A novel by Krishna Udayasankar Honour. 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.

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Perhaps the most popular of them all is Greek mythology. There have been many writers who have tried to re-tell the stories in a way that does not make the characters into demi-gods and instead portray them as normal human beings who do great things. David Gemmell has always been my favourite for his version of the Greek mythology. Only the Shiva Trilogy was anywhere close to a good re-telling. But The Aryavarta Chronicles 1: Govinda was on a whole different level!

Udayashankar did an extraordinary job in giving the readers a more realistic version of what could have happened in the tale of the Mahabharata. There are no godly characters that are flawless, but every one of them, including the protagonist Govinda Shauri, commander of Dwaraka, has human failings that make it all the more interesting to read.

There are 2 factions, the Firstborn and the Firewrights. The Firstborn are scholars who have an immense knowledge of the scriptures while the Firewrights are inventors and scientists. But when they fail to redirect the Saraswati River as promised and instead cause destruction, all the kings of Aryavarta take it upon themselves, with the help of the Firstborn, to wipe out the Firewrights.

The complex politics and the various missions that are carried out are what make the book a fantastic read. Even Panchali was a memorable character, playing an important role in the events in the entire book. There are numerous characters in the book, as would be expected from any story that bases itself on the Mahabharata.

However, the narration is really good, and the reader would not feel any problem in keeping track of all the different threads of the story. This is especially made easy by the author due to the fact that a majority of the story is centered around one character, Govinda Shauri. I urge you to pick up The Aryavarta Chronicles 1: Govinda as this is one of the better books written by Indian authors. You will not be disappointed and would definitely want to read the rest of the trilogy!


Krishna Udayasankar

Start your review of Kaurava The Aryavarta Chronicles, 2 Write a review Shelves: read , fantasy-and-scifi , indian-classics-and-retellings , politics-feminism-religion , 4-star Its been a while since Ive felt invested and excited enough to binge read a fantasy trilogy, but thats exactly what Govinda did to me. I couldnt even imagine reading anything other than this sequel because I had to know what happens next. And Im so happy that I did exactly that. This review might have some spoilers for the first book, so please be mindful of that before proceeding. The magic that the author wove in Govinda is still present in this sequel, but she also manages to make this a bit more different in tone because of the ominous events that take place. While the first book had us moving across Aryavarta, the world here is expanded to include the desert lands of Matsya and I loved how it was described as a kingdom that strove to be prosperous despite its isolation from the empire for generations. I particularly enjoyed how this book raises a lot of questions, that can even be relevant today if we give them deeper thought.

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Shelves: fantasy-and-scifi , indian-classics-and-retellings , politics-feminism-religion , favorites , read , 5-star While I was wowed by the author Krishnas short story in Magical Women and have been waiting to read her latest Beast which my trusted friends really swear by , it didnt occur to me that I already owned her debut trilogy and never actually read it. Mahabharata is my favorite book in the world and nothing will ever change that. The author has decided to strip the divinity from the epic and retell it as a socio-political saga of the kingdoms of Aryavarta, and I think she succeeds at it very well. The central conflict around which the story revolves here is something new, and that definitely makes it feel like a refreshing tale.


The Aryavarta Chronicles #1: Govinda | Krishna Udayasankar | Book Review

Govinda The Aryavarta Chronicles Govinda The Aryavarta Chronicles About book: The mountains gently sloped into a fair stretch of grassland with alternating bogs of marsh and sand, leading ultimately to a gem-flecked stretch of blue promise. The untamed sea fell, relentless, against a harsh, rocky coast, each defying the other in playful battle. In the middle of the foaming waters, connected by a series of foam-covered shoals, rose a mighty rock edifice. Waves beat relentlessly against the stone, and were broken into white foam, churned into golden spray. From the core of the rock, a city rose, floating between the sky and sea. Towering white spires made of crystal caught the sun, dispersing its rays in a medley of fire and colour that could be seen all the way to Gomanta, where Partha now stood. At night, the city would reflect the soft light of the moon, like a pearl that tossed on the waves of the ocean.

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