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The Palace of Illusions

4.05 of 5 stars 4.05  ·  rating details  ·  8,599 ratings  ·  1,012 reviews
A reimagining of the world-famous Indian epic, the Mahabharat—told from the point of view of an amazing woman.

Relevant to today’s war-torn world, The Palace of Illusions takes us back to a time that is half history, half myth, and wholly magical. Narrated by Panchaali, the wife of the legendary Pandavas brothers in the Mahabharat, the novel gives us a new interpretation of
Hardcover, 360 pages
Published February 12th 2008 by Doubleday Books (first published January 1st 2008)
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Ritika Goswami Factually it is very confusing to be sure. There are many instances in Mahabharat that has been depicted in various ways in various places. but…moreFactually it is very confusing to be sure. There are many instances in Mahabharat that has been depicted in various ways in various places. but considering the fact in this book...well... I guess Draupadi was the hostess and even though she didn't laughed directly but she did smile when her servant laughed and thus supporting her. This can be considered as Draupadi making fun herself as she was the hostess. Now i guess the exact way of Draupadi making fun is quite unknown as are the all other incidences of Mahabharat(less)
Sanjay Narayanan That is correct, and there are many versions to this. One of them is that Drupada is outraged on hearing about their demise and goes to the sage who…moreThat is correct, and there are many versions to this. One of them is that Drupada is outraged on hearing about their demise and goes to the sage who predicted that his daughter would marry Arjuna. The sage reassures him that his prediction would come true, and advises him to hold the swayamvara.
Another version says that Krishna goes to Drupada, hinting that Arjuna and the pandavas are still alive, and suggests that he have a test in the swayamvara that only an archer of the highest skill would be able to pass.
There may be other versions as well, and I'm not a master of this epic. So I suppose if you're in my place, just keep an open mind and enjoy reading.(less)
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26th out of 562 books — 1,592 voters
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Richard Reviles Censorship Always in All Ways
This review has been revised and can now be found at Expendable Mudge Muses Aloud!

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Sep 23, 2010 Mery rated it 5 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to Mery by: e.c.h.a
Shelves: punya
Aku selalu suka sama kisah yang mengangkat sudut pandang berbeda dari seorang perempuan. Dan Drupadi ini dengan sukses telah menghipnotisku dengan kehidupannya yang penuh liku-liku...

Drupadi adalah titisan Dewi Agni, yang diramalkan akan mengubah sejarah...
Pada bab-bab awal Putri drupadi diramalkan bahwa dia akan menikah dengan lima pahlawan besar pada zamannya, akan menjadi ratu dari segala ratu, dicemburui para dewi. Akan menyebabkan perang terbesar, kematian kakak dan anak-anaknya, akan menye
Mia Queen
Bisa dibilang saya merasa beruntung bisa membaca buku seindah ini. Terlebih lagi sedari SD ayah saya yang juga pecinta buku rutin menghadiahi saya buku Mahabrata karangan R.A Kosasih. Kaget juga karena di usia saya yang sekarang, kurang lebih 20 tahun lewat sejak pertama kali mengenal tokoh Pandawa lima, ternyata saya masih mengingat garis besar kisah Mahabrata ini

Istana khayalan benar-benar membuat saya berkhayal jauh, seakan-akan saya ikut berada dalam Hastinapura, ikut bersimpati dengan Drop
Mar 20, 2010 Thesunan rated it 4 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: goodreaders
Recommended to Thesunan by: dapet minjem dari mumut
buku pinjaman dari tante Mumut.. :)

PROLOG (boleh dilewat soalnya rada2 OOT :D)
Pertama kali saya tahu ada cerita tentang Mahabrata adalah waktu saya SD, film Mahabrata pada waktu itu ditayangkan oleh salah satu stasiun televise swasta, yang memang dulu sempat mendapat julukan sebagai Televisi Pilem India, soalnya stasiun televisi tersebut sering menayangkan film India. Namun saya sendiri kurang tahu tentang sejarah cerita tersebut, hanya beberapa tokoh saj
I was intrigued as soon as I heard the plot of The Palace of Illusions, and I knew I was going to like it right away. I think Chitra Banerjee Divakaruni deserves three out of the five stars I gave her just for thinking of the idea itself. The Mahabharata has been part of India's ancient culture and history for the past 3000 years, and yet no one ever thought of narrating the epic from a different point of view.

