Palace of Assassins – Aditya Iyengar – Book Review

Writing about the non spoken one’s in a mythology is a trend now and this book follows the same. Nowadays readers are looking for the history based thematic fiction which are selling like never before. Even though many stories are fiction people like what the author writes. Many books are written based on Mahabharata and the lead characters and now the author tries to reveal the aftermath of the battle and it’s lone survivor, Ashwatthama from the kaurava camp.

The author has already written The Thirteenth Day and the book was a good read. This is his second book based on Mahabharata. This book is purely a fiction and apart from some of the things in mahabharatha , there is no reference to the other parts written by the author which is purely fictional.

One could ask why many authors take only Mahabhratha and make fiction in many ways , the answer lies in the question itself. Since there are many characters involved and not all of them are detailed very deeply may be the reason.

Coming on to the plot of the palace of assassins , The Mahabharatha war comes to end in the eighteenth day and the lone survivor from the kaurava clan is Ashwatthama. He was cursed by Lord Krishna for killing the sons of Pandavas and three other warriors in the sleep. Since a warrior is not likely to do such a thing , Lord Krishna curses him with leprosy and a life of immortality. He find these things after he regains his memory.

He finds a life of immortality in the midst of those sufferings. There after comes the story with a fictional plot from the author. Ashwatthama conspires to kill all the pandavas and their last one in their clan. The one thing which was interesting was regaining the Shyamanataka which will not only sole the immortality but also will cure the leprosy. What happened in the end whether Ashwatthama regained his powers and was he out of the deadly leprosy ends the story.

The author has a maintained a good flow that the readers are not bored till the end and the one thing which lags at the last is , this is only the author’s version and it’s purely fictional. Since there were too many fictions coming out one after another , but the enthusiasm of every reader increases to read all those fictions. Nevertheless how many books out of the characters of the Mahabharatha , it is of much interest to the readers.

I would suggest this book to readers who love mythological based fiction and also a short one. Readers will not be get bored during the read as the plot is interestingly written by the author. So Mythological Lovers grab the book as your next read.

About the Book:

Title : Palace Of Assassins

Author :  Aditya Iyengar

Publisher : Hachette India

Genre : Fiction

ISBN : 9351950824

Copy : Publisher

Rating : 


Links :

Amazon : Palace Of Assassins


 

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Book Review – Shakuntala: The Woman Wronged – Utkarsh Patel

We are at the cusp of the year 2015 awaiting for the new year to be exuberant all through. This year I have been lucky to read many mythological based novels which enriched my knowledge on various subjects. Although I am not the kind of reader who runs behind a particular genre, mythology has attracted me for the sake of how authors try to be different from the usual context of the yesteryear stories and how they make their own stamp in it.

I have been so curious to read the book Shakuntala : The Woman Wronged when I received the mail. The cover design illustration was particularly nice giving a indie feel intriguing the readers. Kudos to the designer for the excellent design. The author Utkarsh Patel tries to present his version of the tale of  Shakuntala from the Mahabharata based on Vyasa’s original characterization.

The author had portrayed Shakuntala as the women who is bold expressing her views without fears, debates with the well learned sages like a modern day woman. He also visually depicts to the readers the patriarchal society that existed during her age. The author has established a link with the readers by presenting the stories in a continuous manner  starting from Shakuntala’s childhood in the ashram, her meeting with the King of Hastinapur Dushyant and their marriage & separation due the curse and their reunion.

Shakuntala : The Woman Wronged (Cover Design) 

The fictional characters he has added as Shakuntala’s friends and Dushyant friends are adding good support for the flow of the story. Particularly when three friends see the peahen when Shakuntala worries about the marriage engaged to Priyamavada. Also the author gives his views on the patriarchal society through the thoughts of Shakuntala which was very satisfying.

The debate made by Shakuntala with his foster father Sage Kanva about Sati Ahalya on how she was made the victim while she was a scapegoat and her conversation with King Dushyant about hunting proves that Shakuntala was no lesser than a bold girl which every woman must acquire but at the same time be humble expressing her views in front of the learned and the aged.

The story was linear and is very helpful to the readers with the continuity without meandering elsewhere staying intact with the main thread of the tale. The peahen ignoring scene and the thoughts of Shakuntala on the same was the one I found particularly wonderful where the author has inscribed his stamp on the minds of the readers.

