2 January 2018

Review #694: The Fisher Queen's Dynasty by Kavita Kané

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

“If you want to see the brave, look at those who can forgive. If you want to see the heroic, look at those who can love in return for hatred.”

----Krishna Dharma

Kavita Kané, an Indian bestselling author, has penned an inspiring and extremely compelling mythological tale inspired from the characters from the Indian epic mythology, Mahabharata in her new book called, The Fisher Queen's Dynasty that revolves around two key protagonists, one ordinary woman, denied of her royal birth-right who grows up under the care of a meager-fisherman, and later claims to the throne of Hastinapur by her clever tricks, but sadly she becomes a pawn to the dirty politics of the state, turning her into a bitter and wicked queen and the other, a handsome prince, who is the true heir to the throne to Hastinapur, but he sacrifices away his chance to become the king in order to fulfill his father's romantic wishes to marry a fisher-girl. The woman is known as Satyavati, the grandmother to Pandu and Dhritarashtra and the man is known as Bhism, the son of Ganga.


‘I learnt to love like a man—to love without feelings. And I shall never forget this lesson.’

Matsyagandha, Daseyi, Yojanagandha — the queen of Hastinapur, Satyavati. Abandoned as a baby, preyed on by a rishi, she hardens herself, determined that the next time she is with a man, she will be the one to win. And win she does: the throne of Hastinapur for herself, and the promise that her sons will be heirs to the kingdom. But at what cost?

In a palace where she is disdained and scorned, Satyavati must set aside her own loss and pain if she is to play the game of politics. She learns to be ruthless, unscrupulous — traits that estrange her from everyone around. Everyone, except the man she cheated of his birthright.

A piercing, insightful look at the grand matriarch of the Kuru family, the woman who set off the sequence of events that ended in the bloody battle of Kurukshetra, The Fisher Queen’s Dynasty will re-align your reading of the Mahabharata.

Two babies, one girl and one boy, twins, born out of wedlock to a king of a land, turns fateful for the infant girl, whose skin is as dark as the night, who is abandoned by her king father and given away to a poor fisher man. This fisher man happily takes the little girl under his wing and brings her up like his own daughter, who is called Satyavati, but people around his village commonly call her as "Kali" due to her dark skin. Satyavati may not have been born with the good looks, but she has been born with a sharp mind of her own, which she uses to seduce a highly-acclaimed rishi and later seduces the king of Hastinapur to become his queen. But sadly her life becomes another piece of puzzle to solves the political troubles in the state.

The son of Ganga and the king of Hastinapur grows up to become a responsible and a very kind man with intellect, handsome looks and princely attributes that easily the stole the hearts of his kingdom's people. Unfortunately his destiny to become the king of Hastinapur gets destroyed when his old father decides to marry a meager fisher girl out of lust, as a result to honor his father's wishes, he makes a vow that he will never compete for the throne ever and that the meager fisher girl's sons will become the right heir to the throne. And this man is commonly knows as Bhism who not only burnt a handful of hearts followed by lifelong and deadly curses, but also gave up his material desires for his own father.

This is the first time that I read any book by this author and now I'm regretting on the fact that why couldn't I find this author sooner in my life. Even though I'm not that much of a fan of reading mythological fiction, yet Kane's book on certain characters from the epic Mahabharata is extremely interesting, enthralling and engrossing to its very core. And yes, this book left me hungry for more Kavita Kane penned books, I'm sure her previous book too are equally riveting like this one.

The author has re-imagined the character of Satyavati, the grandmother to Pandu and Dhritarashtra in a vivid manner. She has brought her alive by giving her a compelling and intellect demeanor who is also emotional and protective towards her own children. And her evolution through time, ages, hardships and challenges, is strikingly portrayed through the fast-moving chapters. And the author has gone deep into her roots to give her a strong personality who is bound to leave an impression in the hearts and souls of the readers long after the story has ended. Her journey to womanhood is not an easy one and her challenges and troubles that made her cold hearted towards men is very well justified by the author. I fell for Satyavati and after reading this tale, I had a lot of respect for her in my heart.

Sadly, the character of Bhism is not that well developed, but that's not an issue since the story is solely based on the sad and tragic life of Satyavati. Then again, Bhism could have had some edge of his own in this story. I felt his story to be really heart breaking. The rest of the supporting characters are penned with enough depth and honesty so that the readers can easily contemplate with their plights.

The author's writing style is really brilliant and articulate and is laced with emotions and drama to make it extremely alluring for the readers. The pacing is fast ans smooth and with an elegant prose, the story will sway the readers along with its rhythmic tune. The narrative is engaging and evocative enough to keep the readers glued to the pages of the book ill the very end. And the author has done her research well and with an imaginative mind of hers that knows no bounds, this story is surely going to keep the readers arrested into the story line. And the visually imaginative scenes add the cheer on the top to this already spellbinding tale.

In a nutshell, I revisited the lands where the great epic of India, the Mahabharata has taken place through this captivating story about a sharp-witted queen and her demons, both internal and external.

Verdict: A fascinating mythological fiction about a regular woman rising above her stature through challenges and sacrifices.

Courtesy: Thanks to the publishers from Westland Publications for giving me the opportunity to read and review this book.

Author Info:
A senior journalist with a career of over two decades, which includes working for Magna publication and DNA, she quit her job as Assistant Editor of Times of India to devote herself as a full time author. A self-styled aficionado of cinema and theatre and sufficiently armed with a post-graduate degree in English Literature and Mass Communication from the University of Pune, the only skill she knows, she candidly confesses, is writing.
Karna's Wife her debut novel, (2013)was a bestseller. Her second novel - Sita's Sister (2014) also deals with another enigmatic personality - Urmila, probably the most overlooked character in the Ramayan. Menaka's Choice(2015) ,another best-seller, is about the famous apsara and her infamous liaison with Vishwamitra the man she was sent to destroy. Lanka's Princess (2016) is her fourth book based on Ravan's sister, Surpanakha, the Princess of Lanka who was also its destroyer...
Born in Mumbai, a childhood spent largely in Patna and Delhi , Kavita currently lives in Pune with her mariner husband Prakash and two daughters Kimaya and Amiya with Chic the black cocker spaniel and Cotton the white, curious cat.
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