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The Palace of Illusions [Hardcover]

Chitra Divakaruni
4.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (12 customer reviews)

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Book Description

5 Sep 2008

The Palace of Illusions takes us back to a time that is half-history, half-myth, and wholly magical; narrated by Panchaali, the wife of the five Pandava brothers, we are -- finally -- given a woman's take on the timeless tale that is the Mahabharata

Tracing Panchaali's life -- from fiery birth and lonely childhood, where her beloved brother is her only true companion; through her complicated friendship with the enigmatic Krishna; to marriage, motherhood and Panchaali's secret attraction to the mysterious man who is her husbands' most dangerous enemy -- The Palace of Illusions is a deeply human

novel about a woman born into a man's world -- a world of warriors, gods and the ever manipulating hands of fate.

Praise for Queen of Dreams:

'A riveting story, eloquently written. Divakaruni's attention to detail in descriptive passages is beautifully telling' Boston Globe

'Magic, intuition and folklore drawn from India, combined with a darker, contemporary tale that will resonate with anyone who has struggled with modern love, mores and parenthood' USA Today



Product details

  • Hardcover: 384 pages
  • Publisher: Picador (5 Sep 2008)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0330458515
  • ISBN-13: 978-0330458511
  • Product Dimensions: 13.5 x 21.6 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (12 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 710,384 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Product Description

Review

`Blending history and myth, Divakaruni brings a feminist twist to the Mahahbarata, creating her own Indian epic about the wife of the legendary five Pandava brothers.' --The Times

`Divakaruni's languid and elegant prose remains seductive as it reimagines the woman at the heart of the story and weaves myth into a modern idiom.'
--Observer --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

From the Back Cover

Be taken back to a time that is half-history, half-myth, and wholly magical . . .

Narrated by Panchaali, the wife of the five Pandava brothers, The Palace of Illusions finally gives a woman’s take on the timeless tale that is the Mahabharata. Tracing Panchaali’s life from fiery birth and lonely childhood, where her beloved brother is her only true companion; through her complicated friendship with the enigmatic Krishna; to marriage, motherhood, and her secret attraction to the mysterious man who is her husbands’ most dangerous enemy, it’s a deeply human story about a woman born into a man’s world.

Praise for Chitra Banerjee Divakaruni:

‘A dazzling tale of misbegotten dreams and desires, woven with poetry and story teller magic’ AMY TAN on The Mistress of Spices

‘Divakaruni is a brilliant storyteller; she illuminates the world with her artistry, and shakes the reader with her love’ JUNOT DIAZ on The Vine of Desire

--This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

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Customer Reviews

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4.9 out of 5 stars
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A brilliant book 13 April 2010
Format:Paperback
The idea behind this book is amazing - a female perspective on the events of the Mahabharata. Somehow, seeing the story through the eyes of Draupadi, or Panchali as she is often called, gives the story a really human touch. It also gives you a totally different view on things.

I especially love the way Krishna is portrayed in the book. What is clever is the way that that Panchali talks about the rumours she has heard about him being a god, and his strange exploits, and how she is not sure because she cannot believe that he could be a god.

Overall, this book is definitely worth a read. If you know the story of the Mahabharata, then you will enjoy the interesting new perspective on things. And if you do not know the story, then this will be a great introduction for you.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Amazing, insightful & creative writing 24 April 2010
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
Having accidently come across this book I was truly amazed that this book did not get more publicity. It is so well conceptualised and written that it almost qualifies to be a classic. The book humanises the characters of Mahabharata and succeeds in bringing them to life. Reading it I found myself transported to the Mahabharata era and was saddened when the book ended. Thank you for the treat Chitra Divakaruni.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Great book 10 Feb 2014
Format:Paperback
Great book , really good insight to the Mahabharata for a 1st time reader. I read it a while back and it was really well written and how the whole Mahabharata is seen through the eyes of draupadi
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5.0 out of 5 stars Best Divakaruni novel ever 15 Dec 2013
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
I cried when I finished reading this book as I didn't want it to end.
It is superbly written with rich descriptions that tantalise the senses and make you yearn of times long past.
Fascinating read - I wish there were more books and authors like this.
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5.0 out of 5 stars A Must Read 18 Jun 2013
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
The book was recommended by a cousin during a recent visit to India.

This was a definite page turner. Knowing the Mahabharat story from early childhood it was fascinating to see the events through

Draupadi's eyes.

I found it difficult to put the book down.

I'd love to read some more books by the same author.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Beautifully written book on the Mahabharat 21 Dec 2012
Format:Paperback
A females perspective on the Mahabharat, it shows the sensitivity of the characters and what it must have been like to have 5 husbands. My favourtite is the last chapter of the book. It has been beautifully written and very touching. Enjoyed every page of the book and still think about alot of the excerps from it.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars An interesting viewpoint of the classic Bhagavad Gita
As a student of yoga and having read a number of translations of the Bhagavad Gita, I found this a welcome respite from the academic exploration of the spiritual texts. Read more
Published 6 months ago by Mrs Dawn Wesselby-Hughes
5.0 out of 5 stars loved it!
This is a great book giving Draupadi from the Mahabharata a genuine feminine voice. I have always admired Draupadi and used reflections on her in my own book Panchali's Secrets. Read more
Published 20 months ago by PR Dash
5.0 out of 5 stars Beautiful book, great concept, written with richness
One of my favourite epic stories is the Mahabharata. But more importantly, I always felt that Draupadi's view of the events had been neglected and that the story was always told... Read more
Published on 26 Aug 2011 by Reshmi Goff
5.0 out of 5 stars Outstanding
I was utterly drawn in to the world described in the pages of this unassuming novel.
I love books about India but this is a modern take on a very ancient story written from a... Read more
Published on 26 April 2011 by V. Dodd
5.0 out of 5 stars Amazing story retold
Even though it is the great Indian story retold, could not help reading bleary eyed, well into the night! Unpudownable! Read more
Published on 23 Sep 2010 by RAJ
4.0 out of 5 stars gripping!
The story of the Mahabharat through the eyes of Draupadi.
It shows how noble men also had very human weakness.

Once i started reading it I couldnt put it down. Read more
Published on 6 Oct 2008 by rani singh
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