To begin with I hadn’t heard of the legendary Ponniyin Selvan by Kalki Krishnamurthy, till I married into the South Indian Community. Since then I have seen people go into raptures as they talk reverently about this great book. The curiosity to read was thus aroused and when Author Sumeetha Manikandan’s English translation came up for a read and review through The Book Club, I instantly filled out the form and looked forward to my copy.
Ponni’s Beloved is part 1 of Part 4, an appetizer to another courses of the meal to follow. Part 1 is the story of Vandiya Devan the brave and swashbuckling Prince who is entrusted with the task of carrying secret messages from one kingdom to another and his escapades as he does so.
This historical fiction is set in the Chola era and the magnificence of it is described aptly. There are enough stories, sub stories, characters and plot twists to keep the reader engaged.
Each of the main characters makes a lasting impression and gets the reader curious enough to want to know more about them. Since this is just Part 1, our curiosity is not satiated but our appetite is whetted enough for the other parts to follow.
The story takes time to get into, I found the first few chapters to be a tad slow, but continue reading and before you realise it you are part of the story. What was the biggest hindrance in a smooth beginning for me were the tongue twisting Tamil words, I had to pause at each one to get them right and since they are a lot of them you can well imagine my plight. Spelling them as they are supposed to be pronounced would help greatly.
It is nice to have a legendary book translated so that many more readers across generations and languages could get to know about it and read it. Sumeetha’s smooth and easy writing style work well, making it a good read. Looking forward to the others parts to follow.
I received a copy of this book from The Book Club in return for an honest review, and here it is.