Book Review : The Palace of Illusions by Chitra Banerjee Divakaruni

One genre that I completely fell for in 2016 was historical friction and I guess my love continues to grow in 2017 as well so for my next read, I decided to pick up a copy of The Palace Of Illusion by Chitra Banerjee Divakaruni

The Palace of Illusion is the story of Mahabharata, the original epic was told through the eyes of gods, demigods, kings or warriors but Divakaruni’s version is through a woman’s eyes, through the eyes of Draupadi. Draupadi is one of the major character’s of this saga and I was pretty intrigued to see a war from the point of view of a woman.

The author portrays Draupadi as a truly powerful, strong, and independent woman who in every aspect is truly made from fire.  Unlike the usual portrayal of her character as someone who instigated the epic war, her character is more multi-dimensional in this version. And it’s not just Draupadi, other characters like Kunti and Gandhari have also being portrayed as women who chose to live their life-like they want to and not like they are told to.

The story is narrated in the first person and takes you through the whole journey of Draupadi from her birth, her inability to understand why she is treated differently from her twin brother Drishtadyum, her transformation from a tom-boy to the most beautiful women in her kingdom, her crushes, her dilemmas and even her fantasies. The narration has made the characters so much more relatable and the story seems more realistic.

The language and writing are simple, the pace of the story is decent and continuous without being all about Draupadi. The chapters are arranged skillfully, beautifully written and the ending are brilliant. Overall, a very well written book that needs to be read.