Book Review: The Palace of Illusions
Synopsis: In this world-famous Indian epic, Divakaruni tells the story from the point of view of Draupadi, married to the 5 Pandava brothers. This novel traces the life of Panchaali, from her birth to her life as the wife of 5 brothers and their war with their cousins.
My Thoughts: What fascinated me most was that this great epic is told from the point of view of Draupadi. Divakaruni makes Draupadi an incredibly believable real woman who isn’t perfect and is selfish and vengeful most of the time. She is doomed from birth. The underlying tones of constant dissatisfaction and yearning in her make her very appealing and sympathetic. How does she feel being married to 5 men? Does she love one of her husbands more than the others? And what about her attraction to the one man who is the arch-enemy of her husbands? How honour and valour play a part in the decisions that change her life.
Even though I had heard the stories of Mahabharata, reading them from Draupadi’s angle was very refreshing. The writing is beautiful and the book is very easy to read. I wish some of the characters were more drawn out specially Krishna and Karna. At certain moments in the books, I would have liked to know what was going on it their minds and their motivations. But as it is a tale from Draupadi’s perspective, that remains unexplained.
My rating: 4/5
PS: This is my first book review as part of the South Asian Challenge.