(Re-read) The Rise Of Sivagami (Anand Neelakantan)

A Wednesday Update.

I have already done a review for this book before.

You can read it here: it’s actually a really biased positive review

And I am going to take everything back.

I re-read it. And I DNFed it at 47%.

I’m sorry.

I’m really sorry. I really love Baahubali and I was obviously still craving for Baahubali stuff when the book came out. As such I had given it such a positive review a year ago.  But this story is just 😦

There are still the unanswered questions I talked about in my earlier review. But I’m just not interested to find out the answers.


The explicit sexual language, sure it doesn’t make you feel dirty but it makes you so uncomfortable that it makes you wonder if it is necessary.

Since I read about half of the book, let me just say the entire 224 pages that I read related things that happened in a day or two consecutive days. Oh my god. So many scenes were so draggy and so long and so unnecessary. All the sex/grope/prostitution scenes were super long and seriously unnecessary. I know who the idiots are in the scene. It’s so clear already. You don’t have to keep writing disgusting stuff to make them seem worse. They are already in the pits of humanity.

And also… about the characters. There are only two people I like in this story. The brothers: Shivappa and Kattapa. These two are the only ones who act according to their character traits. Their struggle, their desires, their thoughts, are all so honest. Their scenes are well described. Their dialogues are perfect. Whenever these two appear together, it’s a good scene. No other character is nice to watch. Sivagami is actually such a pain. She is so rude. And she is all over the place. Her motivations, her feelings, her thoughts, she’s everywhere. She is worse than Maya from the Star Touched Queen. Hell, Sivagami is a hundred times worse. It’s appalling that she thinks she’s so smart. You know I actually wouldn’t be hating on her this much if it wasn’t for Baahubali: The Beginning. She was portrayed as an infallible, just, fair, impartial Queen in the first movie. And her character took a dive in the second movie, Baahubali: The Conclusion. Of course, this book does make me realise that Sivagami has always had a knack for questionable decisions, so it’s not so surprising that she made questionable choices in the second movie. But the first movie really shouldn’t have depicted the way she was. (This is suddenly becoming a movie review). Anyhow. Sivagami is a pain to read. And Bijjaladev (the older prince) is another pain in the ass to read. How is he so dumb? Mahadev (the younger prince), I thought he was cute, until he dished out an insta love. Oh my god. Mahadev is so enthralled by Sivagami’s stare.

The insta love between Sivagami and Mahadev is just, no. (They like each other but they don’t form a relationship – just to be on the same page). Sivagami hates that she might have a liking for him. After what? Seeing him? What? Please note, Sivagami hates the royal household for killing her father under the suspicion that her father was a traitor. Such hate and she falls so easily for Mahadev. Wow. Why isn’t she planning to use Mahadev’s liking for her to get him to do her bidding? It will be so much better. Anyway. There’s also an insta friendship between Sivagami and Kamakshi (a girl in the royal orphanage). It was within the first ten minutes of seeing each other. I can’t. ANYWAY.

Let’s move on to all these side characters that all want the royal household to fall for their own reasons. None of them are smart. I cannot take it. This Pattaraya has this well-hidden room in his house or something. An entire page is almost taken up to describe the efforts he goes to keep it hidden and how it’s been a well-kept secret for years. Not even one page later… someone manages to come into this room. Well. What a waste of one page. Sure, maybe it is to make it seem like this someone is a really smart guy. But really all it does is to make it seem like Pattaraya is actually dumb and he just thinks he’s all that.

And then we have Skandadasa, he’s on the side of the royal household. Apparently, he’s someone who has risen the ranks with hard work and smarts. A truly noble and respectable guy. And he gets taken for a ride by this girl in the King’s harem, Brihannala, someone he ALREADY knows to be cunning and vile. Well, you dumb.

Of course, Brihannala is not a normal character. She actually is a man, acting like a woman to exact some kind of revenge against the royal household for reasons I am unsure of. But seriously, sure, she/he might be devious, but the scams she pulls are not even that amazing. So Skandadasa is just… no.

Can I just talk about Thimma, for a second? So Thimma (someone who works in the royal household, who’s also on relatively good terms with the King) is the guy who adopted Sivagami after her dad was killed when she was nine or ten-years-old. But in the beginning of this book, we find out Thimma is going to give Sivagami up to the royal orphanage for reasons unknown. Since Sivagami’s dad used to work with the King before his betrayal… she’s got some royal pardon so that’s why she gets to go the Royal Orphanage. Sivagami is seventeen-years-old at this point. Sivagami holds Thimma to a high regard and everyone who speaks of Thimma does so. He seems like a good guy that really treats Sivagami as his own daughter. So he must have had some reasons to give her up. But here’s the thing that bothers me. In the course of the book, we find out there are no girls over 18 in the royal orphanage. Turns out, pimps from the local brothels come to buy/find these girls. And the royal orphanage caretaker has duped/bribed all officials into saying that the girls willingly chose to work in brothels when they were sold to the brothels by the caretaker. Wouldn’t Thimma, someone who works as an official, know this? He should be aware of the bribes too, no? Does he want to see Sivagami working in the brothels? Or are you telling me he really doesn’t know? Is he that dumb that he can’t make his own conjectures, can’t put 2 and 2 together when he sees/hears girls from the orphanage work in the brothels?

And then the Queen. Oh my god. I actually want the royal household to fall at this point. The Queen is just as dumb. Why does she love her son Bijjaladev as much as she does when she knows he’s a prick? Why does she believe his words when she knows he’s a liar? Why doesn’t she hear the rumours of her son going to a whorehouse when Skandadasa is so afraid of the rumours that will be spread when he went (to save him)? Why is she so dumb?

The King did not make a lasting impression to receive a paragraph on my feelings about him.

Let’s move on to the plot. The number of convenient things to move the plot along in this book is over 9000 that I can’t turn a blind eye to it. Vicious by V.E. Schwab was a book I rated 5/5 and it had certain convenient things that happened too. But I totally and gladly overlooked them because the story was beyond the convenient things. I can’t do the same for The Rise of Sivagami because this book, the first half at least, solely depends on all these conveniences.

‘Oh I need to get out of the palace without anyone’s knowledge. Thankfully, a couple of years ago, I found out this secret passage, yay.’

No. Mahadev. No.

‘Well let’s just open the window for a breather. Oh no! What do we see here? Skandadasa coming to save Prince Bijjaladev?! We need to get the prince out of here.’

No. Pattaraya. Absolutely not.

This book has all these unnecessary crude jokes and sexual scenes dragged out while condensing important plot details and character developments into a few sentences in dialogues.

I feel like I need a prequel for this prequel.

I take back what I said in my first review. This book… Not amazing.

But Shivappa and Kattapa doe. ❤ Shout out to them. I love them. They are slaves for the royal household and they have the most interesting conversations. Shivappa hates being a slave while Kattappa, although does not know how he feels about it, believes it’s his duty to live and die for the royal household. I love how Shivappa tries to get Kattapa to feel something and Kattapa struggles with his beliefs.

"Shiva, stop. There are cobras in the field."

"None as poisonous as some humans."

I love it.

At one point in my book, I annotated ‘Kattapa is worth it #keepreading’

But I’m sorry Kattapa. I can’t.

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