5 Following

Listening to the Silence

Currently reading

The Owl Killers
Karen Maitland
The Boys in the Boat: Nine Americans and Their Epic Quest for Gold at the 1936 Berlin Olympics
Daniel James Brown
Cloud Atlas
David Mitchell

The Palace of Illusions

The Palace of Illusions - Chitra Banerjee Divakaruni 3.5 Stars

I have read a lot of mythology. I know the stories of the Celtic tribes, the Germanic people who would conquer them, the Romans l the Greeks, and even of many of the nation's who inhabited North America. I am less familiar with the mythologies of the East, particularly India. Perhaps it was my love of mythology and that gap in my knowledge that drew me to this book. Regardless, when I selected it all I knew was the name Princess Panchaali and had a vague notion that the Mahabharat was an ancient Indian tale.

At the center of the story has always been the five Pandava brothers, cheated out of their kingdom. Yet this book turns the story on its head, instead of focusing on the brothers, author Divakaruni instead tells the tale through the mouth of the woman who stood by their sides, married to each at once as was ordained, the Princess Panchaali. Born of fire out a father's desire for revenge, she was the unexpected, and unwanted, child who followed her brother into the world. It was foretold that she would change the world. Gripped by her fate she guided and goaded her husbands into a civil war that would destroy thousands.

I enjoyed this book, though I didn't love it. Panchaali is a fascinating woman, flawed and ruled by her emotions. Told as it was in the first person the reader really learns to cone t with her, but all of the others seemed almost actors in her play. Well almost all of them. Like Panchaali, I came to love Krishna and eagerly looked forward to his next appearance in the story. I think this is a fascinating story that I want to read more about. The author is capable and one I believe I will search out in the future.