An interesting prologue which is well-known – the Kurukshetra war and Bishm is lying on the bed of arrows at the battlefield, contemplating his life and the mistakes that has led to the bloody war. The story flashes back to the time of King Shantanu and the yore of the Kuru Dynasty.
Author: Kavita Kanè
Publisher : Westlandpress
Pages : 362
Format : Paper back
Kindleandkompass rating : 3.75/5
Satyavati, born as a princess and abandoned by her father grows among the fishermen community. She is called “Kaali” due to her dark skin. She is called “Matsyagandha”- the one who smells of fish. She is denied the privileged, royal life and is determined to claim her identity at any cost. In parallel, King Shantanu laments over the loss of his wife Ganga, re-unites with his son Devavrat who would adorn the throne. Satyavati encounters King Shantanu. Using her charm,she weakens him. She de-thrones Bishm, becomes the Queen to the king who is as old as her father. Little did she know that her actions and ambitions are to set stage for an epic battle.
The two key protagonists – Satyavati and Devavrat.
Satyavati – an opportunist who never misses her catch. She embarks the life of a queen while her very own people disdain her. She endures all the rebuffing and makes the people of the palace and the kingdom dance to her tunes. She well plays politics to keep the throne occupied by her children/grandchildren.Throughout the book, she will be loved for her confidence and hated for her ruthlessness.
Devavrat @ Bishm – the actual heir to the throne becomes the reagent of Hastinapur. He vows to serve the kingdom and follow celibacy, to which he abides till his last moment. He is sketched the same to what we have watched and heard in the epic.
There are other characters who are penned with enough depth to their characters and role.
Kavita Kanè is a master in unveiling the characters of the most over looked characters from the Indian epics.Do not be surprised if you are dreaming of the handsome Devavrat walking along the corridors of the Hastinapur palace or the banks of the river Yamuna where the Matsyagandha waits with her boat. Kavita’s prolific narration will make it happen!
The book has a good start and the first half keeps you glued to the pages. The second half slumps with dry monologues, long narrations and over lengthy conversations owing to the complex political problems. Some dialogues between Satyavati and Bishm are repetitive and frustrating. The intimate drama between Shantanu and Satyavati or the ‘niyog’ scenes involving rishi Vyas is gross.So, if you have a thing for mythology/history, we’d recommend you to choose Kavita Kanè’s.
Having known about the queen who sowed the seeds of desire that lead to the disaster of Hastinapur, we now think who’d be next, the woman whom we might have missed but Kavita is to sketch.
More about Kavita
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P.S : This book was sent to us by Indic Book Club. The review is honest and unbiased.
Because I knew this story (from Mahabharata) well, I did not pick this book to read. Looks like I haven’t missed much. I did however like her book on Urmila (Sita’s sister). Do check that out if you haven’t read it
Yes. I have read that. One of my favs by Kavitha Kane