Tuesday, 30 January 2018

The Fisher Queen's Dynasty by Kavita Kane: a review

I've always been hugely fascinated with the Mahabharata and all its retellings. There has been moments where I have had spent days and nights discussing with friends and made a lot of foes regarding conspiracy theories and retelling of the epic. So, when I got to know about Kavita Kané's recent book The Fisher Queen's Dynasty I had to read this book. Here's the book blurb for you to know.

According to the blurb- 'I learnt to love like a man- to love without feeling. And I shall never forget this lesson.' Matsyagandha, Kali, Yojanagandha, Daseyi- the queen of Hastinaoir, Satyavati. Abandoned as a baby, preyed on by a rishi, she hardens herself, determined that the next time she is with a man, she will be the one to win. And win she does: the throne of Hastinapur for herself, and the promise that her sons will be heirs to the kingdom. But at what cost? In a palace where she is disdained and scorned, Satyavati must set aside her own loss and pain if she is to play the game of politics. She learns to be ruthless, unscrupulous- traits that estrange her from everyone around. Everyone, except the man she cheated of his birthright. A piercing, insightful look at the grand matriarch of the Kuru family, the woman who set off the sequence of events that ended in the bloody battle of Kurukshetra, The Fisher Queen's Dynasty will re-align your reading of the Mahabharata.

And yes, it surely does. You know, we always look at the Mahabharata from the point of view of Krishna. Of the battle that ensued. But have we actually ever given a thought, "why?" This book questions the why's and the how's. It answers both these questions in a beautiful way. Specifically from the point of view of the woman behind everything: Satyavati. The cover of the book speaks a thousand words as it engages every reader from the first look of it. Then, starts the journey.

The book starts with her birth, carries on to how she became what she is. It explores every bit of her so much so that you, as a reader, might feel like loving her and slapping her all at the same time. Her twisted mind and mental strength connects to the readers. At least that's what I felt. There's nothing new to the characters (I mean, there's nothing to sit and explain about them) so I would directly head on to the representation of them.

Majorly a book focused on Satyavati, Bheeshm and the clan, this book surely does enough justice. Bheeshm, undoubtedly is my FAVORITE character from the original script and in this book too, my heart goes out to him. I don't know what to write for the book for every single page in the book is a vision in itself. You can almost picturize every moment and that makes the book all the more worthwhile. A new perspective, yes. The book ensures that you have a new way of reading and knowing the whole story.

What happened with me after reading the book? I felt sad. Not for the characters but because the book ended and I couldn't stop the writer from not writing any more. I wanted it to not end. Having said that, I'll go to the cons of the book. For me, one of the cons was that the book, towards its end seems rushed. Some more details, a bit more, could've done the trick. Yes, the Kurukshetra battle we all know about wasn't that of the Kuru dynasty, it was of the Fisher Queen's: Satyavati's and that surely had made all the difference. For me, expecting a tad too much from the book it would be a 4.25 out of 5. I'll be looking forward to much more books from the author.

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