• Sushma Ramesh

Book Review- Udayan: The Forgotten Pandava by Rajendra Kher

Updated: Jul 26, 2020

  1. Book Name – Udayan: the Forgotten Pandava

  2. Author – Rajendra Kher

  3. Publishers – Leadstart corp

  4. Price – 244 INR

  5. Available on – Amazon and Flipkart

About the Book:

Some are born great. Some become great. Yet others have greatness thrust upon them. But what of he who is all three? Few people know that besides the Ramayana and the Mahabharata, there is a third epic of ancient India: the Bruhatkatha. Composed by scholar-poet- savant Gunadhya, it once consisted of an astonishing 700,000 couplets but the manuscript was torched by Gunadhya himself. Only 100,000 shlokas survive today – the story of Udayan, direct descendant of the great Pandava warrior, Arjuna, born to rule the great kingdom of Vatsa, which stretched across the length and breadth of Bharatvarsha. Raised to be King, Udayan was taught the skills of the warrior as well as the craft of the statesman whose words hide his thoughts. But his soul belonged to the Goddess of Music.

As time passed, the great Vatsa Empire crumbled as its musician-King sat lost to the reality of the intrigue, espionage and wars which threatened to wipe out both his kingdom and the Pandava line forever. This is the epic tale of Udayan; his devoted Minister, Yaugandharayan; his fiercely loyal General, Rumanwan; and the brilliant Court Jester, Vasantak. It is also the story of Pradyot, proud King of Avanti, and Udayan’s abduction of his vivacious and beautiful daughter, Vasavdatta. The thrilling narrative sweeps across Bharatvarsha and events long past come to life once again; a people long gone, live, love and ride once more under the banner of their Pandava King.

About the Author:

Rajendra Kher (b. 1961), a graduate of Pune University, has been writing for over two decades. He has published ten books in Marathi, all of which have been received with critical acclaim. Some of his bestselling novels have been translated into other languages. He has been honoured with five literary awards. Rajendra has worked as an Assistant Director in the film industry, on documentaries, and as a Programme Director for a TV channel. Early in his career, he produced and directed the short experimental film, Charlie Chaplin in India. He has had extensive experience with writing scripts and screenplays. He has contributed numerous articles and short stories to newspapers and magazines.

My take on the Book:

First off, I really liked how the author has taken a completely different and unique story from the mythology and the way he has explained the backgrounds of the story through Gunadya. The book was a little slow-paced and it was difficult for me to get connected to the characters at first but once done, it was a delightful read for me. I’m astounded by Udayans’ personality and characterization building done through the author. Even though I’m not a big fan of mythology, this book was engaging to me and there were new things to learn about every now and then throughout the read. The cover of the book is eye-catching, the authors writing style is simple and even for a beginner, this wouldn’t be a difficult read. I so wished character connection to the readers was a little better because at some point I even had thought of DNFing the book for the same reason. Overall this was a nice read and would recommend this book for people interested in mythology.

My ratings: * * * 1/2

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