Immortal by Krishna Udayasankar [Book Review]

Immortal.jpgTitle : Immortal

Author : Krishna Udayasankar

ISBN : 9789351950080

Publisher : Hachette India

Genre : Mythological Fiction

Pages : 408

Source : Publishers

Rating : 4 stars

 

 

First off, I’d like to start by thanking the author Krishna Udayasankar and the publisher Hachette India for sending us this review copy of ‘Immoral’.

This is my first book of Krishna, known for her famous retelling of Mahabharata through The Aryavarta Chronicles(Govinda, Kaurava and Kurukshetra). Govinda, her debut novel was a bestseller and she’s regarded as India’s best author for Mythological Fiction.

‘Immortal’ is the story of the cursed immortal, the man who cannot die – Asvatthama, son of Dronacharya, friend of Duryodhana, who fought together in the Great War in Mahabharata.

Asvatthama is living in present times, under an assumed identity of Professor Bharadvaj as a Historian. He is almost about to change his identity when he gets a call from his partner, Manohar, regarding a search for a historical artifact, said to have mythical characteristic, the Vajra. The Professor immediately doesn’t buy into this as it is something he has been searching for centuries along with other scientists, historians and alchemists of his generation and failed to find it.

However, when Maya Jervois, shows him one of its pieces, the professor agrees to pursue it and sets off on a journey with Manohar and Maya into an adrenaline-fueled adventure. What happens next forms the rest of the plot.

The story is narrated by the protagonist. The book is very well-researched and I love the author’s writing style, the plot and the secondary characters. Her description of the characters makes them seem very real and relatable. The book gives a very ‘Dan Brown’ and ‘Indiana Jones’ feel.

Asvatthama has lived through the centuries under different identities and this can be seen by the historical references he makes throughout the book. His life is entwined with history and he’s participated in a lot of great wars and other historical events, and met and worked with a lot of eminent personalities like Subhash Chandra Bose and Genghis Khan, to name a few.

The best part of the book is the journey of the trio. They travel across geography in search of the Vajra, moving from the shores of Gujarat to the temples in Dwaraka, the legendary home of siddhas in Nilgiris and finally to the deserts in Balochistan. They move through caves, forests and water bodies.

The description of every location is detailed and vivid and will make you feel like you’re part of their journey. However, I felt that the author could have included a few more details about Asvatthama and his past.

All in all it’s a great, fast-paced and easy read, quite a page-turner with a gripping suspense and intriguing story and the thriller will keep you hooked to it till the end.

Highly recommended for mytho-fiction lovers.

Buy yourself a copy here.

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The Winds of Hastinapur by Sharath Komarraju [Book Review]

The Winds of Hastinapur by Sharath Komarraju.jpgTitle : The Winds of Hastinapur

Author : Sharath Komarraju

ISBN : 9789351160878

Publisher : HarperCollins India

Genre : Mythology

Pages : 320

Source : Self

Rating : 4 stars

 

 

There have been hundreds of folklores, interpretations and retellings of the mother of all stories ‘Mahabharata’.

‘Winds of Hastinapur’ by Sharath Komarraju begins at the point when Ganga was sent to earth to grant ‘moksh’ to the cursed vasus, granting them freedom from the cycle of birth and death. But what was it like for the river maiden to kill her seven sons, make the eighth one the most powerful warrior only to give him away to his father once he reached adolescence? With this book Sharath Kommarraju inducts magic in the tale of Ganga, taking the readers in the surreal world of Meru, its crystal lake and its inhabitants.
This is also the story of Satyavati aka Matsyagandhi, who, due to her overambitiousness and short sightedness ploughed the seeds of the greatest battle ever fought.

Mahabharat is known for its powerful female characters like Draupadi, Kunti and Gandhari with sharp minds, witty political mindset and alluring beauty. If you want to go a bit back and plunge in the lives of those not-so-focussed female characters of Ganga and Satyavati, you shouldn’t miss this book.
A beautiful magical retelling full of vividness and ample indepth potrayal of the thoughts, ambitions and desires of the two ladies combined with a gripping plot makes it a good read.

Buy a copy for yourself from Amazon here

My Gita by Devdutt Pattanaik [Book Review]

My Gita by Devdutt PattanaikTitle : My Gita

Author : Devdutt Pattanaik

ISBN : 9788129137708

Publisher : Rupa Publications India

Genre : Mythology

Pages : 256

Source : Self

Rating : 3 stars

 

 

 

 

 

First things first, this is NOT an abridged translation of Bhagvad Gita. The author users various phrases from Gita, paraphrases them, explains according to his own reasoning, equating them to incidents in Ramayana, Mahabharata, Bhagavat, Puranas and even Buddhism!

The book starts with the introduction of Gita, where the author tells about the number of Gita’s available around us and which one is the most popular among them. He goes on to explain about the connection between each of them and when each of them were originated and about their reliability.

The arrangement of chapters in Gita is also described along with the motive it serves. Devdutt explains why he’s written the Gita this way and it’s significance.

Devdutt through his version of Gita has not only focused on Hinduism but also has discussed other cultures and the differences between them.

Flow charts and images have been extensively used to demystify complex spiritual topics and it is a decent book to understand ancient Hindu and Sanatan Dharm values, but it is not a replacement to the original Gita.

My Gita is another marvellous offering from Pattanaik. The author has done great service to the society by presenting complex epics and the personalities therein in a manner that a common man can relate to them and comprehend the inherent messages.

“As long as we seek validation from the world around us, we are entrapped by aham. As soon as we realize that all meaning comes from within, that it is we who make the world meaningful, we are liberated by atma”

The author has done a lot of research in describing the eighteen themes and the different charts. The book is illustrated to help in better understanding.

Highly recommended.