Book Review: The Thirteenth Day

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The Thirteenth Day is the tale of the Great War between the cousins – Pandavas and Kauravas. The title announces what can be expected out of the book. The blurb is crisp and describes the story, arousing the reader’s interest. The cover page gives a sneak peek into the battle field and how it would have been.

Mahabharatha is one of the longest and greatest epics. It illustrates what is good and what is bad. It emphasizes that only satya and dharma would win. Generally, Indians grow up listening to these stories. Lord Krishna’s naughtiness as well as shrewdness and Abhimanyu’s courage is always awe-inspiring. Where Suyodhana also referred as Dhuryodhana follows the wrong path along with his uncle Shakuni and a hundred of his brothers, his cousin Yudhishtir with his four brothers follow the path of righteousness.

I am sure that we all know Mahabharatha in bits and pieces. Further, in recent times, it has been retold several times, from different viewpoints. This book retells only the war days, after the fall of Grandsire Bhishma.

The narrative is lucid and simple words are used to tell the story. The dilemma of the Pandavas, the helplessness of Radheya (Karna) and the never ending greed of Suyodhana is well-captured.

However, in a time when the market is flooded with books based on/inspired from Mahabharatha or retelling the same from the perspectives of different characters is a trend, this book seems like just-another in the long list of similar book. Having said that, taking the plot as the last three days of war is different, though it offers nothing new.

I appreciate the author for considering the great epic as history rather than mythology.

In short, this book will surely give a fair idea of how the last three days of war were… It will surely add more perspectives and would let you empathize with each character – they are presented as normal human beings with emotions and not as Demi-Gods who are capable of everything!

As a reader who enjoyed the read in-spite of the familiarity, I would say go for it….

Dive into the known to know the unknown!

Title: The Thirteenth Day
Author: Aditya Iyengar
Publisher/ Imprint: Rupa Publications
Pages: 260
Genre/ Sub-Genre: Fiction/ Historical
Rating: 3.00 of 5
Reviewed for: Author

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