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The Palace of Illusions by Chitra Divakaruni Banerjee

Quite some time since I came across such a splendid book. It is based on the same old Mahabharatha plot, but what makes it interesting is that it is through the eyes of Panchali. The ease with which the author moves from one plot to another in the epic, at the same time keeping the main character and the reader in synch is mind blowing. The ecstatic, curious, selfish, joyful, thoughtful, devil may care, devoted, philandering Draupadi is all brought out adeptly through various incidents. As much as the story narrated takes a negative tone against the protagonist, I could not help sympathize with her, and appreciate what she did when she did it. The end was so fitting, that I do not know whether all this generous praise should go to Vyasa who originally wrote the epic or this new age author who has effortlessly brought it out. The book is unputdownable until you have reached the last page, and cross checked the facts stated in the book on wikepedia or the elders in the house. Chitra has come out winners yet again. (i.e. after the mistress of spices)

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