The Palace of Illusions
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The Palace of Illusions (English, Paperback, Chitra Banerjee Divakaruni)

The Palace of Illusions  (English, Paperback, Chitra Banerjee Divakaruni)

4.4
1,789 Ratings & 207 Reviews
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    Highlights
    • Language: English
    • Binding: Paperback
    • Publisher: Picador
    • ISBN: 9780330458535, 0330458531
    • Edition: 1st, 2009
    • Pages: 384
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  • Description

    The Palace Of Illusions, written by Chitra Divakaruni, is a tale of honor and humiliation, love and passion, kings and queens, featuring the epic story of the Mahabharata, but from a female perspective.

    Summary Of The Book

    The Palace Of Illusions is a modern retelling of the epic Mahabharata, through the eyes of Panchaali (Draupadi), the wife of the famous Pandava brothers. Divakaruni has rewritten this epic from a female perspective. The focus of the story has shifted from the original war and honour, to more humanistic concerns. It is an epic saga, surrounding the events of Panchali’s life, while growing up in a male dominated world. The Mahabharata is a narrative about the Kurukshetra war between two families, the Pandavas and the Kauravas.

    Panchali is the protagonist of Divakaruni's story. She is a young girl born out of a special fire ritual that was performed by her father, King Drupada. Right from the start, she leads a lonely and unusual life, without the care of a mother. Her sole companion is her brother, Dhristadhyumna, who was also born out of fire. Panchaali is characterized as an atypical female as she is a woman who is outspoken, self confident, and defiant. She is also interested in the art of warfare and the politics of monarchy.

    Her life changes when she falls in love and ends up married to all the five Pandava brothers. As a result of unfortunate circumstances, she ends up living as a servant, and watches her family suffer through a terrible turn of events. The story explores different areas of Panchaali’s life, such as her husbands’ fight to regain their kingdom, and her intriguing friendship with Lord Krishna. Things become more complicated when she is attracted to Karna, a fierce and noble warrior, who is also the Pandavas’ enemy.

    The Palace Of Illusions is a woman’s struggle for survival in a man’s world. This book was published in 2009 by Pan Macmillan India.

    About Chitra Banerjee Divakaruni

    Chitra Banerjee Divakaruni is a poet, author, and professor of writing at the University of Houston. Her writing repertoire covers numerous genres. Some of her published titles are Black Candle, Leaving Yuba City, The Brotherhood Of The Conch, and Shadowland.

    Apart from writing, Divakaruni is the former president of Maitri, a helpline geared for South Asian women who are experiencing domestic abuse. She is also a board member of Pratham, a non profit organization which tries to bring literacy to underprivileged Indian children. Divakaruni is married to Murthy, and lives in Houston, Texas, with their two sons.

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    Specifications
    Book Details
    • Publication Year
      • 2009
    Contributors
    • Author Info

      • Chitra Banerjee Divakaruni’s books include the bestselling novels The Mistress of Spices (longlisted for the Orange Prize), Queen of Dreams and Sister of My Heart, the prizewinning story collections Arranged Marriage and The Unknown Errors of Our Lives, and the ‘Conch Bearer’ series for children. She teaches creative writing at the University of Houston and divides her time between Houston and the San Francisco Bay area.
    Dimensions
    • Weight
      • 310 g
    Frequently Bought Together
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    Ratings and Reviews
    4.4
    1,789 Ratings &
    207 Reviews
    • 5
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    • 4
       415
    • 3
       128
    • 2
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    4

    A woman's take

    Hasnt it ever passed your mind that when men and Gods took decisions for the 'greater good', what the women in their time went through?

    Panchaali had a unique life and a unique destiny - and she was indeed born to change the course of history. However, the book tells you the story of the great Indian epic that has been remembered for its heroes and Krishna from a woman's point of view. The characters come alive as the protagonists husbands and friends and the story unfolds as the character ...
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    Janki Vora

    Certified Buyer

    6 Mar, 2012

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    4

    What a gripping and beautiful read!!

    I was quick to dismiss the book as another version of Mahabharata but still went ahead and bought it on a friend's recommendation.

    Well, I was in for a treat. The book talks about Draupadi's raw human feelings and tendencies. Her bond with Krishna, her "arrangement" with five brothers, her longing for Karan and her Mother-in-Law woes with Kunti.

