Long before the times of Draupadi and Sita
Immortalised in the hymns of the Rig Veda
But largely forgotten to the memory of India
Is the Warrior Queen with an iron leg, Vishpala
The reason i like to read mythological fiction is that it gives me a chance to know of the stories that are not popular and hence are not narrated or passed to our generations. Even if the stories are fictionalized or mixed with other tales from that time / era , it is still another addition to my knowledge of stories of the ancient India.
Avishi is story of the girl , destined for great things in her life and so is rescued by foresight of great Maharishi Vahini who silently guards and guides everyone onto their paths. After the death of her father , Avishi is brought up in the ashram of Naimisha , the learning center and center of dharma in the enchanted forest. There she becomes a warrior and when time comes , she sets out to fulfill her destiny and her duty to the kingdom where she was born. she was after all, to be the queen. What is most remarkable part of this narrative is how the author has added other aspect of the life of those times. I would not want to give spoilers or mention some of the research areas but be assured that you will learn a lot about the evolution of society and knowledge while reading this book.
The references mentioned in the end of the book are an indication how well thought and crafted this book is. Apart from telling the story of Avishi , it is a book that has some important lessons to offer in terms of leadership and keeping a community close. Much thought was given to the conversations and the strategic part of the story.
And now to the flaws , i totally disliked the story arc of Avishi's mate Satya in the middle of the book. Also , his character , though him being a genius with herbs was not much likeable. Plus the climax was a little stretched out and after reading the book , you would expect better fight scene. That scene looked unreal to me , unlike the rest of the story.
But this is just me having high expectation from the author perhaps ;)
My rating : 4/5