Book Review: ‘The Palace of Illusions’ by Chitra Banerjee Divakaruni

the palace of illusions book review
  • Book Title: The Palace of Illusions
  • Author: Chitra Banerjee Divakaruni
  • Publisher: Anchor
  • No. of pages: 384
  • Rating: 4.0/5

Palace of Illusions Book Review

This book is based on the unsung hero of Mahabharata – Draupadi. The Palace of illusions book is a retelling of Mahabharata by Draupadi in her perspective. One has to admit that Mahabharata happens because of Draupadi who acts as a catalyst in the tale. 

Since she is the wife of five Pandava brothers, Draupadi is known as Panchali. Palace of illusions novel is about the hard fate of Draupadi who had to withstand being estranged from her true love. She had to forcefully share life with the five Pandava brothers. She used to long for Arjuna’s love and a mysterious attraction she had towards Karna. 

The Palace of Illusions by Chitra Divakaruni also speaks of the many hardships she went through while she was in the fourteen years-long exile with the Pandavas. It shows her encounter with the mighty womanizer Kichika and the fear of the cover during their “agyatvas” being blown off. 

Also read: Book Review: ‘Squeezing Lemons’ by Amrita Anand Nayak

Draupadi is every Indian woman who follows the path laid for her by the family. She follows the path even if there are thorns on the way. All through her life, she was doing what her parents, mother-in-law and husbands expected or wished from her. She could never do things that made her feel happy or satisfied. Anything she had is almost something that strikes a chord with many of the women readers. 

Her admiration for Karna is something new, different and bold that has been touched in this specific work of fiction which sometimes makes you think if it was actually Karna and not Arjuna who would have been a better husband to Draupadi. It makes a good read for anyone interested in Mythology, especially if you have loved books like the trio-logy of Siva by Amit Tripathi.

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