We all have grown up with the story of Padmavati. We have heard the tales of the beauty of Rani Padmini from our grandparents, told to us with certain pride. I wanted to read something on the Queen before the release of the most controversial movie of recent times. I read an article from a historian of British origin which made me realise that it is no more a homespun news. Western media is eying us, watching our every move. I decided to quit the media and read what history has to say about the queen. I picked up this book fully aware that it was a historical fiction that may not give me my answers. I disliked it nevertheless.
The cover art is the most disappointing part of the book. Unfortunately, it does not say anything about the credibility of the author but it still affects the reader. The cover here features what looks like a newly married woman. The picture itself is hazy. The golden font does not help the cover image at all. The back cover is better but sadly it is not the first thing you see.
The book is about Padmini, a princess, who marries a man already married, for political alliance. Padmini is beautiful beyond words, she is a gifted singer, possesses a brilliant mind and a indomitable spirit. She is sharp, intelligent and witty. Sarv gun Sampann. The character sketch is honey laced. She is also a gossip seeking queen. Khilji on the other hand is the gruesome ruler that everyone relishes demeaning.
His features with extraordinarily crooked teeth that ensured he could never be handsome. He was short of stature and hefty, his physique disproportionate with skinny limbs and a swollen belly. But there was something about his eyes. Those who took note remarked they burned with a fiery passion that lit up his face.
Rawal Ratan Singh, on the other hand, is just another king smitten by his new bride.
The Book traces the life of Padmini since her birth to her death in Jauhar. The book begins with Allauddin Khilji killing his father-in-law with assistance of his wife. The consecutive chapter describes Princess Padmavati in her palace. Her beauty and voice is appreciated like any Rajashree movie’s prime female cast. She is the idealised princess that everyone talks about. Then comes a marriage proposal that could save them all from Khilji. It requires Padmini to marry Rawal Ratan Singh.
Thus she enters the palace in Chittor as its queen. Everything that follows is told and retold time and again. But the book feels like a daily soap. The story moves rather fast, hardly gives you time to relish the events. The descriptions are rather clichéd. It was a tedious task getting through the book. It is definitely not what I was expecting in the book. A disappointment.
The book is written in simple short sentences. There is a linear flow in the story that makes you glide through the book but does nothing to captivate you.
This one is rather tricky. There is nothing absolutely amazing in the book. It falls in a rift between a good book and a bad one.
The cover is boring. The characters are right out of a daily soap. The content is non-captivating. The language does no good in engrossing you into the story.
The book is nothing I had expected from it. It is not a terribly bad book but it is nothing great either.
Whom do I recommend this to
To history enthusiasts mostly.
There is no animal as a wounded one. He will lash out at all and sundry, leaving a trail of death, destruction and pain, enough to mirror his own.
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