Kavita Kane writes about female protagonists who haven’t been given much importance in our epics. This book explores Surpanakha’s character in deep detail, including her fear and negativity.
Surpanakha, Ravan’s infamous sister—ugly and untamed, brutal and brazen. This is how she is commonly perceived. One whose nose was sliced off by an angry Lakshman and the one who started a war but was she really just perpetrator of war? Or was she a victim? Was she Lanka’s princess? Or was she the reason for its destruction?
Surpanakha, meaning the woman as hard as nails was born as Meenakshi—the one with beautiful, fish-shaped eyes. Growing up in the shadows of her brothers, who were destined to win wars, fame and prestige, she, instead, charts up a path filled with misery and revenge? Accused of manipulating events between Ram and Ravan, which culminated in a bloody war and annihilation of her family, Surpanakha is often the most misunderstood character in the Ramayana. Kavita Kané ‘s Lanka’s Princess tells the story from the vantage of this woman more hated than hateful.
My Review –
Lanka’s Princess is the story of a girl, Meenakshi, youngest in the family and named for her beautiful eyes. She is daughter of Rishi Vishravas and sister to Ravan, Kumbhakaran and Vibhishan. Her character is shaped by the various circumstances, like her mother and brothers regularly neglecting her. The transformation of a kind Meenakshi into Surpanakha who is full of vengeance and hearted is saddening. This imparts a logical depth to her character, which makes it predictable for us to sympathize with the villainous protagonist.
Kavita Kane has put a lot of research in this book.
The book takes you through her entire life, her upbringing, her strengths, her fears, her likes and dislikes. Its talks about her marriage to the person she loves, his murder, her sorry state as a widow, the agony of a mother who loses her young son. She is a strong lady who is not afraid to speak her mind.
The book is easy and fast paced. The language is simple and the characterization is beautiful. I loved the character of Kumbhakarna. He is the most loving character.
I totally loved this book, just like all the other books by the author. There are a few grammatical errors and a few typos, but I can totally ignore those because the story is beautiful. It gives a different POV to an old story. I totally recommend it to all the people like me who love mythological retellings and feminist writing.
I would give it a 4/5.