Hi everyone! I hope you are doing well. I am finally bringing you a book that is based on a mythology that is not Greek. Excitingly enough, this is my first foray into Indian mythology. I am only somewhat familiar with some of the gods and goddesses associated with India so I was incredibly interested in learning more. I also just really, really, really wanted to talk about this book in general. Now, let’s finally talk about Kaikeyi
Content Warning: Some Battle Scenes, Some Descriptions of Injuries, Discussions and Depictions of Misogyny
As the only daughter among seven sons, Kaikeyi was raised on the grand stories of the amazing feats of the gods and goddesses. It is her only escape from the reality faces as the raja’s daughter. As she grows older, she witnesses her father banish her mother for seemingly no reason. Soon after, he arranges a marriage for her as the third wife of a powerful raja. As much as Kaikeyi prays, the gods never seem to answer. She decides, then, to take matters into her own hands. She discovers how to use magic to strengthen her influence, which allows her to become a respected radnyi as she paves the way for women’s independence. When evils that only existed in childhood tales become very real threats, Kaikeyi must fight to save everything she loves. She soon, however, must make a choice: to save the family she so dearly loves or prevent a war between her homeland and the land she made her home.
I don’t like to be hyperbolic in my reviews but I truly mean it when I say that this novel was incredible. Vaishnavi Patel does an incredible job balancing fantastical story elements, compelling drama, and heart-wrenching tragedy. Kaikeyi is such a fascinating narrator who is so wonderfully complex in her own unique way. I love the way all of the characters are so complex in a way only families can be. No one is really the villain while no one is really the hero in this particular retelling. The writing itself is equal parts beautiful and serviceable to the overall plot. I really cannot stress just how fantastic every last element of this novel was. I was truly entranced by every element of this novel as it was unpredictable in the best way. Put this book at the very top of your priority list. Kaikeyi is a one – of – a – kind experience that everyone should give a chance to.