he great saga of Gods, demi-gods, and talking monkeys; of sibling rivalry that goes on for a dreadful amount of time, and ridiculous obstinate oaths that cannot be broken. The story of ideals and morals, sacrifices and love; of innovative ways to conceive a child, and enigmatic and flawed characters. This is Indian mythology.
It is a narrative where imagination and reality merges to give us an extraordinary tale weaved by magic and divine powers.
Here, creativity knows no bounds.
Mythology fiction has found a vast reader base with authors having a rich fountain of mythological knowledge to fall back on. With different versions of the same myth, this water of knowledge runs deep.
Here is a list of 5 mythology fiction books by Indian authors who mesmerize with their words. They are India’s response to the likes of Dan Brown and Rick Riordan.
1. The Shiva Trilogy by Amish Tripathi
The Immortals of Meluha, which is the first instalment of the trilogy, begins with the arrival of Shiva, a Tibetan warrior in the (strange) land of Meluha. What starts as a necessary migration, away from his barbaric land, ends up in a long journey into Godhood.
Published in 2010, the book became an instant hit with readers and enjoyed a huge commercial success. And rightly so, for never had people witnessed the human side of the Mahadev.
The story of Shiva, Sati, and Ganesh has been reimagined into a fascinating story. This extraordinary tale spans over two equally popular sequels: “The Secret of the Nagas” and “The Oath of the Vayuputras”.
2. The Palace of Illusions by Chitra Banerjee Divakaruni
Pandavas and Kauravas need no introductions. Their story continues to be retold through television serials, school chapters, and your grandparents.
However, one voice almost always seems to be left out. This is absurd because the voice belongs to the very person for whom this Great War was proclaimed.
“The Palace of Illusions” tells the familiar story of the Mahabharata as Draupadi witnessed it.
This is the narration of the courageousPanchaali who is married off to the five Pandava brothers, as she harbours a secret love for another.
Just to freshen up your memory, Draupadi was pawned off by her husbands in a game of Shatranj. A loss that was followed by her open humiliation in a court filled with men while her “heroic” five husbands stood in shame.
3. Sita: An Illustrated Retelling of the Ramayana by DevduttPattanaik
With Sita, the most well-known mythologist of the county joins the rank of retellings through women’s viewpoint. Just like all his books, Sita is well-researched, well-structured, and well-informative.
If you are not easily distracted by small boxes, you will find he also gives his readers a glimpse into different version of the same myth. While Ramayana mostly focuses on Ram the Great, Sita gives you an insight into the woman’s world in a largely patriarchal society.
4. Sita’s Sister by Kavita Kane
After her immensely popular “Karna’s Wife”, Kavita repeats her magic with Ramayana, as she explores a largely ignored character in this great epic.
“Sita’s Sister” is Ramayana retold from the perspective of Urmila, Sita’s younger sister and Lakshmana’s wife. While reading Ramayana, one often wonders what happened to Lakshmana’s wife who was left behind by him for 14 years. With this book, we finally know.
5. Asura: Tale of the Vanquished by AnandNeelakantan
“Winners write history”. Maybe this is why, we know so little about the other side.
Anand’s “Asura” is yet another retelling of Ramayana, but this time, from the main Villain, Ravanasperspective.
The book forces you to reassess your understanding of this great tale.