Book Reviews, Books, writing

Book Review : Queen of Ice by Devika Rangachari

Title : Queen of Ice

Author : Devika Rangachari

Publisher : Duckbill Books

Pages : 173

ISBN : 9789383331185

Story :

Didda, princess of Lohara, is beautiful, intelligent—and lame.
Despised by her father and bullied by his heir, Didda’s childhood is miserable and her future, bleak.
When she is married off to the dissolute ruler of Kashmira, she must learn to hold her own in a court ridden with factions and conspiracies. But Didda is no ordinary queen. Ruthless and ambitious, she wants to rewrite history. Will she succeed?

Queen of Ice is a compulsive read that brings alive the turbulent history of tenth-century Kashmir with an exquisite balance of fact and fiction. This is award-winning author Devika Rangachari’s finest novel yet.

Review :

Okay, what did I just read?!

The first thing that attracted me to this book is the blurb. A story set in the Tenth Century Kashmir? I mean, please take my money. Then on further scrutiny, I realise it is but not all fiction. It is based on the first real Queen of Kashmir, the one whom History remembers solemnly. Queen Didda of Kashmira!

She was not a queen at first obviously. Only a princess, that too quite unfortunate. She was born lame, and the only thing that prevented her surly, ill-tempered and selfish father, the King of Lohara from stifling her at birth, is the prophecy of the court astrologer. A presage that identified in her signs of true greatness.

If not for this prophecy, I feel Didda would not have survived all that unprecedented wrath from her father and bitterness from her cousin. Her only well-wisher had been her mother, until two very important pillars of her life enter. The first person being Naravahana, the stable boy and the other being Valga, her carrier. To naked eyes, they would seem nothing more than just helpers but their bond over the years would withstand the toughest of storms, strengthening their friendship right from the roots.

The world had been cruel to Didda but it had also been loving and caring. Her life before marriage was tormenting but after marriage we could see the air change. I guess that’s what Kashmir does to you.

I am baffled and stunned to find out what a strong personality Didda possessed even back in the Tenth Century! Feminism emanated off of her and she fought for equal rights. Discrimination against the women of the society enraged her and that’s why she swore to make a change.

Power often tests the greatest of minds, luring them with it impeccable taste. And so, our Didda was no exception and soon fell to prey.

I loved her, hated her, smiled for her, cried for her. This story made me overwhelmed with emotions and I had a good cry after a very long time. The narrating skill of the author is quite commendable and writing style is on spot. Not once did I feel the need or wish for averting my eyes away from the book. I enjoyed exploring Kashmir when it was Kashmira. This place has always been the heaven on Earth. A place that boasts of beauty and culture, of prosperity and humility, of nature and abundance.

I would rate this book 5 out of 5 Stars with absolute pleasure. This is a book that I want and need everyone from all age groups to read. This is the history we must have the knowledge of, a part of our being that we need to reconcile with.

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I received a copy in exchange for an honest review!

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Find the book on :

AMAZON

GOODREADS

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ABOUT THE AUTHOR :

Dr. Devika Rangachari is an award winning children’s writer who is also pursuing her post doctoral research in Indian history from University of Delhi.

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Review by ©TheGirlOnTheOnGo

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