An epic story … poignantly told’ Hindustan Times
‘Radiant … A charming and remarkable book’ Houston Chronicle ‘As bright a gem as the Hope Diamond’Los Angeles Times
‘A daring novel’ Vogue India
Be taken back to a time that is half history, half myth, and wholly magical …
First published in 2008, Chitra Banerjee Divakaruni’s The Palace of Illusions has received wide acclaim for giving a woman’s take on the timeless tale that is the Mahabharata. Narrated by Panchaali, wife of the five Pandava brothers, the novel traces her life from fiery birth and lonely childhood, where her beloved brother is her only true companion; through her complicated friendship with the enigmatic Krishna; to marriage, motherhood and her secret attraction to the mysterious man who is her husbands’ most dangerous enemy. This tenth anniversary edition, complete with a new author’s note, celebrates once again a remarkable and deeply human story about a woman born into a man’s world.
‘By rendering the women characters as complexly as the men … Divakaruni’s historic and transporting variation adds new and truly revelatory psychological and social dimensions to the great epic’s indelible story of sacrifice and spiritual awakening’ Booklist ‘An epic story … poignantly told’ Hindustan Times ‘A radiant entree into an ancient mythology … Remarkable’ Houston Chronicle ‘The Palace of Illusions is unique, amongst Divakaruni’s very best … A creative, illuminating feminist work’ India Currents
‘An intimate, feminine portrait that is both contemporary and timeless’ Kirkus Reviews ‘Divakaruni has taken a male-centred story and breathed new life into its female characters, giving us a rich tale of passion and love, power and weakness, honour and humiliation … entertaining, insightful and suspenseful’ Library Journal‘A mythic tale brimming with warriors, magic and treachery … Divakaruni’s sentences dazzle; the images she creates are masterful’ Los Angeles Times ‘Enchanting … Divakaruni’s storytelling talents put her right up there with the best’ Miami Herald ‘Divakaruni’s prose is as spirited as Panchaali herself, written with energy and humour’ Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel
‘Vivid and inventive … Divakaruni’s rich, action-filled narrative contrasts well with the complex psychological portrait of a mythic princess’ Publishers Weekly ‘Complex, beautifully wrought … Divakaruni’s feminist reading of Indian lore offers readers a magical lens into the political interplay of gender, castes, birthright and life in the monarchy’ Rocky Mountain News
‘The Palace of Illusions is not only an exciting, action-packed read, but also an educating one, and will likely encourage those curious enough to delve into the original Mahabharata’ Toronto Star
‘A daring novel … inhabited by kings, queens, villains and sorcerers’ Vogue India
About the Author
Chitra Banerjee Divakaruni’s books include the bestselling novels The Mistress of Spices (longlisted for the Orange Prize), Queen of Dreams and Sister of My Heart, the prizewinning story collections Arranged Marriage and The Unknown Errors of Our Lives, and the ‘Conch Bearer’ series for children. She teaches creative writing at the University of Houston.