January 24, 2013

Book Review: Palace of Illusions by Chitra Banerjee Divakaruni

Palace of Illusions by Chitra Banerjee Divakaruni is a book which I have been constantly recommended based on my liking for historic fiction. And not just by a software, by many folks too. Eventually I got to reading it and I finished it in pretty much long stretches as the book is quite gripping and how the story narrates through the eyes of a woman who is said to be the cause of one of the biggest wars in India.

The book is so beautifully written that at many times I felt that these are so many emotions which a woman feels but we just never voice them. They are so many instances where I was just nodding with her when she was speaking her mind. I thoroughly enjoyed reading this book and also  this made in many ways the complicated story of Mahabharat simpler in my eyes. I do not think now I will stand to forget many important characters which otherwise I have just got confused with at many times.

I must add that when I knew that it was about the Mahabharat, it was a reason for me not to pick it up as I thought it was one of the most fascinating, true, but totally confusing stories which I have ever come across. I believe I had this book with me for over 3 months and then I decided to pick it up. And I am so glad that I did not put it off for another time.

The author has a way with emotions and penning them down in a way you know you have also thought, but just could never precisely put it down into words. She just cleverly manages to do just that. I have previously reviewed another book by her also, Sister of my Heart and I picked up that book primarily to put off this one. And now, if I am to compare the two, I think I would undoubtedly pick this one. But, here the story was already there and it was only re-written in a manner, beautifully though. I had a very hazy image of the story myself, which I believe helped the book to do wonders for me. 


  1. I loved this one too, was very refreshing to see the same old same old through a woman's eyes :)

  2. Oooh I loved it too. It's my favourite among all of Divakaruni's works. Interestingly.. I put up some pics on my 'me time' post and the book I'm reading there is Palace of Illusions :-).

  3. This is one of my all-time-favourite books!!!! Totally agree with what you have said , about women not voicing these emotions!

  4. Glad you loved the book!

  5. I read this book couple of years back. And you are right - it was good to see the story, that you have been told so many time, from a totally different perspective. Our narrations of Mahabharat have never been kind to Draupadi. Somehow, to me, she always came off as an arrogant woman. So in that sense, this was also an eye-opener.


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