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The Legend of Virinara Paperback – 17 Apr 2018
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Told with skill and consummate detail, a tale that mixes myth and memory, journeying through ancient philosophies and forgotten truths, taking us back to the Old Times, when the world was young (Namita Gokhale, author of the bestselling Paro: Dreams of Passion)
Usha Alexander's novel The Legend of Virinara is that rare gift-a beautifully written story about love and war, set in an elegant world of lotuses and arrows. This is historical fiction done right (Anil Menon, author of the acclaimed Half of What I Say)
About the Author
Usha Alexander is the author of the critically acclaimed novel, Only the Eyes Are Mine (2005). An American of Indian parentage, she now resides in India, where she spends time travelling and learning the intricacies of its deep history. Her outlook is also informed by her background in science and anthropology. Her travel writings and other essays have appeared in various publications, including Even the Smallest Crab Has Teeth ('Travelers' Tales', 2011) and The Best Travel Writing 2007 ('Travelers' Tales'). Find her on the web at www.ushaalexander.com.
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Top customer reviews
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Impressively colored characters, and a gripping storyline with immersive detail of the scenes.
the book is the story of a bygone era and a new empire told in a new twisted and poetic way. the book is the story as follows in the blurb:
The year is 120 CE. The Ashwamedha Yagna has established young Vijay the ruler of Virinara, a mighty city-state of south India. Soon after the kingdom starts to expand into the surrounding forests, its glittering capital, Dandavrut, is attacked in a brazen act of terror. Even as Raja Vijay unleashes his forces against the nomadic forest dwellers, his beloved sister Shanti treks secretly into the wilderness—and falls in love with the handsome warrior Narun. Will love triumph over hubris, and Shanti forge a new destiny for her people?
the best part of the book is its beauty in language. I felt that the beauty of the language and strong vocabulary of Usha mam makes the book, truly a “masterpiece”. the poetic way of retelling such a tale which is a mixture of myth and history makes it wonderful.
the book is a fiction and it totally stands for its genre. you would read new tales of a new land where you would find equilibrium and doubt between love and war.
another perk of the book is its philosophy. you would see a lot of beautiful ideas of philosophy hidden within tales. the way the battles and the other scenes are explained truly captures the full attention of the reader.
due to the poetic and descriptive manner of telling the story, the book sometimes may feel dry and devoid of spice and style. this is the only peril which i found in the book.
the narration of the tale as a two-sided story in which the protagonist is explaining her story to someone else is even wonderful.
overall the book is in simple words a “masterpiece”. a perfect tapestry of myth and imagination.
imaginative. intrigue. intense.
I would recommend the book to all the fiction lovers.
Most helpful customer reviews on Amazon.com
I do have a connection to the author, having grown up in the same town in Southeast Idaho (her little sister was my best friend). I am grateful that our connection put me in touch with this incredible book, and want to share that experience with others who might not otherwise choose what is considered historical fiction. I think readers with many varying tastes will find something to love about this book, even if they don't resonate with the larger themes of humanity's relationship to ourselves, one another, and nature. Romance, drama, humor, intrigue: This book has it all.
The book was really impressive. It's a story told by an old woman, and centers on the conflict when the urbanized "civilized" Virina people build a successful and growing empire in the heart of the forest land inhabited by the tribal Gontu. The capital Dandravut is a center of art and beauty - and growth. The conflict comes to a head when Dandravut decides to secure its future by building a dam that will destroy meadows and a river-branch the Gontu depend on.
What I especially liked about this book was the willingness to depict complexity in both the Dandravut and the Gontu. There are rivalries and internal politics on both sides, making any kind of peace difficult to achieve and uphold.
Shanti, the person who tells the story, is a princess of the royal house of Dandravut. But scoliosis, arriving around puberty, destroys her family's plan for her - a political marriage. Instead, she starts to think outside the heavily class-based and internally focused society of Dandravut. Helping her guru, who turns out to be half-Gontu, she becomes a bridge between the Virina and the Gontu. In the end, though it's set in a fantasy South India, it has universal elements that raise issues of power, conquest, and - love.