Thursday, May 4, 2017

"Abhaya" - Story of Woman Warrior By Saiswaroopa Iyer

"Abhaya" by Saiswaroopa Iyer was on my wishlist when it was first published under only Kindle version. I kept checking book time and again for more and more reviews. And those reviews always made sure that I wouldn't remove it from the list. I considered myself lucky when I got the book from the author herself in exchange for honest review.

Book Blurb
"Abhaya allows us to delve into the world of our ancestors and Gods through the route of great storytelling and a brilliant narrative. A thoroughly enjoyable read" - Amish Tripathi
A tale set in the times of Mahabharata. An assertive and idealistic Princess Abhaya meets the enigmatic Krishna Vaasudeva. A bereaved Dhatri, hounded by her own family is saved by Lord Bhauma. When subverted religion becomes a tool in the hands of power thirsty and strikes Bharatavarsha, the land of Aryas, Abhaya finds herself face to face with the impending doom.
“Can we combat the fear with faith? Can we keep our faith undeterred when the last traces of hope melt away? Can we receive blame and adulation, accept them and yet not give in to them?” 
The book is titled on protagonist Abhaya Dhaarmaseni princess of Anagha a small fictional kingdom in the neighbourhood of Avanti in Bharatvarsha. The story is written in times of the Mahabharata with Krishna as the second main character. Abhaya was the daughter of Kind Dharmasen, who has nurtured her with a value system that made her stand out of crowd. Following her Dharma was above than herself for Abhaya. The lord of Kamapura, the temple town of Kamaksha, Bhauma is portrayed as the antagonist. Bhauma wants to leverage religion as a tool to obtain power over Bharatvarsha. During that times, Shaktas, worshippers of divine Goddess, were considered Vamacharis in simple word outcasts from the mainstream population. Shaktas way towards life and openness towards pleasure made them look outrageous to normal people. But Shakta had never given any damn toward others' opinion. 

Bhauma, being Shakta, wanted to poison minds of normal people by exploiting their social and mental stress and to convert them into Shakta. He wanted a face for his mission which he found in Dharti. Years passed and Bhauma's network started spreading in Bharatvarsha and creating problems at many places. Many small tribes and towns fell because of his false play. When Anaga was defeated, Abhaya was forced to take refuge in another kingdom. During this time she found something mysterious in Shaktas and took the mission to uncover the truth.

Few best things that came out from this story
  • The character of Abhaya - An independent woman. Out of her time. Her prowess arms, intellect in political affairs & maturity towards human emotions were really portrayed outstandingly.
  • The bond between Abhaya & Krishna - Both loved each other unconditionally but never wanted to harm each other's feeling. Always wanted to save the honour of counterpart.
  • The vileness of Bhauma - I have to admit it. 
  • Wrong use of religion - Book shows how in wrong hand religion can create havoc
Author has successfully covered many hit points in one small book, where other authors struggle with multiple sequences. If you would like to read a good book on woman character this is a perfect pick for you. Talking about ratings
  1. Cover - 5 / 5 (It was cover which attracted me very first time)
  2. Characters - 4.5 / 5 
  3. Storyline - 4.5 / 5 (Very smooth)
  4. Concept - 4.5 / 5 
  5. Overall - 5 / 5
Book can be found at - Amazon
Review from other readers can be found at GoodReads

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