‘The Palace of Illusions’-Chitra Banerjee Divakaruni

I read this novel almost a month back; what took me so long to write this review? Honestly, it was not because I didn’t find time to post a review but it was the munching that was being done by the mind after reading the novel. And it doesn’t stop there. I also got the entire Mahabharata TV series, that most of us have seen in our childhood, and watched it again; there are some 94 episodes ! Not only did my childhood memories rekindled but a newer perception to look at the story was formed. I’m glad I picked this boon on recommendations from so many blog friends, truly it does justice to the expectations one has built on reading raving reviews!

About the book

Author

 Chitra Banerjee Divakaruni [CBD]

Picture of the Author

 

ISBN

9780330458535

Price [INR]

395/-

Pages

360

Main Plot

The epic tale-Mahabharata.

No. of Characters

1 main lead

Tone of writing

Narrative, Capturing, Assertive & Reminiscing.
My take on the book

Do I recommend the book?

Yes, very much.

The reasons I liked the book

>It showcases one of the sides of Mahabharata. The Panchali’s side.

>It has the essence of all emotions of women. How giving a woman could be, how sacrificing, how intelligent and how her anger can get worlds collide into each other.

>The book appropriately describes Draupadi’s point of view, her feelings, her aspirations; anything and everything related to her very existence- right from her birth to the day she got married to 5 men, to the day she was humiliated by Duryodhan, to the day when she took oath to take revenge and to the day when she and her husbands came out as winners yet she lost so much!

>The writing has a flow, which takes you with it; you don’t want to stop reading it at any time. Even if you put it down, the next time you pick it up the flow continues. That’s brilliant writing, according to me!

>The author has done a deep study of the epic tale of Indian history and has done justice to the original plot.

>One might have seen and read Mahabharata several times, or must remember the TV series from their childhood, but the version that CBD has presented, is not seen or heard, I’m sure!

>The story takes you to the nooks and corners of Indraprastha, Hastinapur and eventually Kurukshetra.

>It’s immensely commendable how one can feel the jealousy that Duryodhan felt, the anger that Bheem felt, the vengeance that Draupadi felt, the unspoken love in Karna’s heart for Draupadi, the unconditional love of the 5 brothers for each other… every single aspect of Mahabharata can be felt because of the way it has been written.

>I absolutely loved the fact that it is not named on the lines of Mahabharata but it is named what it should’ve been-The Palace of Illusions, cause that’s what it is all about! The Indrapastha was the palace of illusions from where it all got kick started, the entire tale is an illusion in itself because everyone can have his or her own view on the parts of Mahabharata. It is all illusive yet real!

>It makes your heart ache for the love that Karna could never express, It makes you feel unjustified for the boundaries that Bheeshma gets himself surrounded by, it makes you feel sorry for Gandhari who lost everything even without being a part of the conspiracy her brother weaved and with all these emotions and more, at the end of it all you feel why it had to happen because it just took so much from every person involved in the story and had after effects too!

On the other hand

>For the very first time there is a book, for which I don’t have not a single negative remark to list or maybe the pluses of the book would not give a chance to the reader to invest time in finding negatives J
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24 thoughts on “‘The Palace of Illusions’-Chitra Banerjee Divakaruni

  1. wow…I am so tempted to read the book…yup, many have often urged me to read this as well so I am skipping the review totally to preserve the mystery and then when I am done reading with it, I shall definitely come back and write down what I felt 🙂 I know its about Draupadi and her influence in the war in a darker way or something. btw, you might wany yo read Jaya which is also another interpretation of Mahabharata and Asuras which is a perspective of Ramayana from a demon point of view 🙂 now, off to flipkart 😀

    1. Aiyyo same pinch on the best part of the novel 🙂 🙂 we sure love same things and persons too 😉 lol you know whom I mean don’t you 😛

      Yes I’ve read SOM, there on I started CBD!

    1. you must start 2013 with this one 🙂 I kept it on the bookshelf for too long and regretted on that! Yeah long long time PB…we must catch up…I’ll write to you!

  2. glad to read ur post after long time.. so hw r u? hw is little angel?? post frequently.. waiting to read about chripy..

    i was waiting to read a epic book, but something which i had a different perspective.. glad that i read ur review.. going to buy it for sure..

  3. I read this book early this year and absolutely loved it. Totally agree with you that it is unputdownable 🙂 You may also consider reading Jaya if you are interested in the Mahabharat after reading this book… it has lots of stories from the Mahabharata that I had not heard about before.
    Long time Scribby 🙂 How have you been?

  4. Scribby Ma’m,

    I’d have emailed you if I hadn’t seen this today. So long it has been. How are you?

    I have read the mistress of spices and liked it! This looks very promising. will try to find this else read it on my reader 🙂

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