Blog Archives

Book Review: Kaurava (The Aryavarta Chronicles, #2) by Krishna Udayasankar

book reviewKaurava is the second book in the trilogy, The Aryavarta Chronicles. It begins with Emperor Yudhisthir and Empress Draupadi, ruling over the unified kingdom of Aryavarta. The kingdom was put together for them by Govinda, with blessings from the Firewrights.

The Firewrights rise up from ashes of history, divided in their allegiance and purpose, and ready to wreak havoc on the kingdom. As sinister plots and treacherous allegiances form, the once noble land transforms into a nightmare. The Emperor gambles away the empire, while the empress is sent into exile as various factions within the realm congregate to conquer and destroy each other. Govinda knows that the only way to protect the Empress and the land is by playing a life-threatening game.

In her version of the Mahabharata, Krishna Udayshankar has rearranged the events and presented the in a more humane manner. Here Yudhisthir is not the saint coaxed into playing dice, instead he is the compulsive gambler who does not know where to draw the line. Every character is described in depth and they appear extremely balanced, their flaws and their strengths all put in front of the reader to assess.

The ruthlessness of Yudhishtir, the stubbornness and strength of Panchali, the few good traces of Duryudhan, along with the twists added by Asvattama, Shikandi and Dhrstyadymn make it a brilliant read. The Draupadi-Krishna relationship over the years has been analysed as platonic, brother-sister love. In the book Panchali and Govinda have an unrequited love which ends up being the first innocent victim in the race power.

Krishna Udayshankar has completely laid the great epic bare and open for the readers to judge history. And that is the USP of this book as well as this trilogy. Eagerly waiting for the final book of the series.

My Rating: 3.5/5 stars

P.S. This review was written as a part of the Flipkart Bloggers Affiliate Programme. Thanks Vivek for the books 🙂

About the author

Krishna Udayasankar is a graduate of the National Law School of India University (NLSIU), Bangalore, and holds a PhD in Strategic Management from the Nanyang Business School, Singapore, where she presently works as a lecturer.

DISCLAIMER: All Images Used In This Post Have Their Respective Copyrights

Book Review: Govinda (The Aryavarta Chronicles, #1) by Krishna Udayasankar

book reviewThe latest trend in Indian writing circles seems to be Indian mythology – stripping down the divine to the human form and representing mythological text as historical events. From Amish Tripathi to Ashoke Banker, several writers have explored the Indian scriptures and presented the Gods in a new dimension. Krishna Udayshankar’s books are an addition to the list.

Govinda is the first book of the Aryavarta Chronicles. No prizes for guessing that the books are based on the Mahabharata. However, unlike the commonly used names of the characters in Mahabharata, Krishna has referred to her characters with the lesser known names. Thus Krishna has become Govinda, Duryodhana as Suyodhana or Yudhisthir as Dharma.

The author does a great justice by deglamorizing these eminent characters of Mahabharata, who are so far we have always revered and treated them as divine figures in human form. Not one character is painted in black and white. Everyone has their share of the good and the bad.

This book is about the rivalry and fighting between the Firstborns and the Firewrights. The Firstborns are the scholars and sages, who are descendants of Vasishta Varuni and so-called protectors of the Divine Order on Earth. The Angirasa families of Firewrights are an ancient order of scientists and inventors who wear mixed colors, descendants of the Bhargavas.

Set in ancient India, in lands lost in the mists of antiquity, religion and history; these books form a saga of Epic India -before time and language transformed tales of flesh and blood, into mythical, larger-than-life accounts. In Udayshankar’s Aryavarta, the most powerful state is Jarasandha’s Magadha. Hastinapur is shown as a vassal of Magadha. Govinda Shauri is a cowherd, who takes the remaining Yadus from Mathura and moves to a distant land and were he builds the glorious Dwaraka.

The rivalry and fighting between the Firewrights and the Firstborn dynasty is a thread which runs through this book and as Book One comes to an end, stays alive to continue into Book Two.

My Rating: 3/5 stars

P.S. This review was written as a part of the Flipkart Bloggers Affiliate Programme. Thanks Vivek for the books 🙂

About the author

Krishna Udayasankar is a graduate of the National Law School of India University (NLSIU), Bangalore, and holds a PhD in Strategic Management from the Nanyang Business School, Singapore, where she presently works as a lecturer.

DISCLAIMER: All Images Used In This Post Have Their Respective Copyrights

%d bloggers like this: