Book Reviews

Evading the Shadows, holds the grip

through Style in Narrative

After reading Rajesh M Iyer’s ‘Scarlet Horizon’ I wanted to read his other novels. I chose ‘Evading the Shadows', termed as the Fictional Spy Thriller set during the Mahabharata. I could understand as soon as I started the novel that it is ‘Virata Parvam’ of Mahabharata where the five siblings and Draupathi after spending twelve long years in forests had to lead a life incognito for one year.

They wander to different regions and finally land in the Virat region which they think would suit to lead a life shadowing their presence.

This part of Mahabharata is yet another interesting tale where each one disguises oneself and manages to show a different identity. For those who knew Mahabharata well, this book may not hold much interest; but, for the style and the several other characters like spies introduced to search for Pandavas by Duryodhan. Yet, Rajesh manages to keep the tempo of the narrative with his simple yet engaging style of presentation adding spice through his imaginative add ons.

The relentless wily search of Kaurav king Duryodhan and his spies, some knowing and unknowing faux paus made by Pandavas led to dramatic denouement. The war where Arjun, who had hidden himself in the robes of Brahannala, a eunuch had to come out and establish victory for Virata Sena.

But, the fact remains that Kaurav and Duryodhan are in no mood to keep up their promise. In the end the author describes how Krishna alone anticipated a historical war and not a happy end to the Pandavas' plight.

Though the creativity and narrative of Rajesh M Iyer’s is not as gripping as it is in ‘Scarlet Horizon’ since he viewed the possibility of averting a historic battle through a different prism. which provided a distinct new shade and direction to the great war of Mahabharata.

Well. Mahabharata is a never ending and not tiring epic of Indian mythology. If you are indefatigable to read, give a try to this ‘thriller’ ‘Evading the Shadows'. 

29-Apr-2023

More by :  G Swaminathan

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