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Book Review: Kartikeya, by Anuja Chandramouli

Indian mythology is filled with many characters… Gods, Goddesses, Demigods and Demons etc. It’s wonderful to read about them. It’s one of the more popular genres when it comes to the world of Indian writing in English. Few authors do that genre justice, and Anuja is one of them. When this book came my way, I didn’t hesitate to take it up.

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Book Review: Yama’s Lieutenant, by Anuja Chandramouli

Mythology, and fantasy based on mythological characters are genres that are quite popular in Indian Writing in English of late. Though I’ve read many authors attempting the former, very few have really made an impression. Devdutt Pattanaik has been one. Anuja Chandramouli is another author whose works I have liked reading. She was attempting mythology from usually unseen perspectives, like Arjuna or Kamadeva. I wondered how she’d handle the change from the former to the latter. Yama’s Lieutenant is a fantasy novel, with mythical elements.

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Book Review: Shakti, by Anuja Chandramouli

Mythology – one of my favorite genres, and of late, one that seems to be popular in Indian Writing in English, with various retellings and mythology-based fantasies that are coming up in that field. And an author who I have read before, and know has a talent for storytelling in this particular genre. It was a book I wanted to read knowing there was a very good chance I’d love it, and it lived up to that expectation for me.

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Book Review: Kamadeva – The God of Desire, by Anuja Chandramouli

Having grown up on a steady dose of stories from Indian mythology, the genre is one that appeals to me a lot. I know the stories of most of the prominent Indian gods and goddesses, but there are those minor gods who do play a part in those stories but aren’t quite remembered, or their stories known well. It was a surprise to see a full novel on one of those gods, especially given the author’s previous novel was about Arjuna from the Mahabharata. Continue reading “Book Review: Kamadeva – The God of Desire, by Anuja Chandramouli”

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Book Review: Arjuna, by Anuja Chandramouli

About the author:
Anuja Chandramouli is a full-time mother of two lovely girls and a part-time writer. She currently works as an e-Reporter and a columnist. She is an ardent admirer of the Mahabharata, and drawing inspiration from the great epic, she decided to make her debut as a writer with the tale of Arjuna.

Impressions from the cover:
I don’t know what it is meant to be, but it gives a calming feel. My first impression was perhaps it is the battlefield at sunset.

Impressions from the blurb:
I think the title and blurb together make it simple and clear. This is the tale of Arjuna, third of the Pandava brothers, and it hopes to capture his heroism, love, ambition, talent and his life in a gripping narration.

My review:
Though the title gives the book’s idea immediately, I first give a gist of what you can expect. This is Arjuna’s tale, and it starts with who he is. Arjuna is the third son of Pandu and Kunti, and the middle Pandava brother. We begin with how he is born. When Pandu is cursed by a deer-sage that he will die if/when he has sex, his wife Kunti invokes a blessing given to her by another sage, and calls on the gods Dharma, Vayu and Indra and bid them to bless her with a son. From Dharma, was born Yudishtira, the eldest Pandava, from Vayu was Bheema the strong, and the third, born of Indra, was Arjuna. The tale then goes on to their youth, training of archery and fighting skills under Dronacharya, the winning of Draupadi as a bride etc.

What I like in the book is Anuja’s understanding and passion for the story, as she tells every detail and the reader can’t help but turn the page to find out what more is there for them to read. Be it the childhood games of the Pandavas, or the rivalry between Karna and Arjuna, she tells it with a charm.

However, I felt the charm goes away in some places and it feels like an essay. The title makes the reader imagine a book that’s almost always focused on Arjuna, but the book felt more like the narration of events most of us know, with the parts on Arjuna standing out a little more than others. What might have made it more interesting was if it was done in first person, then the title would have been very much justified.

I like this book, but I don’t love it. It was a good effort but it could have been a lot better. Thank you for the review copy, Anuja.

Rated a 7 on 10!
Rated a 7 on 10!

Book Details:
Title: Arjuna – Saga of a Pandava Warrior-Prince
Author: Anuja Chandramouli
ISBN: 9789381576397
Genre: Mythological/Epic
Publishers: Platinum Press/Leadstart
Price: INR. 250


This is an author-requested review, given for a review copy of the book, but no other payment.
The opinions expressed in the review are my own, and remain unbiased and uninfluenced.

Shared with
1) First Reads Challenge at b00k r3vi3ws
2) Indian Quills and 3) Debut Indian Authors Month at Tales Pensieve.

(May 30th, 2013)