The Palace of Illusions- Storyline and Book Review

The Palace of Illusions Storyline and Review

The Palace of Illusions is the retelling of the epic tale Mahabharata from the point of view of Draupadi. The story covers the entire life of Draupadi, right from her birth, to her getting married to all 5 Pandavas against her wish, unintentionally insulting the Kauravas and eventually playing an essential role in causing the most significant war that humanity ever fought. The narration from a woman’s perspective opens up a new view of this tale. Some of the key highlights for me were:

  • Traditionally the storytelling of the Mahabharata focuses a great deal on the main characters like Arjun, Krishna, and Duryodhana. This book takes the focus from there. It pulls it toward Draupadi and the events in her life that lead up to the war.
  • It gives us a different perspective of all the events and characters and helps us understand why they did what they did. 
  • I like how the author narrates:
    -Draupadi’s complicated relationship with Krishna
    -Her loving relationship with his brother and how her worry for him causes her to make sacrifices.
    -How she manages the delicate relationship with her mother-in-law despite being constantly at loggerheads with her.
    -What she thinks about each of her husbands and how she manages this sensitive relationship.
    -How she fights her insecurities regarding her husbands and children.
    -Her unfulfilled wish, which she yearns for all through her life. 

The author presents a powerful woman character, but with all her flaws. She is very human-Sometimes bold and sometimes a victim of her weaknesses; sometimes confident but often unsure about herself too, sometimes carefree and at other times insecure.

The author takes the reader on a journey into Draupadi’s life and how her destiny shapes it in a way that she becomes the main reason for the most inconceivable war.

Overall, it is an interesting book and a unique one at that. 

To read more such book reviews, click here.

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