My rating: 3 of 5 stars
I chose this book from Kindle Unlimited catalogue because I wanted something not too taxing to read. The title is slightly misleading because it is not a book on the Pandavas, but the life story of Kunti. My opinion of the book is mixed: I love love love her writing style, ( some of the quotes are on point and impactful!! ♥️ ) but the story is nothing much. I am guessing I feel this way because Mythology is an extremely abused genre these days. I am probably reading too much of it, and I definitely taking a break now.
But here is my argument as to why I would pick up an another by the author. It is because I could find gems that gleam through the dull narrative. Also, there are a few places where I feel the scenes feel very mundane, say for example, where Kunti meets Karna and tells him the truth about his parentage.
The prologue is especially beautiful. Sadly, the chapters pale in comparison to the prologue. From the prologue I especially loved the following section:
Men’s stories are the bones of a bygone age, sanctified as relics, preserved in stone. Women’s stories are written in water. Yes, women’s tales, too, have been told by men but with an important difference: they are cautionary. They warn men that women are clever, conniving, deceitful and, frequently, the cause of dissension. They tell women how they should be and, more importantly, not be. A common theme is retribution for breaking rules that are invariably man-made.
It is precisely how I feel about Indian Mythology. It may not be completely condescending to womankind, but it has been unfair. The degree of injustice will vary with perception, but the lore often takes a not so fair approach to women.
So, my conclusion is that I wouldn’t outright reject this book, and I will most certainly pick up another book by Madhavi Mahadevan. If you have a Kindle Unlimited subscription, do give this book a try!