Wednesday, February 11, 2015

Review: Karna's Wife:The Outcast's Queen by Kavita Kane

There are unsung heroes and then there are unsung tales. There are people who have been lost in the tides of time and time and again someone or the other tries to resurrect them and put it out for all. Author Kavita Kane in her book "Karna's Wife:The Outcast's Queen" tries to resurrect the man who deserved more than what he got. You wish to know and devour more about the unsung hero of Mahabharata. So has the author done enough justice to this legend? Let's find out. 

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.

First look at the title and the cover and it's easy to make out the outlook of the story. Not that easy though as what to expect from the book. The cover has a sad damsel lurking in the balcony overlooking the sun and trying to decode life. The blurb talks about Mahabharata and a man who probably never got his dues paid in full. The blurb manages to keep the secrets in the closet and let the readers be on the run. 

The story is set off in Mahabharata period with a different perspective. It talks about Karna and his exploits. The Sutaputra who had secrets of his own, desire to be the greatest of all and the one who always got caught on the wrong foot. His constant quarrel with destiny seems endless and his fate resolved to ashes. But there's a bright spot in his life and that comes from the unexpected quarters. Uruvi, his wife tries to relive the glory and the disaster of her husband's life through her eyes. 

The story is set off with a different mission at hand. We all are acquainted with the Mahabharata, but this time the mantle is in the hands of Uruvi, Karna's wife to relive her solitary and woeful and probably a less joy filled journey of life. Her husband's exploits and unknown aspects of Karna which could never have been shed light upon. The story starts off with a lot of promise and glorifies the presence of Karna. It removes the dust and rust off from the shoulders of the great warrior and traces a path of magnum glory and glorious downfall. The known elements are a breeze through and the unknown aspects a few. 

The downside of the book is it's venturing out into the familiar territories. Uruvi's point of view gets lost with time and the story turns out to be another of Mahabharata's retelling. There's not much to know about Karna from the eyes of Uruvi plus the author does very little to shed light on Karna's existence. From being a promising start it turns out to be a dull affair as by the end of it, there's very little to rejoice about. 

All in all the book does tries to relive Karna but it fails to spin the magic. The story moves away from the task time and again and becomes more of Kauravas and Pandavas. There's no proper source of enlightenment except for few excerpts, thus making the book a rather timid affair. It's wistful wastage of glorifying the history goes down into a deep dark hole from where there's no turning back. A tale remaining incomplete even after it ends. 


2 OUT OF 5

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