Author Krishna Udayasankar
Publisher Hachette India
The second book of the Aryavarta chronicles, by Krishna Udayasankar.
I don’t like to call Krishna a story teller she is a bard, and she is retelling the story of Mahabharat. Her craft has definitely improved over the first book.
The Book has a total indentity of its own and is not linked with either the past or future book to make sense, all the same reading all the books do make the story more gripping.
In this book she deals with a destroyed a destroyed Govind, a tired and tormented Empress forced into exile. The unified Aryavarta is lost in a gamble to Syoddhana who is a better emperor without the title, yet the historians hang him.
The kings are busy building alliances and forges the war is in the air.
When Jayadratha and his sons torment Draupadi in the forest, Govinda sends word to Vidura, asking him to send the Dharma Yuddhistra and his brothers “Home” the further chain of events reveals a dark secret the Vyasa of the firstborn’s nurtured all these years. That is Matsya the home of the firewrights, where Iron the metal of Kali is tamed. Technology is advanced. The society believes in individual merit and not birth hierarchy.
The Yavanha community is given its due not as demons or destroyers but as keepers of knowledge. Uttara the princess of Matsya is not the brainless naive Bimbo presented in the serial but a knowledgeable adult who knows her mind.
The conversation between Panchali Draupadi and Uttara on the power equation is quiet interesting
The dilemma of Vyasa as a historian would, have to choose the legacy he wants to leave behind — if Dharma is held as noble, righteous kind that makes Syoddhana evil, greedy demon. If Syoddhana is presented as the reasonable honest man that he is that would make Dharma a cheap gambler.
Some secrets are revealed like Sanjaya Gavalgani is the unacknowledged son of Vidura, while Govinda Shauri is a firewright and Vyasa of the first born of course has the darkest secret of them all. Yet the identity of the firewright secret keeper is maintained so.
Looking forward for the next book great reading for people who love thrillers, and those who are into an intellectual inquiry of the sacred lore’s.
All the same Krishna…Where is Shikhandin?
Link to book 1 Govinda and about the author — https://kitabikida.wordpress.com/2013/11/25/a-bard-retells/