by Vaishnavi Patel
Pub Date – 4/26/22
In the spirit of Circe, Ariadne, and The Witch’s Heart, this stunning debut reimagines the life of Kaikeyi, the vilified queen from the Indian epic the Ramayana. It is a tale of fate, family, courage, and heartbreak—of an extraordinary woman determined to leave her mark in a world where gods and men dictate the shape of things to come.
Kaiyeki was my BOTM selection! This cover is gorgeous! And jeez as usual the patriachy! Growing up with 7 brothers and an indifferent father she struggles to be heard. When her father and twin decide who she should marry she starts to find her voice.
There is so much god touched gifts and politics throughout. I love mythology and haven’t heard the original story of Kaikeyi but I love a redemption story cause if she’s been vilified this will make you understand her motivations. And any woman fighting for equal rights, education for women and men keeping promises will always be a martyred witch and not the savior Queen they should be.
It seemed nothing she did would go the way she thought. I loved the binding plane that her power existed on and the way she would build and influence her relationships with it. She seemed to be asexual or just not interested in her husband only his cuddles but she tried to be what they wanted.
❓ What was your BOTM last month? This month? If you don’t have it do you read mythology?
I got Part of Your World and Book of Night this month.
Thank you redhookbooks and netgalley for the e-ARC for my honest and voluntary review.
“Patel’s mesmerizing debut shines a brilliant light on the vilified queen from the Ramayana….This easily earns its place on shelves alongside Madeline Miller’s Circe.” –Publishers Weekly (starred review)
“I was born on the full moon under an auspicious constellation, the holiest of positions—much good it did me.”
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.
A stunning debut from a powerful new voice, Kaikeyi is a tale of fate, family, courage, and heartbreak—of an extraordinary woman determined to leave her mark in a world where gods and men dictate the shape of things to come.