MiniReview: The Palace of Illusions by Chitra Banerjee Divakaruni

The Palace of Illusions by Chitra Banerjee Divakaruni
Rating: 4 of 5 stars

Book Review:

This book is about the Mahabharata from the POV of Draupadi aka Panchaali.

This is the second time I've read this book and I adore it just as much as the first time. And I'm sure I will adore it each and every time I read this in the future.

This time reading it, I was older and (hopefully) wiser so I could pick up more nuances than the first time round.

As this book is based on popular Hindu mythology - the epic known as Mahabharata, it's not like there are any spoilers. Everyone who knows about the Mahabharata knows exactly how this story plays out. The beauty here is that the narrative is from the POV of Panchaali, the Pandava queen.

From her birth by fire, to her relationship with her brother, to her not-really swayamvar - all that made her a strong young woman.

All the way to the game of dice, exile, and the ultimate battle. And even what happens after the battle.

It's beautifully written and shows a perspective one often doesn't find in mythological books.

I especially had a soft corner for Karna because of the way Panchaali thinks of him. How can you not adore him? It was an amazing relationship - a lifetime of love and zero expression of it - on both sides. It was wonderful and heartbreaking at the same time.

Definitely recommended.

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