Book Review #1: Karna’s Wife

Author: Kavita Kane

Genre: Fiction, Mythology

Language: English

Number of pages: 318

Publications: Rupa Publications

Release date: 11 August 2013

I love mythologies. Indian mythologies and historical facts are my absolute favorite. The number of way in which you can tell a story is the most fascinating feature of mythologies. Mahabharata is one of those stories where every retelling makes you wonder about the original narration. I have read as of yet three different re-telling and each one has left me hanging with the question: “What is this the actual story? Why didn’t Vyaas write more elaborating this?”

The grabbing point: 

Karna’s wife is a beautiful retelling of the character of Karna, portrayed as the unsung hero, the unwanted son, from the perspective of Uruvi, the princess of Pukeya and the beautiful bride of Karna who came into his life after Draupadi publicly rejected him.

The story is well written and will engage the reader from the very beginning, taking him/her through all the plots and twists and the trickery from the view-point of an outsider disinterested in politics. This very aspect of the writer’s style of narrative captivated my attention the most. The book beautifully showcases his evolution from a person who is angry with Draupadi for the insult during her Swayamvara (an ancient Indian practice of choosing your own husband) to a person who says “I know I will be killed tomorrow, but I am willing to meet my fate” and goes smiling to the battlefield and fights hard despite knowing that he is fighting against his brother for the wrong cause and all because of the stubborn streak of loyalty which only a true friendship can evoke.

The negatives:

As per the original by Vyaas, the names of Karna’s two wifes are – Vrushali and Supriya. There has been no mention of Uruvi anywhere in the grand epic. There is no clarification regarding this misnomer by the author.

Overall rating: 4 out of 5

Favourite quote: 

Princess, you have decided to follow the hard path. I cannot promise you the life a royal princess deserves,’ he began slowly. ‘I am a wandered myself, stuck in an eternal search. I am a vagabond who doesn’t know where I am going. My past beckons my present, but I can see only a blurred future. All my life, I have been slighted as a person of low birth- and the stigma will rub off on you as well. Yet, I am not ashamed of who I am…

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14 thoughts on “Book Review #1: Karna’s Wife

  1. Dear Itchy-feet!

    The title of the book draw immediately my attention and brought me here from the reader. I have also been keenly interested in Indian mythology since my early childhood. This is a wonderful book recommendation.

    I would say that Vyas’ original doesn’t exist. There are many debates about it. Many people say that there were many Vyas and it was actually a honorific.
    Even if son of Parashara Shri Krishna Dwaipayana existed and wrote those commentaries–there have been many additions and changes–like there have been in many scriptures like Bible and other literature in various religions and cultures across the globe.

    I wish you very best 🙂

    Anand

    Liked by 1 person

      1. It’s alright. Whatever you’ve said is correct. I just wanted to interact and build relations with bloggers. Thanks a lot for the review. Really appreciate it. Hope u’ll read my next book which should be better than this, at least.. 🙂 please suggest my book too few friends and ask them to buy it. That would be a great help from you. Thanks in advance 🙂

        Like

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