Review: Rani Padmavati: The Burning Queen

Rani Padmavati: The Burning Queen by Anuja Chandramouli

(I received a free copy of this book from the author in exchange for an honest review.)

Padmavati is the most beautiful queen Chittor has ever had. Everyone who sees her is enthralled by her grace and goodness. When the greedy gaze of the Sultan ofDelhi, Alauddin Khalji, falls upon Chittor and its queen, Padmavati’s flawless beauty turns against her, because it inspires both love and hate in equal measure.Beset by the threat of an invasion and scheming political rivals who are envious of her immense popularity, Rani Padmavati must rise to the demands of war and fight for everything she believes in. This is the story of a remarkable woman who lived gently, loved passionately and embraced her destiny with unmatched courage.

Seeing as the story is historical in nature and of a much older time, I’m not sure how to comment upon the characters but I must say the author does a great job of portraying these historical figures as everyday people. When reading about historical figures in a history book we often forget that they were actual people with feelings, desires and a life other than the ‘big picture’. In this book, the author shows us these characters in such a way that we can understand them.

The story follows that of Padmavati, who went on to become to Queen of Chittor. To those who are well versed with Indian history, she is also in many books referred to as Padmini. Queen Padmavati is famous for having committed Jauhar (Self-Immolation) rather than being captured by the invader Alauddin Khalji who had taken over Chittor. This particular historical fiction focuses more on the love between the Queen and her Husband, King Rawal Ratan Singh. More than the actual war itself, the story focuses on what goes on within the palace walls; the scheming of those in power, those scorned and those envious.

I also liked how the story was not just from Queen Padmavati’s point of view. It’s also from Alauddin Khalji’s perspective and gives a glimpse into what sort of a man he could have been.

The author writes in a simple language that flows beautifully. I enjoyed her wonderful descriptions that didn’t deter the flow of the story in any way. I did find it a little annoying that we’re constantly told how beautiful and clever and wonderful Padmavati is. I wished we could have seen more depth in her personality through her actions and not the descriptions by the author.

Throughout the various problems of the society that existed back then and still do now are brought out; like sexism, discrimination and such. She brings it all out in a such a way that we can truly understand the plight of those affected.

-The writing
-The plot flow
-Seeing the story from the antagonist’s PoV too

-There was more tell than show when it came to characterization

Beautifully written and wonderfully presented, this book is perfect for those who love learning about historical figures but not through a history textbook.



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