Monday, September 21, 2015


Disclaimer: I received this book from the author in return for my honest review. I have NOT received any monetary compensation for the same.

I got hooked to reading mythology fiction when I came across Rubina Ramesh’s story From the Ashes. I loved the way Rubina had portrayed Mayavati AKA Rati, Kama’s wife.

When I came to know that Usha Narayanan had published a mytho novel on Pradyumna, I couldn’t wait to get my hands on it. I was lucky when the author approached me for a review.

The Blurb:

‘I see a dark future that makes me quake,’ Devarishi Narada said. ‘One of these newborns will ravage the world and erase the name of Krishna from the face of the earth.’

As the world trembles on the threshold of Kali Yuga—4,32,000 years of unprecedented evil—it waits for a saviour to rise.

Meanwhile, in the dark netherland of the asuras, the meek Vama shudders as he learns that he is actually Pradyumna, the son of Krishna. And that his journey has just begun.

From the asura kingdom to Dwaraka and then Kurukshetra, destiny forces him to battle monsters, angry gods and blazing weapons, and overpower his own weaknesses. Will he be able to rise to the challenge in time to save the world? Or is he the destroyer prophesied by Narada?

Pradyumna is the gripping saga of the rise of this mighty, swashbuckling hero for whom all of humanity awaits.

My perception:

I am totally humbled by the kind of research and hard work that must have gone into creating this masterpiece. A special Kudos to Usha Narayanan for that!

Though I have heard a lot of stories on Krishna and do recognise the name of Pradyumna, I haven’t heard many stories about the hero. So, I was fascinated to read this book on him. I really can’t say how much of fact and fiction have been woven into it, but it makes for a truly fascinating read.

The language is very important to watch out for in such stories. No use of modern words and slang. I must say it’s a monumental achievement that this book is perfectly written in terms of language.

The metamorphosis of the womanising weakling Vama into the heroic Pradyumna is amazingly portrayed. In contrast, Mayavati – first his mother and then later discovered to actually be his consort – appears like a caricature – at least until she remains Vama’s mother. Her screeching and screaming as a jealous mother kind of takes away from the graceful person Rati is later shown to be.

The descriptions are splendid. I especially enjoyed reading about the description of Garuda spreading his golden wings across a huge span. I could so imagine him in my mind’s eye, the way the author has written it.

Then there is Surya on his resplendent chariot drawn by seven white horses – loved this one too.

About Surya in the author’s words:

He appeared in his dazzling chariot drawn by seven white horses that represent the days of the week and the colours of the rainbow. As the chariot wheels turned, they caused day and night, and the changing of the seasons.

Shalva’s vimana is another write up that was exceptional. I have read quite a bit about vimanas also known as the modern UFO. Usha Narayanan’s description is bang on. Kudos!

Another plus that I found in the book are the small stories woven into the narration, without taking the reader away from the main story. It so reminded me of Sri C. Rajagopalachari’s portrayal of the Ramayana and the Mahabharata. I must congratulate Usha on that.

There are a number of mytho fiction books that have been hitting the market by many popular authors. I find the elaborate descriptions of wars a put-off in those. Yes, wars were definitely waged a lot in those days, the prime example being the Kurukshetra War. But I believe the focus should not be only those.

In Pradyuma: Son of Krishna, the author has managed to balance other incidents along with wars and that’s what makes the book an interesting read. Her descriptions of the rakshasas, pichasas and other wild animals from mythology fitted in well, without rankling.

Having said all that, I have one peeve about the book. After beginning so well, somewhere midway, the story doesn’t unfold by itself. It feels as if the author is narrating it to us. Though it doesn’t take away from the book, I wish the author had continued to maintain the momentum.

VERDICT: Yes, it’s a must read if you are fond of Indian mythology. There are no two ways about it.

About the author

Usha Narayanan with her Pradyumna
A gold medallist in English from the University of Madras, with two Masters Degrees – Usha Narayanan worked as creative director in advertising agencies and in Radio City 91.1 FM. She managed corporate communications and CSR activities in Scope International, Standard Chartered Bank. She has lived mostly in Chennai and had a short stint in Honolulu, Hawaii where she did a writing course. She loves reading and travel and has two opinionated cats.

Her first book, The Madras Mangler, a suspense thriller, received excellent reviews and is available online on Amazon and Flipkart. Her second novel, an epic fantasy Pradyumna: Son of Krishna is available in leading bookstores and online, also as eBook. Her next is Love, Lies and Layoffs, a rom-com published by Harlequin-HarperCollins in October 2015.


  1. Love the review, Sundari. Appreciated your picking up on the careful use of language that suits the times! Not many would notice that except another writer. I also like the way you have quoted from the book to bring out exactly what you mean. Thank you for your perceptive analysis :)

  2. You beat me to the review :D And this is a pleasant surprise. You mentioned my name!! Humble thanks. Coming to Usha Narayanan's creation of Pradyumana, I have just finished reading it and can't wait to write my review. I agree with your points Sundari. And yes a lovely read. I would love it if one day you can tell me about your Vimana theory and UFO. I have heard about it too but have not found any proof in documentation yet. Also read some where theat the 'shastras' used by the ancient gods were equivalent to modern nuclear weapons and in fact one article has also equated 'vishkanyas' to cyanide. I found a lot of such interesting theories in this novel too.

    1. You are welcome Rubina! and thank you :D glad you liked my review of Usha's book

    2. I'm waiting with bated breath for your review too, Rubina. You wrote first of Kama and Rati, didn't you?