Sunday, October 27, 2019

Book Review - First Installment of The Aryavarta Chronicles - Govinda by Krishna Udayasankar

I think I have shared earlier in the review of Beast by Krishna Udayasankar, but let me share it again. I have bought Govinda by Krishna along with Auth of Vayuputra when Vayuputra was released. But I read Govinda much later (in 2015). And by the time I decided to buy the next two parts of the series they were out of the shelf. So I didn't get a chance to read the 2nd & 3rd part. Recently I saw a post by Krishna that the Govinda series along with Immortal are adopted by Penguin India and they are re-published. And as a Diwali gift, we were provided copies of the first part of Govinda & Immortal in exchange for an honest review. As Govinda is the same as the previous copy I bought, I went through the book to revise important points that can be covered in the review.

Before I go to plot discussion, let me give you a brief comparison of two editions.
  • Cover - Though both editions are paperbacks, the first edition cover was more elegant than the latest one. :)
  • Page - I think yellowish pages with a golden look of the title was giving regal look to the first edition. The latest edition is having proper paperbacks look.
  • Font settings - Here the latest edition has won the race, where the first edition has smaller fonts this edition has adequate sized fonts for the better reading experience.
Well, the first edition is no longer available, so you don't have a choice to select an edition of your likings. But I have both editions, so I gave details as per my experience.

Book Blurb
Aryavarta – the ancient realm of the noble.
For generations, the Firstborn dynasty of scholar-sages, descendants of Vasishta Varuni and protectors of the Divine Order on earth, has dominated here. For just as long, the Angirasa family of Firewrights, weapon-makers to the kings and master inventors, has defied them. In the aftermath of the centuries-long conflict between the two orders, the once-united empire of Aryavarta lies splintered, a shadow of its former glorious self.
Now, the last Secret Keeper of the Firewrights is dead, killed by a violent hand, and the battle for supreme power in the empire is about to begin.
As mighty powers hurtle towards a bloody conflict, Govinda Shauri, cowherd-turned-prince and now Commander of the armies of Dwaraka, must use all his cunning to counter deception and treachery if he is to protect his people and those whom he loves.
But who holds the key to the fantastic and startling knowledge of the Firewrights, which in the wrong hands will bring doom upon the empire? And does Govinda have it in him to confront the dark secrets of his past and discover the true meaning of being Arya, of being noble?
As name suggests the main character of our story is Govinda Saury, a cowherd who became general of Dwarka's military. The next main character is Panchali, princess of Panchala. And as it is the story of Mahabharata all major characters of actual Mahabharata play a major/minor role in this book as well. To bring a unique angle to the story, the author has shown the world with mere mortal without any divine powers. Aryavarta, as we know today, was led by firstborns sages & his followers through kings & lords. But way before that time, another entity had given a tough time to firstborns and they were known as Firewrights, a clan/group of people who work on machines, weaponry & alchemy. But they were almost wiped off by firstborns & kings. The book starts with the death of Ghora Angisara, the last known Firewrites of Mahabharata time. With his death, a bigger plan of powerful people brought into a crumble. On another side, a cowherd Gopala took it on himself to bring Pandava to the front runners of Aryavarta. Pandava, five brothers, who themselves were not sure of their heritage due to mystery behind their birth, were supported by Govinda achieved many unreachable targets which they may not be able to if Govinda was not present with them. They got a marriage alliance with Panchala, Dwarika; they decimated the Khandavprasth forest with its secrets to start a new kingdom, they killed and subdued the mighty Jarasandha & his kingdom Magadha; and finally able to hold Rajsuya Yagya. Panchali witnessed all means Govinda took to achieve this, for which her husband & his brothers didn't protest even once.

As the already mentioned concept is unique and so was the delivery of the content. Unlike Amish Tripath or Anand Neelkanthan, Krishna's writing style is more lavish. You will get a good amount of description to enhance your experience. It is up to you to decide whether you are okay with lengthy narrations or not. Coming to the content part, I have just read part one, but Mahabharata is vast and writing story till Rajsuya in just first part in around 400 pages, which I found a little bit fast. She might have taken it slowly. Having said that, there are places where the pace of the story was medium, and there are places where the pace was fast enough to keep turning pages. I found a few factual things misplaced, apart from that a nice read.

  1. Cover - 3.5/5 (for latest one)
  2. Concept - 4/5
  3. Content - 4/5
  4. Overall - 4/5
Book can be found at Amazon & Flipkart
Review from other readers can be found at GoodReads

1 comment:

  1. Wonderful explanation. This book must be good. I want to read this book.



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