There are very few who have attempted the genre of combining a bygone era with fiction and even fewer who have been able to hold the fort there. The Dawn at Dusk is one such story which attempts to combine the two and takes the reader to the 8th century when casteism had begun wreaking havoc on the society.

Shatvari is a beautiful brahmin girl who has everything going for her. While training in classical music, she imparts knowledge to a shudra boy, who begins harbouring special feelings for her. However, her alliance is fixed to another brahmin boy who is also her teacher's son. While life flows beautifully, there's a tragic twist that turns her life upside down. Even before she can grapple with what happened, the society conspires against her and throw her into the shamshans where chandaals reside. Thus begins her quest for revenge, a journey in which her son is included, albeit unwillingly.

In a parallel storyline, the Yaduvanshis and the Raghuvanshis are gearing to gain more kingdoms under their control. Their methods include unwarranted attacks as well as deceit. To avenge the wrongs done to his kingdom and people and save them from future attacks, the young Nishaad king Neel goes to the enemy state to know their weak points. However, destiny has other plans and the two kingdoms join hands against the enemies. Meanwhile, there are other characters interwoven in these two parallel stories who eventually come together as the story unfolds towards the climax. The bits and pieces are put together while Shatvari remains devoted to her cause of avenging the wrongs that the society leashed on her and her son.

This is an extremely complex tale of social agitation that brought about unrest among the suppressed. Every character has a unique aspect and contribution to the story, without which the entire puzzle would remain unsolved. The background is deep set in the 8th century and lends more realism to this story. It is the ease and flow of words by the author that make this complex tale interesting and read-worthy.

A tale told well, this is a good read for those looking for something different from the regular romances and love stories. While set in a different era, the stories and its characters keep you engrossed as you turn the pages. Pick it up if you're looking for something different.

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