04 May, 2019

#BookReview :: Rani Padmavati by Anuja Chandramouli

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I delayed reading this book because of all the hype caused by the release of ‘Padmavat’ and I wanted to delve into the book with a fresh mind.

The book tells us the story of Rani Padmini, the Queen consort of Rawal Ratan Singh of Chittor.  The book’s focus is on the story of the Queen, her relationship and love story with the King, the court politics and the power game which is played in every kingdom. At the same time the book also gives us the point of view of Alauddin Khalji, humanizing him to a point for the readers.

Rani Padmavati’s story has become a sort of folklore where in different people have different beliefs about what exactly happened. As such, there is much potential for the story to be exploited in different ways and this book, Anuja gives us her version of it. Rani Padmini is beautiful, intelligent and expert at navigating the court. She has a genuine love relationship with her husband and the respect is mutual. As the protagonist she is ‘almost’ perfect. I did wish for a little more description, details and depth when it came to her character. Ratan Singh is an honest and fair ruler who sincerely cares for his subjects. Though I am not very sure he was wise when it came to handling his first wife. Nagmati, is Ratan Singh’s first wife who is miffed by the relationship between Padmini and Ratan Singh and turns vengeful. As for Alauddin Khalji, he is a conqueror at heart but also a man of principles. His treatment of the ladies in his life is repulsive though. The author also painted a picture of the different dynamics between the different Rajput kingdoms. 

This is probably my least favourite book by Anuja Chandramouli. It is mainly because of the simplicity of the plot and the much discussed protagonist which is a tad bit unusual considering the author’s other books.  Yet the book had my interest right from the beginning and right till the end because the author’s storytelling is as impeccable as ever. 

Review Copy received from the Author

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