Title: Govinda (The Aryavarta Chronicles #1)
Author: Krishna Udayasankar
Publisher: Hachette India
Genre: Fiction

Govinda: Aryavarta Chronicles #1 is the debut novel of Krishna Udayasankar, reinventing Mahabharata, the longest epic ever. 
Govinda Shauri, a cowherd-turned-prince of Mathura and now the commander of armies of Dwarka will use all his astuteness to make Dharma the emperor of Aryavarta against The Firewrights. Even with the well known plot, the realistic characterization and few twists here and there make this book a delicious page-turner. 
Even with 470 pages, this book is not a drag but fast-paced. Sometimes, a bit too fast. Being first in the series, lots of characters are introduced in very short duration. The fans of B.R. Chopra’s series might find it inconvenient that all the characters are grey shaded, mortal beings without any supernatural powers, even Govinda. With amazing scenic descriptions, action pours out of the pages, but just don’t expect any miracles. I would like to congratulate author for presenting the legends in such life-like way. Also, a piece of advice would be to slow down on feminism. Everyone knows Panchali was the reason behind Mahabharata and she is the lead protagonist. 
The moment I read the name Syoddhan, I was sure that the author has done a splendid research work. All the details of scriptures are applauding along with fascinating scientific knits provided for The Firewrigths. Just like Mahabharata, even with all the panic of a budding war, the writer does not miss the philosophical creed concealed in the subtext. 
Though in comparison to such a great epic, holding a series of enormous events weaving larger than life characters, this book does not contain even a minute portion. But hey, it is just the beginning. If the author slows down a bit and gives out five or six books instead of three, we might be looking at an Indian version of A Song of Ice and Fire. 
Yes, this book belongs to the same category as of Kaal and Shiva trilogy, but the writing is of more expertise and somewhat more real.  Overall it was a joyous ride and I am looking towards the sequel ‘The Firewrights’ keeping my fingers crossed for what the author holds up in her sleeve. 

Rating: 5/5 

Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from the publisher for reviewing purpose. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”


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