    The book does tend to drag a bit before the battle begins but makes up for it with the day-to-day version of the battle.

    The magnanimity of the di...
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    Garima Jain

    Certified Buyer

    28 May, 2012

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    3

    Read, Think, Debate the Perspective, but don't Judge the Epic!

    Draupadi with her unique destiny, born with a purpose is a key character in the Epic.In TPOI, the author makes a brave attempt to decode the elusiveness of Draupadi, by a narrative from the protagonist who herself is entangled in the author's pursuit.

    I particularly enjoyed some deviations in the book, that could have been quite a possibility. Specially her meeting with the Sage Veda Vyasa was a very intelligent addition along with the addition of dhai ma & the sorceress. Also the equation ...
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    Aishwarya Omprakash

    Certified Buyer

    26 Aug, 2012

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    4

    A treat !!!

    It was a treat to read this book.. I found it totally gripping and it stayed in my system for a while after I had read it...

    I say, why be judgemental on whether Draupadi had a crush on Karna or not?? Even if she did feel for him, what is wrong with that? She did have 5 husbands alright, but was it her decision to be married to all 5 of them?? She was still a woman of virtue who kept her feelings to herself and did what a good wife must...

    It was nice to look at Mahabharta through Draupadi'...
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    Nikita Bhutani

    Certified Buyer

    27 Sep, 2011

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    2

    Not for serious reading

    The intro to the book- that it presented Draupadi's perspective of an age-old story, is what got me interested initially. But after a few pages itself, it became clear that the book lacked the deep intricacies of a story where the lines between dharma-adharma, good-evil and truth-mithya is but a notion. The book provides a very superficial overview of the story, and the characters, each of which could have been portrayed in a very unique way- have been reduced to just ordinary people, caught ...
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    Meenal Purohit

    Certified Buyer

    24 Sep, 2012

    5
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    4

    Not bad

    Takes some getting used to, but the idea is sound and the flow is smooth. Looking from another perspective should never entail relooking at the entire story, but only reimagining it from the point of view of a new character. The lessons learnt should remain and each new version should add to the pool of knowledge, not redact from it.
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    Wyrm Book

    Certified Buyer

    4 Jun, 2014

    3
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    5

    Absolutely Delightful!

    CBD has outdone herself with this one. I admit to being biased to magical realism, and even more so with CBD's narrative style, I couldn't have found a better application for the genre!
    The book is a sensory delight; the imagery, the characters and the narrative itself unwind to show the machinations of a highly-imaginative artist's mind.
    Panchaali's character is the only one she seems to have deemed worth developing-given that she is the life of the book. Consequently, only those characters...
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    Anu Iyer

    Certified Buyer

    6 Jun, 2012

    3
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    2

    Overpriced

    Product quality is too poor. Pages are of so low quality and text font is very small that you don't even want to read the book.
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    Karan Garg

    Certified Buyer

    4 Feb, 2017

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    4

    Mahabharata- Panchalis perspective

    This is the story of Mahabharatha as seen through the eyes of Draupadi. Right from the beginning of the book to the end, the way the character is molded is really worth appreciating.Each emotion of Draupadi is felt and sympathasized..the friendship and dialogue of Krishna and Draupadi is the highlight of the book. Beautifully written, it captures the multitude of emotions that Draupadi goes through; rage, vengeance, love, jealousy, pride, sorrow etc. and how her emotions play out her destiny ...
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    Archana Akhramka

    Certified Buyer

    26 Jun, 2013

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    4

    It was an epic....

    I have read a couple of books on mahabharata but this book supercedes them all. Its a delicate intricate web of feminine emotions. For once i could relate to the characters as actual people.
    It is a must read.
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    Ritika

    Certified Buyer

    22 Oct, 2011

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    Questions and Answers
    Q:what is the difference between this book and the book whose cover does not have purple patch of line?
    A:no difference book is same😊
    Tushant pahujaCertified Buyer
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    Q:How many pages this book consist of?
    A:almost 350, i hope...
    ARKA CHAKRABORTYCertified Buyer
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    Q:Is it abridge or unabridged
    A:it's unabridged!
    Tanisha ChoudhuryCertified Buyer
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