I haven’t yet read the version of Kalidasa’s Abijnanashakunthalam, so I found Utkarsh Patel’s version more interesting as  this was the first time I am reading more about the wronged woman Shakuntala. The views are expressed clearly without sugar coating and the characters add much flavor to the tale reminding in the readers mind even after finishing.

Any mythology book lover would surely love this book. I finished the book in a single sitting and the narration wasn’t allowing me to keep the book down. The Time chapter was something unexpected. So its time for me to search and read the Shakuntala by Kalidasa.

 

About the Book :

Title : Shakuntala : The Woman Wronged

Author :  Utkarsh Patel

Publisher : Rupa Publications

Genre : Mythology

Copy : Review Copy

ISBN : 978-8129137463, 8129137461

Rating :

Links :

Amazon : Shakuntala : The Woman Wronged by Utkarsh Patel

Flipkart : Shakuntala : The Woman Wronged by Utkarsh Patel

Kindle Edition : Shakuntala : The Woman Wronged by Utkarsh Patel (Kindle)

 

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Book Review – Bhima : The Man in the Shadows by Vikas Singh

I always wonder why in the recent times many authors chose to take the epics and re-interpret them with neoteric narratives and disparate perspectives. New books on the epics with new interpretations are all flooded there (May be it is the season for mythology and epic related series). All we have to do is rightly pickup the one which would amuse us with their words and perspicacity that they enrich within us.

 

Only the past week I have finished reading the Thirteenth Day by Aditya Iyengar which is based on the epic Mahabharatha. On finishing it, the book Bhima : The Man in the Shadows by Vikas Singh came as an astonishment from Writersmelon as a part of their #FestiveReading series. So here I am scripting my reflections of thoughts that I had after reading the book.

The blurb that I saw in the Internet when I googled about the book in Amazon gave me a brief vista of what the book contains.

The book is all about Bhima, the brave warrior about whom we have heard a lot of fables and tales and read a lot in the epics and seen in the movies. The author has to be appreciated and lauded for the thought of taking Bhima as the protagonist of the book amidst the plethora of characters in the epic, as we may have read more about the epic in the views of Draupadi, Karna, Yudhistra, Arjuna (the most) and even the Kauravas. But this is the first account I am reading which focuses on the feelings of Bhima and how he thought throughout the tale.

 

The book takes us through Bhima’s maslin of thoughts and emotions. It tries to portrays the other side of the hard grim faced, muscled warrior of his passion, honesty, love towards others, humor senses. The thoughts that Bhima has whenever he thinks of what he will doing if he was there will evoke humor in the readers for sure.

“What would have I done if I were in his place…maybe I would have just taken Draupadi’s hand and walked away from there forever…” 

 

He was always a warrior on the field while the whole focus fell on Yudhistra and Arjuna. He fought valiantly although Krishna chose to be Arjuna’s charioteer. His thought process on the whole thing of ignorance and the things about his side of feelings will sure make the readers wonder why they haven’t thought these for many days.

 

But I found the book to be a little bit akward boring as the in the whole book Bhima is seen lamenting about different things. It may be thought process of the protagonist according to the author, but how can a warrior we heard so long great can be only lamenting throughout. I found it little bit misleading there and the other thing is about the consummate thing. Every book finds somewhere a place about the consummating or sex even if it is not needed. It is been as if it has been forced or something. But the author had in some pages tried to incorporate life lessons through the eyes of Bhima. That was interesting to read.

 

The book is a good read those who want a disparate attempt on an epic and rave for mythology based stories. This book could be finished in a whip as it is easy to follow (The ideas are new though).  Though boring sometimes, this could be a savior during travels and those who prefer to read mythologies.The cover of the doesn’t instantly attract as it seems too dark at places. (May be they should have planned an alternative cover)

 

About the Book :

Title : Bhima : The Man in the Shadows

Author :  Vikas Singh

Publisher : Westland Limited

Genre : Mythology Fiction

Copy : WritersMelon

ISBN : 9789385152504

Rating :

Links :

Amazon : Bhima : The Man in the Shadows (Paperback)

Kindle Edition :  Bhima : The Man in the Shadows (Kindle)

 

Folks, this is my book review for the #FestiveReading that’s been initiated by Writersmelon.

