I love mythology and especially Indian mythology. I’ve read the Ramayana and about the fight between Baali and Sugreeva in which Rama kills the former. But that’s all I have read about the Vanara brothers. When I came across this book, I loved the cover art, and the story it promised, so bought it!
In the novel, the author shares the tale of how Kishkindha, the kingdom of the Vanaras was built by Baali, Sugreeva and Nala the architect. It starts with a tale of brotherly love before the arrival of Tara, the woman both brothers want. After that, the rivalry between the two brothers begins. I’m not delving too much into that because it might be a spoiler, and with this novel, I don’t want to risk that.
Fantasy/mythology genre novels need to be engaging. This book was. It was nice to read the tale leading to that more known fight between Baali and Sugreeva. I loved how the characters are sketched. Each have their strengths and flaws. Baali is painted as the hero instead of the villain and it worked. At times it feels like the characters are black and white instead of grey but that’s only after Tara comes into the picture. For me, that was understandable.
Mythology that helps the scenes come to life is always good to read. This was. I might even reread the tale soon, and recommend to mythology lovers.
Author: Anand Neelakantan
Genre: Mythological Fiction
No. of Pages: 304
Publisher: Penguin Books
Rating: 8 out of 10