Of course, I personally cheered at her choice of Draupadi as her narrator, having give
Feb 15, 2010 e.c.h.a rated it 5 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Mbak Mia, Momo Ivashkov

Buku ini telah memikatku dalam banyak hal:

Pertama, Cover yang menarik. Yup, terkadang mata saya suka sekali dengan keindahan cover suatu buku. Perpaduan warnanya seperti membawa saya ke Istana Khayalan. Cover aselinya juga keren..I Love Green :)

Kedua, tokoh utamanya yaitu Drupadi. Saya suka Drupadi. Saya mengenal sosoknya saat membaca Mahabharata. Yang sedikit diceritakan *plus saya skimming juga* tapi sukses meninggalkan bekas di hati.

Ketiga, kata pembuka yang dikutip Divakaruni
Just a petty complaint:
I'm in the middle of this book and have a strong enough sense of the story to be able to make a heart felt plea: enough of the blatant foreshadowing! It's as if the author has no other creative or subtle use of language to hint at things to come. It always involves the last sentence of the chapter, starting with the end of Chapter 1, "I didn't know then how sorely that love would be tested, or how much it would cost both of us", "I didn't know that I'd never see this fragr
Harun Harahap
Mar 18, 2010 Harun Harahap rated it 5 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to Harun Harahap by: e.c.h.a
Shelves: punya, fiksi, terjemahan
--------------Mengandung spoiler kisah cinta-cintaaannya-------------

”Masalah hanya menjadi masalah kalau kau percaya itu masalah. Seseorang melihatmu seperti kau melihat dirimu sendiri.”

“Kekuatan keyakinan seorang merembes kepada orang sekitarnya-ke dalam tanah, udara, dan air-sampai tak ada lainya.”

Itu hanya beberapa kutipan-kutipan menarik yang banyak disajikan di dalam buku ini. Halaman depan yang sangat indah membuat diri saya tak sabar membuka lembaran demi lembaran dan menikmati isnya. Da
hmm.. saya merindukan seseorang seraya membaca buku ini..

Divakaruni memperkenalkan Mahabaratha kepada saya
Kisah yang saya ingat pernah ditayangkan di stasiun Televisi Perdangdutan Indonesia, itu pun hanya bagian lagu pembuka nya saja..

Saya mengetahui Mahabaratha hanya bahwa itu adalah kisah tentang Pandawa Lima
Itu pun sekedar nama dari kelima nya, tanpa mengetahui detail cerita seperti apa
Walaupun saya akhirnya mengetahui sedikit dari sosok "Pandawa Lima" jadi-jadian waktu kuliah..
A retelling of the Mahabharata from Draupadi's point of view sounds like it has much potential -- but this attempt is let down by trying to encompass all of the epic, and bringing in the stories of almost all the characters, instead of staying faithful to Draupadi's (feminist) viewpoint. Making it a half-baked encapsulation, instead of a re-interpretation.
Rosamund Hodge
Oct 01, 2012 Rosamund Hodge added it
Shelves: 2012
This novel ended up reminding me a bit of Till We Have Faces: the basic plot is "mythological woman has passionate, interesting life, eventually finds peace and enlightenment." Except that it's based not on Greek mythology but the Mahabharata, which it retells from the perspective of Draupadi/Panchaali, the princess who becomes (partly) the cause of a cataclysmic war.

I liked it quite a bit. It's a fast read, yet lyrical, and the portrayal of Krishna is fantastic, a really compelling mix of lovab
I am so so happy that I could read this book. I enjoyed every page of it. This is the story of Mahabharatha - not the full one, but a few incidents as seen through the eyes of Draupadi - the Pandava wife. This book will be best appreciated only by those who have a knowledge of the Mahabharatha - the vast Indian epic full of intrigue, mysteries, magic, politics, family obligations and the strife for attaining the Kuru throne by two set of cousins - the good Pandavas (5 brothers with one common wi ...more
Anindita  S. Thayf
Sumber: Ruang Baca Koran Tempo, 25 Oktober 2009
Judul : Istana Khayalan ( The Palace of Illusions)
Penulis : Chitra Banerjee Divakaruni
Penerbit : Gramedia Pustaka Utama
Cetakan : I, Juli 2009
Tebal : 496 hlm

