Friday, 25 May 2018

A Broken Sun by Aditya Iyengar : Book Review

Before I begin, I must say that I have been reading quite a few works of contemporary Indian Literature based on Mahabharata and each of them leaves me bewildered. I cjust had to try this book : A Broken Sun by Iyengar, a sequel to The Thirteenth Day commences on the 14th Day of the Kurukshetra War.  The take of the narrative is so unique that one cant help but admire it, and it is the narrative that makes the work so likeable.

I am a huge digger for switching narratives and here we had 5 narrators, each picking up where the previous one left, each with a different yet united perspective that shows you the Mahabharata as a part of it, instead of being an outsider. This is something that I have also found in Divakaruni's books and cherished, however, instead of her single, feminist perspective we have a muiltiple perspective by men. Feminine presence is very limited, something that can be worked on in future, since the war waged because of a woman's fury.

When the novel begins, we have a mourning Arjun, saddened with the death of Abhimanyu in the Chakravyuh. The story of Abhimanyu acquiring knowledge in his mother's womb has been told to each Indian child, and reminiscing childhood in the after math of the war's 13th Day was a delight. An emotional Arjun was another unique thing, since mostly we look at him as the epitome of perfection and strength.

Be it strategical policies, political conflicts or emotional turmoils - Iyengar leaves no stone unturned to make the war come to life. However, as strongly as it begins, he does lose his grip and smoothness of flow somewhere in the later half. However, if you are looking for a book of a retelling of Mahabharata, go for this book or its prequel on Amazon .

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