I managed to get my hands on this and I read all 129 000+++ words in one seating. Took me an entire afternoon and evening (mainly because I took breaks here and there). But anyway. 4/5 Defo would read again.
The rise of sivagami is the prequel to the movie Baahubali: the beginning and the first book to a trilogy.
It starts off in a good place.
SYNOPSIS: Blessed by the sacred Gauriparvat, Mahishmathi is an empire of abundance. The powerful kingdom is flourishing under its king, who enjoys the support and loyalty of his subjects, down to his lowly slaves. But is everything really as it appears, or is the empire hiding its own dirty secret?
Orphaned at a young age and wrenched away from her foster family, Sivagami is waiting for the day she can avenge the death of her beloved father, cruelly branded a traitor. Her enemy? None other than the king of Mahishmathi. With unflinching belief in her father’s innocence, the fiery young orphan is driven to clear his name and destroy the empire of Mahishmathi against all odds. How far can she go in her audacious journey?
From the pen of masterful storyteller and bestselling author Anand Neelakantan, comes The Rise of Sivagami, the first book in the series Baahubali: Before the Beginning. A tale of intrigue and power, revenge and betrayal, the revelations in The Rise of Sivagami will grip the reader and not let go.
If you’d watched the movie, you’d have known Sivagami actually becomes the Queen of said kingdom and she’s actually a really good Queen who cares for the kingdom.
So of course, when I read the blurb of this book, I was extremely eager to find out how someone who’s itching for revenge ended up caring for the kingdom. Did the story deliver?
But it did something better,
The movie itself left it’s audience with so many questions and this book does not answer most, if not, any of it.
- Sivagami’s hubby in the movie is shown to be handicapped. (The book portrays him as a perfectly healthy young boy. WHEN AND HOW DOES HE BECOME HANDICAPPED!)
- Sivagami was married to the handicapped prince in the movie. But in the book there’s an interesting subplot where Sivagami shows interest in another boy who is very crucial to the story. (SO HOW DID SHE END UP MARRYING THE HANDICAPPED PRINCE?!)
- Read the book and watch the movie, I hate spoiling books and movies that I love!!!
So many unanswered questions. BUT IT’S NOT BAD AT ALL, IT ONLY UPS THE STAKES. It has so many interesting subplots that bring about many more important questions. I’m literally glued to the author’s website to find out when the next book in the series is being released and how all the loose ends gets tied up.
The writing itself, is very well done. Each chapter is written in a specific character’s POV. Of course the leads are Sivagami and Kattapa. I enjoyed their chapters the most. All of the characters were well developed. Most of the characters are very believable and their actions are very true to their characters. The turmoil they go through is certainly conveyed to the readers. Some characters who were underdeveloped, were developed to an extent where the readers are intrigued to find out more about the character. But they were left unexplored to add suspense. And let’s just say, it worked. Can’t wait for part two! However, I did find a few chapters of the other characters a little too draggy. But this could be because I prefer dialogue driven novels to description driven ones.
That said, I accede the author has a way with words. I was taking notes.
There are also many characters and it takes time to understand how everyone is related.
The violence and the sex is certainly explicit but very well written. It makes you uncomfortable as it should but not dirty. Definitely not a book for children though.
But I’ve only got one pet peeve. See.. the title of the book: the rise of sivagami. It sounds so impactful, it’s like she fought/schemed her way up to power. But at the end, it kind of feels more like an act of fate, a coincidence, that she gained power though.
The book was amazing.
UPDATE AS OF 21 FEB 2018.
I have re-read the book and I take back the 4/5 rating. I take back almost everything.
Please see the updated review: (Re-read) The Rise Of Sivagami (Anand Neelakantan)