Thursday, July 19, 2018

Book Review - A Broken Sun by Aditya Iyengar

I was a little bit sceptic when I was suggested “A Broken Sun” by Aditya Iyengar. For starters it was the second book of the series (seeing that I hadn’t read the first) and for another it was relatively thin for what the content was supposed to be. 


Book Blurb
In the bloody aftermath of the thirteenth day of the Kurukshetra War, the Pandavas and Kauravas look to avenge their losses. In the Pandava army, a grief-stricken Arjuna speaks to his dead son and tries to find solace on the battlefield, even as his brother Yudhishthira tries to keep his family from falling apart. On the other side, the Kauravas, led by Guru Drona and Radheya try desperately to bring the war to an end. Their lives entwine tragically on the battlefield in a tale of loss and redemption.
Narrated through the voices of Radheya, Yudhishthira, Arjuna, Ghatotkacha, and Sushasana, A Broken Sun is the second part of Iyengar’s trilogy on the Kurukshetra War and tells the story of the Mahabharata in a way that’s never been done before.
“A Broken Sun” is a take on the war fought on the fourteenth and fifteenth day of Mahabharat war post Abhimanyu’s tragic death.

Aditya Iyengar has successfully given the essence of this Hindu epic in his own version. The grittiness of war and the constant mortal peril is captured extremely well. His emphasis in how exaggerated telling of any normal event leads to many fancy tales is depicted flawlessly.

Whilst the original Mahabharat is written in second person perspective, this novel is written in first person through the eyes of a few of the original characters. The author’s use of creative liberty is terrific as it only adds to make characters more grey as that in the original text, keeping their essence humanely different but intact. Yudhishthir is shown less of an idealist, while Suyodhan (Duryodhan) is shown less of a villain as compared to the conventional B.R. Chopra televised version of Mahabharat that we have grown up with. Krishna is shown more of a intelligent man of action than that of a God and his presence  however occasional, it leaves the desired impact. 

Personally I would had loved the author to capture first person narratives of other versatile characters such as Shakuni as that he did for Sushasan (Dushasan). But nevertheless, the author makes the proper use of every character and incident, regulating the pace where need be, thereby keeping us engaged.

In all, Aditya Iyengar delivers a true masterpiece that keeps us gripped throughout the book and makes us eager to await the third sequel.

My overall rating for this unique take on Mahabharata would be 4.5/5

Overall Verdict:- A fresh perspective to an old saga

Book can be found at Amazon and Flipkart
Review from other readers can be found at GoodReads

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