Start your review of Kaurava The Aryavarta Chronicles, 2 Write a review Shelves: read , fantasy-and-scifi , indian-classics-and-retellings , politics-feminism-religion , 4-star Its been a while since Ive felt invested and excited enough to binge read a fantasy trilogy, but thats exactly what Govinda did to me. I couldnt even imagine reading anything other than this sequel because I had to know what happens next. And Im so happy that I did exactly that. This review might have some spoilers for the first book, so please be mindful of that before proceeding. The magic that the author wove in Govinda is still present in this sequel, but she also manages to make this a bit more different in tone because of the ominous events that take place.
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Start your review of Kaurava The Aryavarta Chronicles, 2 Write a review Shelves: read , fantasy-and-scifi , indian-classics-and-retellings , politics-feminism-religion , 4-star Its been a while since Ive felt invested and excited enough to binge read a fantasy trilogy, but thats exactly what Govinda did to me.
I couldnt even imagine reading anything other than this sequel because I had to know what happens next. And Im so happy that I did exactly that. This review might have some spoilers for the first book, so please be mindful of that before proceeding. The magic that the author wove in Govinda is still present in this sequel, but she also manages to make this a bit more different in tone because of the ominous events that take place. While the first book had us moving across Aryavarta, the world here is expanded to include the desert lands of Matsya and I loved how it was described as a kingdom that strove to be prosperous despite its isolation from the empire for generations.
I particularly enjoyed how this book raises a lot of questions, that can even be relevant today if we give them deeper thought. There is a lot of discussion mainly on power, who gets to have the power and what responsibilities does it bring with it. What I found as a great parallel to our society is how the few who have had power for generations seem to consider it their right, and even the idea of power being redistributed across ordinary people is too much of a disruption and threat to their way of life.
I also liked that the author included conversations on gender equality as well as class discrimination, a particular point hitting me hard - we should all be respected and should have the right to fairness and justice solely because we are human beings, and it should not be limited to only those who have a higher station in life.
While the writing may have faltered a bit, the characters are as impressive as ever. I thought the shades of grey of both Dharma and Syoddhan are shown brilliantly. Dharma is particularly very infuriating because he believes in his self righteousness and destiny too much, and never actually takes blame for any of the wrongs that he commits.
Syoddhan on the other hand is not a bad person, but is much more susceptible to the advice and ambitions of those around him, succumbing to their ideas despite probably knowing he is doing wrong. I really loved how the author flipped the script on these two major characters, showing them as utterly flawed human beings and not as black and white as popular fiction depicts. Shikhandin again gets a lot of depth and I admired him a lot for his bravery and convictions, even though he suffers a lot of personal tragedy, is never lauded for his courageous actions and branded as a traitor.
Obviously the larger part of the story still revolves around Govinda and Panchali and I just loved the exploration of their relationship even more. They are two halves of a whole, like Narayana and Sri themselves, and there were so few scenes of them together but I just cherished reading them. Govinda on the other hand is devastated seeing what happens to her, and the way his despair and complete hopelessness is described brought tears to my eyes.
You might just end up finding a new fantasy series and author.
Govinda The Aryavarta Chronicles Govinda The Aryavarta Chronicles About book: The mountains gently sloped into a fair stretch of grassland with alternating bogs of marsh and sand, leading ultimately to a gem-flecked stretch of blue promise. The untamed sea fell, relentless, against a harsh, rocky coast, each defying the other in playful battle. In the middle of the foaming waters, connected by a series of foam-covered shoals, rose a mighty rock edifice. Waves beat relentlessly against the stone, and were broken into white foam, churned into golden spray. From the core of the rock, a city rose, floating between the sky and sea. Towering white spires made of crystal caught the sun, dispersing its rays in a medley of fire and colour that could be seen all the way to Gomanta, where Partha now stood.
Shelves: fantasy-and-scifi , indian-classics-and-retellings , politics-feminism-religion , favorites , read , 5-star While I was wowed by the author Krishnas short story in Magical Women and have been waiting to read her latest Beast which my trusted friends really swear by , it didnt occur to me that I already owned her debut trilogy and never actually read it. Mahabharata is my favorite book in the world and nothing will ever change that. The author has decided to strip the divinity from the epic and retell it as a socio-political saga of the kingdoms of Aryavarta, and I think she succeeds at it very well. The central conflict around which the story revolves here is something new, and that definitely makes it feel like a refreshing tale.