THE ARYAVARTA CHRONICLES
by Krishna Udayashankar
- a book review
The popularity of Indian mythological fiction has been rising to newer levels in the past few years. The Indian readers are mystified by this genre and the new age Indian writers are coming up with new fiction dealing with Indian Mythology.
Indian Mythology has an immense and glorious past. The authors are busy in remake of the old to the new.
Now, I am going to review the book, Kurukshetra - The Aryavarta Chronicles Book 3 for you. This is the third book in the trilogy series by Krishna Udayashankar.
First one was Govinda and the second one was Kaurava. Those two dealt with the beginning aspects of the epic Mahabharata. The first one mainly dealt with Govinda Shauri, the name given by the author for Krishna. The second mainly deals with Kauravas.
The third book as the name indicates deals with the final war. Kurukshetra is the place where the war was fought in Mahabharata. Let us go to the book review now.
Whenever I am given a book, I have the habit of reading it from the author's note, if any. This book had one and I read through it. If you have already read the book one - Govinda, you might know it already. The author gives a small introduction to the story. All the finest scholars are gathered in a forest and the story is recited by Ugrashravas Sauti, the keeper of ancient stories. He tells all the scholars gathered there a story. The story about them. And he calls it Jaya. I have read a book by Devdutt Patnaik where he says that Vyasa recited the stories to Ganesha and he called them Jaya. It is really interesting to read different versions of the origins of Jaya. You can read the review of that book in my other post.
As I started reading the book, I felt that I was reading a different story altogether. Not totally different, but from a different perspective.
For eg, the author has portrayed all the characters as mortals. It was different to read about them when you look at the characters as people other than Gods. Though we have seen many authors trying that angle, Krishna Udayashankar deserves cudos for having portrayed them better.
We all must have read or heard about Mahabharata in our lives. Even then, most of us would not be aware of the depth of the story. I came to know about different little stories from this book.
In the beginning, I found it difficult to get to know the characters as I have not read the first two books. So, I took some time reading the synopsis of the first two books from the internet and also the author has given us a brief introduction of the characters and also the family tree. You can find that quite useful if you find yourself struck somewhere.
Overall, I found the book to be interesting and I am already eager to read the two other ones. But you need not have read them before to follow this one, as I found the book to be self explanatory and not necessarily dependent on the previous books.
In this age of mythological fictions, this book is sure to get it's own place.