Updated: Sep 8, 2020

Love comes like lightning, and disappears the same way. If you are lucky, it strikes you right. If not, you'll spend your life yearning for a man you can't have.”

By: Chitra Banerjee Divakaruni

The Palace of Illusions, is a retelling of the ancient Hindu epic The Mahabharata. The novel is narrated from the point of view of Panchaali, a princess who is born from fire.

This novel mainly describes about how Panchaali coped with her life, in what ways she overcome her problems. She met a Vyaasa when she was young. He told him that she will marry five husbands and will be a great queen in the future. Also he told that she will be the cause for the sadness and destruction in the kingdom. She never believed in him until his prophecies started to become true. All of the things told by Vyaasa came true. The narrative also provides important insights about her friendship with Krishna and a long lost love that never came to fulfillment. This book also describe about her relationship with the five Pandavas , what sacrifices she had to make to support her husband, what was the cause of the war that was led by her.

This book also clearly define the various roles of men and women in that time. Men were considered warriors as they fought in wars but on the other hand women were considered as domestic property. Women did not gain much respect from men. They were always treated low. They were considered as properties to men and they need to obey them in any matter. As when it was the time for Panchaali to get married, his father arranged a swayamvar for her. Whosoever won the contest that his had arranged for swayamvar would be her husband. She did not get choose for herself.

This book is real love from the point of Panchaali and her struggles.

Reading this book is really very mesmerizing.

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