Mahabarata merupakan salah satu kanonik sastra dunia. Naskah asli Mahabarata berbentuk syair sebanyak seratus ribu stanza; delapan kali lebih panjang dibandingkan jika The Iliad dijadikan satu dengan The Odyssey. Naskah yang ditulis oleh Vyasa dalam bahasa Sanskerta ini berkisah tent
Mahabharata through the eyes of its most controversial character - Panchali or Draupadi.. Its an interesting take.. and Chitra Banerjee through her master story teller stroke has done a fair justice to it. Although at time she turns Panchali into a more complex character then she could be.

To read more, visit Storywala
Mar 26, 2008 Anu rated it 2 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: fans of indian mythology, anyone
Shelves: finished
I think Divakurani's short stories are genius-but she ought to lay off the novels. The book wasn't terrible, but there were some ATROCIOUS anachronisms sprinkled throughout and the heavy handed feminism was a bit much. It definitely gained in narrative voice as the plot progressed.

Interesting read, but wait for the paperback, or get it out of the library.
The book at its centre is Draupadi's version of Mahabharat. When I picked this book, I wasn’t too sure, if would relish a book on – battles, power-play, politics, adrenaline-filled glory and carnage. But the authoress had done a tremendous job of capturing the essence of the epic in the form of a story. The authoress had bereft the characters of divine, virtuous status and made them very real and human, which makes it very easy to follow, despite the complexities in the leading characters.

Dulu saya membaca Mahabharata RA Kosasih. Lalu saya membaca Mahabharata versi Rajagopalachari. Dan buku ini adalah Mahabharata versi Divakaruni.

Kisah mahabharata Divakaruni tidak terlalu berbeda dengan Rajagopalachari. Yang membuatnya menarik (setidaknya buat saya) adalah kita diajak untuk melihat mahabharata dari mata dan perasaan seorang Drupadi. Putri Drupada yang biasanya dihadirkan sebagai sisipan cerita, pada buku ini menjadi tokoh sentral. 'Aku' dalam kisah ini adalah Drupadi sehingga kit
One of my favorite books ever, and I don't say that lightly.
Now, if only Mr. Wright had ever given my copy back! (Note: Never loan a book based on the Mahabhrata to your Asian Humanities teacher. You might as well have dropped it into a black hole.)

Anyhow I'm not really sure how to describe why I love this book so. The story is beautiful, that's a large part of it. The characters are strong and well-shaped, that's another part of it. The prose is gorgeous. The setting is truly magical. The trag
I liked this version of the Mahabharata told from the point of view of Draupadi despite its many shortcomings - the length of only 367 pages of course cannot do justice to a four volume epic. Some scenes that I would expect to be fully fleshed out to a microscopic degree (the disrobing, the year of exile, her year of marriage to Arjuna) are glossed over, and much attention is given to Draupadi's feelings towards Karna - understandable, because Divakaruni utilizes both unrequited love and the tit ...more
Bertahun-tahun lalu, kisah Mahabarata sempat menjadi obsesi yang tidak kesampaian. Saya sudah keburu menyerah untuk mengingat-ingat silsilah keluarga, nama asli dan nama alias, peristiwa yang susul-menyusul. Akhirnya buku dan majalah pewayangan yang sempat saya beli, tak pernah tuntas saya baca.

Membaca The Palace of Illusions, saya jadi teringat akan obsesi lama itu. Beruntung di tangan Chitra Banerjee Divakaruni, tokoh-tokoh dalam kisah ini jadi punya 'nyawa' sehingga saya tidak kesulitan untuk
How do you take a story told a million times for centuries and still make it interesting? craft is the answer. It takes an author of phenomenal capabilities to mould a story such as Mahabharatha with an unique perspective.

Truth be told, the reason I got interested in reading this was because of the whole Draupadi-Karna angle and I wasn't wrong. The raw love-anger tension that the author creates between the two is just beautiful.

Read this book for the crafting, an interesting perspective and be
The Palace of Illusions retells the Mahabharata from the point of view of Draupadi. The name itself refers to the palace owned by Draupadi after her marriage to the pandavas, and perhaps also alludes to the folly of identifying with one's worldly existence.

