Sunday, June 17, 2018

Book Review - Prithvivallabh - a Historical Fiction by KM Munshi

In our syllabus, we had a chapter "Why had Prithivivallabh hesitated?" The chapter was based on the historical fiction of KM Munshi, originally written in the Gujarati language. The book is now considered as classic. I Wanted to read this book ever since I had studied that chapter. Though I have read this book almost 2 years back, I have decided to re-read to share my views & review.

Book Blurb
Prithivivallabh is based on history of Malwa region of India. The novel depicts the rivalry between Munj, the ruler of Dharanagari and Tailap as well as the romance between Munj and Mrinal. Munj had defeated Tailap several times but Tailap captures Munj with help of his feudatory Yadava king Bhillamraj. In captivity, Munj falls in love with Mrinal, Tailap's widow sister. Celibate Mrinal too falls in love with too. The love story of Bhoj, a poet; and Vilas, daughter of Bhillamraj engaged with Satyashraya, son of Tailap; runs in parallel.
Munj is the protagonist of the story. He was called as "Prithivivallabh" by people. He was a fearsome king with high values. Tailap was his arch enemy. He attacked Munj multiple times and got defeated. Everythime Tailap was allowed to go back by Munj. In his last battle, Tailap was able to defeat Munj and he decided to humiliate Munj for his previous defeats.

Munj was taken as war prisoner to Tailap kingdom's capital. He was asked to beg to the citizen of capitals. Tailap was surprised to find out that his citizen started linking Munj. On top of that, the biggest support of Tailap his own sister (Mrinal Devi) who had ruled kingdom (indirectly) was slowly & steadily falling for Munj. Tailap then sentenced Munj under elephants leg. Whole capital was invited to see the death of the nation's enemy, but Tailap found tears in his citizen's eyes.

The book considered as a classic in Gujarati literature & it is translated into many languages so I have very little to add about book's content quality. Every Gujarati reader must read this book at least once. For me, the book comes at the same level as Patan-series by Munshi.

Talking about ratings
  1. Cover - 4/5
  2. Content - 4/5
  3. Character - 5/5 (For Munj)
  4. Overall - 4.5/5
Book can be found at Amazon
Review from other readers can be found at GoodReads


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