Being a multi-genre writer and reader has its own set of advantages. One of them being, you're never short of topics.
Mythology and ancient Indian history are two of my current loves. It was the primary reason, why I immediately agreed to read and review 'Avishi' by Saiswaroopa Iyer, when offered.
Women are often said to have been more aware and empowered in the ancient times than they are now, and this book only goes on to reinstate that fact. Based on the known life story of Vishpala, the queen of Ashtagani, Avishi is an engrossing tale of hardships, determination, love, and war in the ancient India.
WHAT I LIKED: I really liked the way the author has gone on to portray each and every character in the story. The locales, although fictional, are well defined and almost seem real. Ms. Iyer, evidently, has taken great pains in researching about the ancient time about which not much is known or documented, and that is visible throughout the story.
WHAT I DIDN'T: My only complaint, if any, is the overtly use of tough Hindi names of people and places. Considering the fact that it is but fiction, the author could have made it a little bit easier for readers like me, who are not very well versed with the nuances of Sanskrit or Prakrit dialects that seem to have a very strong influence in the nomenclature.
IN A NUTSHELL: Overall, I would say 'Avishi' is a must-read for everyone who is interested in knowing and understanding the India of the bygone era. I give 'Avishi' by Saiswaroopa Iyer, a 4.5 out of 5 stars.