Thursday, November 7, 2013

#BookReview: Karna's Wife by Kavita Kane

On the jacket:

Karna's Wife: The Outcast's Queen tells the extraordinary story of Karna, the unsung hero of the Mahabharata, through the eyes of his wife Uruvi, bringing his story to the reader from a unique perspective. 

An accomplished Kshatriya princess who falls in love with and dares to choose the sutaputra over Arjun, Uruvi must come to terms with the social implications of her marriage and learn to use her love and intelligence to be accepted by Karna and his family. Though she becomes his mainstay, counselling and guiding him, his blind allegiance to Duryodhana is beyond her power to change. 

The story of Uruvi and Karna unfolds against the backdrop of the struggle between the Pandavas and the Kauravas. As events build up leading to the great war of the Mahabharata, Uruvi is a witness to the twists and turns of Karna's fate; and how it is inextricably linked to divine design. 

A splendid saga from the pages of the Mahabharata, Karna's Wife: The Outcast s Queen brings its characters alive in all their majesty.


Karna's Wife is a very unique approach to the famous story of Mahabharata, an approach I am sure none of has ever thought of. The story, on a broader aspect talks about the Kauravas and the Pandavas, but Karna was very much one of the most important characters in the plot. About him, there is still a little spoken. But, about his wife, nothing. I must confess, I didn't even know what his wife's name was, who was the woman behind the man of such strength, loyalty and integrity, until I read this book. 

Karna's Wife is a beautifully written book. When Karna dies in the battlefield, as a reader, I was left wandering around the ground, with a lump in my throat, unsure of how to pull myself back to real life. The story begins in the section where the Kauravas and Pandavas are exhibiting their strengths and fighting each other in front of the family and the rest of the kingdom and Karna challenges the Pandavas. He proves to be stronger & worthier, Duryodhana makes him a King of one of the lands. I remember this scene from the tele-serial Mahabharata very clearly. But never did I know, watching from where the Kuru family is sitting, was princess Uruvi, who within a few minutes of watching him, fell in love with the mighty Karna.

Karna has been portrayed in a very beautiful and heartfelt manner in this book. Yes, he was a great man, but it always stuck as odd, that why is a good man supporting an evil man. This book goes on to show why - Karna, his background, his desperate need to be accepted as a somebody and then Duryodhan showering him with love and status, however much to use for his own needs, had Karna indebted to him. 

A lot of points can be stated as negatives as well, but those are parts of the original story. Morals, a woman's status in the family etc were different all those years ago. A very detailed book, and a good read. It also refreshes memories of the long forgotten tale of Mahabhrata.

Rating: ****.5/5

[This is a personal read]

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