This is a book that should appeal to those of us whose childhood was spent listening to or reading about Indian mythology and who are not insistent on superior wordsmithing. The narration here is fairly straightforward. While the author gives
Jul 25, 2011 - rated it 3 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: Mahabharata novices, Draupadi fans, mythology buffs
Recommended to - by: One of my coolest teachers ever
At first, I had decided not to write a review for this book because I was not well-versed with the subject matter and felt that I wouldn't have much to say about it. However, then I thought of doing it anyway and as it turns out, I do have something to say which I've spewed here.

Reading a novel which narrates the universally known (except to me and a few other souls) story of the Mahabharata is a little like arriving to watch a movie after the hero has already lost his dad, the heroine has been
This re-telling of the Indian epic, the Mahabarat, is rich and wonderful story-weaving. By one of my long-time favorite authors, Chitra Banerjee Divakaruni, it is completely satisfying and at the same time educational, as it opens for us Westerners some of the mysteries of Indian myth and literature. I was entranced from the first page to the last, and loved the very human faces put on the feats of the heroes and gods in the story. Especially Panchaali, the heroine, will stick in my mind as a fa ...more
This book is a fresh and modern interpretation of Mahabharata, one of the two oldest epics of India. I think Divakaruni deserves a lot of credit for being brave enough to write about a saga which has been reconstructed innumerable times over centuries.
I remember when I first read Mahabharata as a child, I was in awe of Draupadi.She was the perfect daughter, perfect wife and the perfect queen. This story takes away all the enigma surrounding Draupadi’s character and makes her very approachable.
Astha Prakash
A delightful, beautiful read. It makes you get attached to the amazing narrative of Draupadi, and she lingers on long after you finish reading the book.
Joyce Yarrow
A marvelous tale, that takes us deep into the Indian epic, 'The Mahabharata,' as told from the perspective of Princess Panchaali. The princess is married to 5 husbands, while secretly in love with someone else, and plays an unsought for but vital role in a war that changes the face of ancient India.

By adding the feminine point of view, the author brings new life to a very old story.

Chitra Divakaruni weaves a spell of mythology, history and illuminates the universal themes of duty vs. desire, wa
Pankaj Goyal
A few months back, I got my hands on Chitra Banerjee Divakaruni’s ‘The Palace of Illusions’, a tale of Draupadi. I got intrigued as soon as I read the blurb of the book. I also cheered for the author for choosing Draupadi as her storyteller. While we all know that Draupadi is one of the pivotal characters in Mahabharata (the actual person behind the great war of Dharma), she is also the least written figures of Mahabharata. Expecting to learn something new about Draupadi, I started reading the b ...more
m. ulinnuha
"Dalam perang, yang menang tidak lebih bahagia daripada yang kalah". Sepertinya itu salah satu pesan yang saya tangkap dari buku ini (dan cerita Mahabharata secara umum).

Ini buku Mahabharata pertama yang saya baca. Dari kecil sampai sekarang baru tahu cerita yang lumayan lengkap ya baru kali ini. Tiap kali diajak nonton wayang pasti tidur duluan. Waktu cerita ini diajarkan di mata pelajaran Bahasa Jawa, saya tidak mendengarkan :D. Jadi saya bisa dianggap tidak tahu menahu mengenai karakter, sils
May 08, 2012 Siddharth rated it 4 of 5 stars
Recommended to Siddharth by: Advaita Mane, Preeti Sancheti
Chitra Banerjee Divakaruni's The Palace of Illusions is an account of the major events of the Mahābhārata from Draupadi's perspective. From a plot standpoint, there is nothing new here. In fact, I think this book is a more rewarding read for those already familiar with the epic. Having spent my childhood days poring over my grandfather's seven-volume, illustrated edition of the Mahābhārata, every story arc and plot twist of Vyasa's retelling of the story to Janamejaya is etched into my mind. As ...more
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Chitra Banerjee Divakaruni is an award-winning author and poet. Her work is widely known, as she has been published in over 50 magazines, including the Atlantic Monthly and The New Yorker, and her writing has been included in over 50 anthologies. Her works have been translated into 20 languages, including Dutch, Hebrew and Japanese.Her newest novel is Oleander Girl (Simon and Schuster, 2013) http: ...more
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