Visit them here http://www.writersmelon.com to more more about the #FestiveReading series and you can also follow them on Twitter  @Writersmelon.

 

Happy Reading,

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The Thirteenth Day by aditya iyengar – Book Review

What is the need for a new novel on Mahabharatha ? Well the epic contains a store house of ideas to be re-invented whenever the authors saw it in a disparate perspective. Aditya Iyengar’s debut novel “The Thirteenth Day” is that kind of a novel which provides a panoply of the events that takes place from the Tenth day to the thirteenth day.

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As the readers of the epic knew the firsts dozen of the days in the war is not that much to exaggerate but the days from the tenth day to the thirteenth day has been told in a awe by the author. He makes a difference in the re-telling by taking a very diverse route.

The author narrates the story by using three main characters that are often not chosen – Yudhishthira, Radheya (Karna) and Abhimanyu. What bemuses me is the handling of the narration by the author by not providing any importance to a particular narration and balances it between them making the story more important rather than the characters. Although the characters are very powerful in their own, Aditya Iyengar brings in on the human aspects of the characters and avoids the usual asuras and the other things focusing the readers on the particular days. He also takes great pain in avoiding the romances and the other stuffs to focus more on the battle.

The character of Yudhistra particularly attracted as he was often misunderstood the most. Aditya shows his other perspective and his thoughts on how he is the sole authority vested to make the decisions while the others defy him of his troubles and the war is fought to claim him the throne.

The book on the whole was an interesting read and it wasn’t the usual blah blah of the famous Jaya story. Those who like the epics which are told in an different perspective will sure like the book, but for the other readers this will sure be a lagging one. But on the whole, the author needs to be lauded for a disparate attempt.

About the Book :

Title : The Thirteenth Day

Author :  Aditya Iyengar

Publisher : Rupa Publications India

Genre : Mythology

Copy : Flipkart Review Programme

ISBN : 9788129134752

Rating : four_half-stars_0

Links :

Flipkart : The Thirteenth Day : A Story of the Kurukshetra War

Amazon : The Thirteenth Day : A Story of the Kurukshetra Wara

Kindle Edition : The Thirteenth Day [Kindle Edition]

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Book Review : Rise of Kali by Anand Neelakantan

The gripping tale of the epic Mahabharatha in a never told before way unveiled when I got to read the new book on the series of the Ajaya. The new book is titled RISE OF KALI : DURODHANA’S MAHABHARATHA and to its name it is been said in the perspective of Duryohana. I have heard Mahabharatha in Krishna’s perspective, Arjuna’s perspective but I wonder why no one chose to say the tale on the sides of the Kauravas.

Rise of Kali
                              Rise of Kali

The author has always tried his ways on establishing the tales on the lineso f the anti heroes from his earlier books. His Asura : The Tale of the Vanquished was about Ravana’s perspective of the epic Ramanaya and the first book on the series Ajaya : The Roll of the dice was on the Kaurava’s perspective. This single aspect is sure to catch the readers and assure us that we are on for a fun filled epic read.

The author tells about the dharma and adharma in this gripping novel. This tale included some of the best works that I have read in his books and became my favourite one among his novels. He has written in a non boring fashion and the readers are sure to keep the book till the end without closing it. The very different perspective ushers us to read nad know more about it and we are not disappointed anytime. The story begins with the  Panchali Cheerharan and continuees go on. The part where Suyodhana explains on why he chose his path to be right is excellent and a delight to read.

I would recommend this to all mythology lovers. This would sure usher the readers to read more about the mthology. A brilliant read is sure assured.

About the Book :

Title : Rise of Kali: Duryodhana’s Mahabharata

Author : Anand Neelakantan

Publisher : Platinum Press

Genre : Mthology

ISBN : 978-9381576045

Rating : Image result for 4 star rating

Links :

Flipkart : Rise of Kali : Duryodhna’s Mahabharatha

Amazon : Rise of Kali : Duryodhana’s Mahabharatha

Kindle Edition : Rise of Kali : Duryodhana’s Mahabharatha (Kindle Edition)

Happy Reading,

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