Book review- Draupadi: The Fire-Born Princess

Today, as part of Write Tribe's Festival of Words, I will be showcasing a current household favourite by writer and blogger, Saraswati.

V and I were voracious readers, growing up and I am glad to see that Gy seems to be picking up the reading habit too. Currently, she is captivated by stories of Indian mythology and keeping this in mind, V took her to a bookstore to pick out books for her last birthday.

It was then that they chanced upon Draupadi: The Fire-Born Princess, a graphic novel  written by Saraswati Nagpal and illustrated by Manu.

Although the story of the Mahabharata is a familiar one, what makes this book different is the perspective. It is narrated in the first person and through the eyes of the protagonist, Draupadi.

In a very unique manner, the writer uses the non-linear narrative approach. She begins the story at the end of the tale, with Draupadi walking towards her mortal end. As she looks up and sees her husbands ahead of her, her mind flashes back to the time that she was a princess, her courtship, her life as a queen, the humiliation at the hands of a monster, the agony of exile, the poignant strength she exhibited in the war and the way she dealt with each and every one of those roles.

How does she react to all of the above? With revenge? With compassion? With subdued defiance?

That is what the book covers with fluidity and ease.

Draupadi is depicted as a dark, peerless beauty and that is one of my favourite things about the book. There is, sadly, an obsession with fairness of skin and its equation to beauty in the current, media-controlled scenario. To see a woman be glorified for her strength of character and her humanity is far more beautiful, in my opinion, than the transient physical beauty we can view.

What makes the book stand out:

This is Saraswati's second book in the graphic novel genre, the first being Sita: Daughter of the Earth.

You can read more about the author here and check out other books in the Campfire series here.

A more detailed review of Draupadi can be found at this link.


This is my entry for Day 4 of the week-long Festival of Words for Write Tribe

On 5th March we were asked to do a book review or discuss a book you love in detail.

Click here to read more entries! Thanks for the mention +Corinne Rodrigues !

I'm taking part in the Write Tribe Festival of Words -3

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