3rd read: Kaikeyi

A new favourite is formed! This one was fate.

I don’t often buy new releases, but I wanted this book as soon as I laid my eyes on it. I bought it on kindle (that same day) to avoid waiting for delivery (now I regret my impatience and wish I got a hardcover!) Sometimes I judge a book by appearance and it doesn’t live up to my expectations, but this one was different. The story inside was even better than what attracted me in the first place. I’m over the moon.

This is exactly the type of reading experience I want to replicate in 2023.

My friend Jey Arbie (a writer from Mauritius island) recommended The God of Small Things by Arundhati (one of his favorite books), so I’ve added that one to the TBR 🙂

Rating: 5 out of 5.




Vaishnavi Patel








Fantasy, Retelling, Legend & Myth, Hindu


So begins Kaikeyi’s story. The only daughter of the kingdom of Kekaya, she is raised on tales about the might and benevolence of the gods: how they churned the vast ocean to obtain the nectar of immortality, how they vanquish evil and ensure the land of Bharat prospers, and how they offer powerful boons to the devout and the wise. Yet she watches as her father unceremoniously banishes her mother, listens as her own worth is reduced to how great a marriage alliance she can secure. And when she calls upon the gods for help, they never seem to hear.

Desperate for some measure of independence, she turns to the texts she once read with her mother and discovers a magic that is hers alone. With this power, Kaikeyi transforms herself from an overlooked princess into a warrior, diplomat, and most favored queen, determined to carve a better world for herself and the women around her.

But as the evil from her childhood stories threatens the cosmic order, the path she has forged clashes with the destiny the gods have chosen for her family. And Kaikeyi must decide if resistance is worth the destruction it will wreak — and what legacy she intends to leave behind.

Highlight: […] “Yes. He can understand the language of birds.” / I hoped to earn a boon one day, but I intended to ask for something better, wiser than the gift to comprehend the chatter of the silly myna birds or ill-tempered peacocks that frequented our gardens. […] “That is correct. But there is a cost to his boon. He may never divulge that he hears, on pain of death. Not to anyone.” […]


12 dec 2022


1 jan 2023



Writing Quality:















This story was delectable, from pages to cover. I could not get enough. I don’t know much about Hinduism, so it felt like a whole new world of stories was opening up to me and surprising me at every turn.

I loved Ravana and hated Rama. They made me nostalgic for my childhood (Sarah crew tells stories about them in A Secret Princess) I loved Dasharath as well. He was not the husband I expected, it was refreshing. I was SO invested in Kaikeyi’s relationship with the gods, with her brother, with her sister wives, with her children…

These kinds of retellings make me so happy, because I know women do not get this kind of focus in older versions of epics. They deserve it.

I knew (roughly) where the story was headed the entire time, but the ending still made me pace around with emotion. Great book.

Find this author & book

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