apart. If I have one issue it is the use of sexual assault as a motivating plot driver, particularly when the woman tries [and fails] to keep it a secret to protect the fragility of her male family members. The thread of this runs through each novel but in fairness is largely part of the time period. The pacing is pitch-perfect and Perin has so thoroughly developed the characters that at this point they feel like people we know. The landscapes almost become characters themselves with Perin taking us to places like Tiananmen Square and the janky doorway in Las Vegas where a fake Elvis is standing. Very, very highly recommended.

K.C. Finn

The Indian Defense: A Historical Political Saga by Jay Perin forms the fifth book of the One Hundred Years Of War series and is intended for adult audiences. In this tense and intelligently penned work, we find ourselves already deep into the new and dangerous world of an America run by robber barons, tyranny, and warring families. The Kingsleys, the Sheppards, and the Barronses all have high stakes in the future of this desolate and conflicted future America, and, amongst it all, one man may be able to topple the kingpin who secretly holds all the power.

Jay Perin continues a complex and fascinating series of epic sagas, delving deeper and deeper into a world where he leaves no stone unturned in the development, logic, and ethos of the system at play. I enjoyed the different character dynamics and complexities that we follow as the plots interweave and affect one another. I was especially intrigued by the power of prowess of the Kingsley family and their descendants. There’s a pacy quality to the action scenes and dialogue that makes them race by in a heart-stopping cinematic fashion. The author balances this well with tense dialogue scenes that allow breathing space to take in the next wave of conspiracy before danger rears its head again. Overall, I would certainly recommend The Indian Defense and the One Hundred Years Of War series to fans of complex political thrillers with plenty of quality worldbuilding to sink your teeth into.

Pikasho Deka

The fifth installment of the One Hundred Years of War series by Jay Perin, The Indian Defense continues the generational family saga of three of the most powerful families of America; the Barrons, the Sheppards, and the Kingsleys. After being cleverly exiled on the orders of the Kingsley family patriarch, Godwin Kingsley, under false charges of treason, Lilah Barron Kingsley barely escapes with her life in Beijing and, alongside her fellow exiles, navigates a treacherous journey with an Afghan mujahedin chief to find sanctuary in the Indian state of Goa. Meanwhile, in America, Lilah's protector Harry Sheppard finds himself walking into a trap that leaves him behind bars, accused of a murder he didn't commit. With Steven Kingsley at the helm of the network and his men hunting the exiles, will Lilah be able to recuperate and strike back against her enemies?

Epic in scale and filled with political intrigue, suspense, and a heavy dose of family drama, The Indian Defense is yet another riveting addition to the One Hundred Years of War series. Inspired by the Indian epic Mahabharatha, Jay Perin weaves an intricate web of a tale about the power struggle between the members of three influential American families spanning decades and generations. Despite the ambitious narrative and a large cast of characters, Perin throws enough curveballs along the way to keep the plot unpredictable and gives each character distinct motives for their actions that will keep you glued to the pages. If The Godfather is one of your favorite stories, you shouldn't miss out on this series.