Book of the week- The palace of illusions

The palace of illusions is a recasting of the Indian epic Mahabharata narrated from the perspective of Panchaali, the daughter of king Drupad and wife to the legendary Pandavas.

The book is a satire on male patriarchal society and describes the unusual life lead by Draupadi(Panchaali). Born from fire, Panchaali has led an unusual life from the outset. Unlike other women, she has no interest in typical female endeavors; she would rather be tutored alongside her brother in the art of war and the machinations of ruling a kingdom.  Her life was turned into chaos when she was betrothed to Arjuna, the most courageous of the Pandava brothers .The book recounts the hardships and the struggles she went through to play her part as a wife to five men, the Pandavas. Used to living a life of luxury and comfort, she now had to manage her life with the bare minimum essentials. The book describes her journey and longing for a palace of her own, how she attains it only to loose it all by the hands of gambling and politics. After losing her palace, her possessions and being humiliated by the hands of kauravas, Panchaali vows vengeance against them which leads to the epic battle of Mahabharata. The book pairs Panchaali’s worldly triumphs with her spiritual failings: her pride, her need for vengeance and the secret love she holds for Karna, her husbands’ greatest enemy.

Famous quotes from the book:
1) “Your childhood hunger is the one that never leaves you”
2) “There was an unexpected freedom in
finding out that one wasn’t as important as one had always assumed”
3) “That’s how it is sometimes when we plunge into the depths of our lives. No one can accompany us, not even those who would give up their hearts for our happiness”
4) “The heart itself is beyond control. That is it’s power and it’s weakness.”

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