‘The Palace of Illusions’-Chitra Banerjee Divakaruni

I read this novel almost a month back; what took me so long to write this review? Honestly, it was not because I didn’t find time to post a review but it was the munching that was being done by the mind after reading the novel. And it doesn’t stop there. I also got the entire Mahabharata TV series, that most of us have seen in our childhood, and watched it again; there are some 94 episodes ! Not only did my childhood memories rekindled but a newer perception to look at the story was formed. I’m glad I picked this boon on recommendations from so many blog friends, truly it does justice to the expectations one has built on reading raving reviews!

About the book


 Chitra Banerjee Divakaruni [CBD]

Picture of the Author




Price [INR]




Main Plot

The epic tale-Mahabharata.

No. of Characters

1 main lead

Tone of writing

Narrative, Capturing, Assertive & Reminiscing.
My take on the book

Do I recommend the book?

Yes, very much.

The reasons I liked the book

>It showcases one of the sides of Mahabharata. The Panchali’s side.>It has the essence of all emotions of women. How giving a woman could be, how sacrificing, how intelligent and how her anger can get worlds collide into each other.

>The book appropriately describes Draupadi’s point of view, her feelings, her aspirations; anything and everything related to her very existence- right from her birth to the day she got married to 5 men, to the day she was humiliated by Duryodhan, to the day when she took oath to take revenge and to the day when she and her husbands came out as winners yet she lost so much!

>The writing has a flow, which takes you with it; you don’t want to stop reading it at any time. Even if you put it down, the next time you pick it up the flow continues. That’s brilliant writing, according to me!

>The author has done a deep study of the epic tale of Indian history and has done justice to the original plot.

>One might have seen and read Mahabharata several times, or must remember the TV series from their childhood, but the version that CBD has presented, is not seen or heard, I’m sure!

>The story takes you to the nooks and corners of Indraprastha, Hastinapur and eventually Kurukshetra.

>It’s immensely commendable how one can feel the jealousy that Duryodhan felt, the anger that Bheem felt, the vengeance that Draupadi felt, the unspoken love in Karna’s heart for Draupadi, the unconditional love of the 5 brothers for each other… every single aspect of Mahabharata can be felt because of the way it has been written.

>I absolutely loved the fact that it is not named on the lines of Mahabharata but it is named what it should’ve been-The Palace of Illusions, cause that’s what it is all about! The Indrapastha was the palace of illusions from where it all got kick started, the entire tale is an illusion in itself because everyone can have his or her own view on the parts of Mahabharata. It is all illusive yet real!

>It makes your heart ache for the love that Karna could never express, It makes you feel unjustified for the boundaries that Bheeshma gets himself surrounded by, it makes you feel sorry for Gandhari who lost everything even without being a part of the conspiracy her brother weaved and with all these emotions and more, at the end of it all you feel why it had to happen because it just took so much from every person involved in the story and had after effects too!

On the other hand

>For the very first time there is a book, for which I don’t have not a single negative remark to list or maybe the pluses of the book would not give a chance to the reader to invest time in finding negatives J