Book: The Palace of Illusions Author: Chitra Banerjee Divakaruni Genre: Mythological Fiction
How do you find your next read? Do you also have a list of books for the next read before finishing the current one? For me, I will never be sure to pick the next read and then end up taking the recommendations from fellow bloggers or readers.
The palace of illusion was a recommendation from an avid reader whom I follow on many social media platforms and I am glad that I picked it up.
From the magical birth story of Panchali and his brother to the end of the Third Age of Man, the lead protagonist of this story goes through it all. The novel provides us with a different perspective of old age mythology.
The story is told from Panchali’s perspective. The daughter of King dhrupad, she was a headstrong woman with flaws. The story shows how young Draupadi dreamt about being equal to men in a patriarchal society. As the Mahabharata folklore goes, she was the wife of five husbands who seek to reclaim their birthright.
The humiliation of Draupadi by Kauravas was one of the most heart-wrenching scenes from the book, for me. Everything was a god’s plan and how these characters become the instruments or pawns of this story. The rivalry between Pandavas and Kauravas and the final war in Kurukshetra is considered to be the end of Dvapar yug.
What did I love in this Novel?
No character of this story was perfect and yet beautifully flawed. This exceeded my expectations. To be honest, I picked it up on a recommendation and wasn’t very hopeful. Mythological fiction isn’t the genre that I enjoy reading often however this one changed my perception.
First of all the cover page itself is pretty intriguing and the title grabs the attention instantly. Secondly, the writing is absolutely flawless and the story follows an apt pace. I was hooked to the book and finished it at 4:00 a.m. A must-read if you enjoy reading mythological fiction from a female’s perspective. Tracing a women’s journey to her beloved “Palace of Illusions” and how it all led to one of the greatest wars of mankind.
I was surprised and quite intrigued by the storyline of Karna and Draupadi. The author knows how to play with twists at the right moment. Her writing keeps your interest and doesn’t make you run to grab a dictionary from the shelf.
What did I not love in this Novel?
As I was about to buy the book from the store a usual conversation started with the friend who was accompanying me. Pardon me for being ignorant of not reading the actual Mahabharata, however, maybe this is why I enjoyed reading this more. While that conversation continued once we met again and I realized, my friend, who actually has read The Mahabharta wasn’t very pleased with this story.
For me, this mythological fiction was one of the best read so far. I am glad this book introduced to me a new genre that I had not read before.
All in all, it was a good read and will definitely be going to be on my read-it-again shelf.
This post is a part of Blogchatter Half Marathon.
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It’s quite a gripping novel.
Though I have not read any of the author’s books you have reviewed here, but still, the review is interestingly honest. Good one surely.
You know what?! It’s one of my absolute favorite books! Mahabharata through the eyes of Draupadi? Who am I kidding? It’s all that I could hope for in a retelling.
I lovveeeee this book! It’s one of my favorites, closely followed by the Forest of Enchantment.
this is one of my favourites and was given to me by my SIL. this was the first book i read of this genre…a different take on a known mythology
I haven’t read the original Mahabharat either but I like the way Divakaruni portrays Draupadi, her life and struggles. It feels very real than all the stuff we have ever read about Draupadi. I love her writing, thanks for your review.