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The Palace of Illusions by Chitra Banarjee Divakaruni is based on a legendary story of Hindu Mythology – Mahabharata. We have a female storyteller – Draupadi to unfold the maha-saga of war within a family. To find out about a female perspective in a male centric culture, to peruse and find out about the encounters of Draupadi in an epic as Mahabharata – this is a perfect pick.


This book frames the life of Draupadi as its plot; starting from being conceived out of fire and ending at her deathbed. The storyline involves insights concerning her relationship with her sibling; the dejection that she felt in her dad’s castle; the relationship with her sister, Sikhandi; her swayamvar which in any case had ulterior thought processes; her life as the spouse of the five Pandavas (because of the mere statement of Kunti – Draupadi’s Mother-In-Law) and how she set off a disastrous war. Chitra unravels the mysterious love that Draupadi harboured for a man who wasn’t her better-half but happened to be the descendant of her mother-in-law.


The thing I fancy the most about Chitra Divakaruni’s portrayal is that she hasn’t depicted Draupadi in a deplorable and helpless way. She is shown as an influential lady and the layers of her character are skilfully brought to the surface. She is delineated as a lady with her minds in the correct spot. Her mature mind, her pride, the tinge of desire that she harbours, and her constant fight within herself parts that are descriptively presented. All the characters are brilliantly depicted that they actually spring up in the psyches of the readers. Karan and Krishna are clearly depicted that you will feel progressively warm and connected towards Karan whereas; you will adore and respect Krishna even more post reading this book. Personally, I love the character of Bheem who is aggressive but is deeply in love with Draupadi which makes him stand out as a devoted husband.

The composing style of Chitra Banerjee is profoundly captivating. All the epic scenes of Mahabharat are consecutively weaved together in a wonderful story. Their sequential request sounds good to the reader.


The occasions in the story happen in an intelligent way and not described in light of the fact that they are intended to be told. The story is very much paced and all the characters are flawlessly enlivened. The feelings of each character are managed with perfect measure of detail. One probably heard Mahabharat plentiful number of times yet it is a book that does equity to the reader’s thirst to know more about the saga. Also, it excellently delivered the concept of women’s plight that hasn’t changed yet. There were instances that would really make you think that why her? But, you read it and check it out yourself. (No spoilers ^_^) Chitra Banerjee Divakaruni has rendered this book an absolute necessity read for all bookworms who love Mythology Fiction.