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(Abhaya Collection #1)

4.05  ·  Rating details ·  268 ratings  ·  56 reviews
"Abhaya allows us to delve into the world of our ancestors and Gods through the route of great storytelling and a brilliant narrative. A thoroughly enjoyable read" - Amish Tripathi

A tale set in the times of Mahabharata. An assertive and idealistic Princess Abhaya meets the enigmatic Krishna Vaasudeva. A bereaved Dhatri, hounded by her own family is saved by Lord Bhauma. W
Kindle Edition, 390 pages
Published November 24th 2015
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Average rating 4.05  · 
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Vishnu Chevli
"Abhaya" by Saiswaroopa Iyer was on my wishlist when it was first published under only Kindle version. I kept checking book time and again for more and more reviews. And those reviews always made sure that I wouldn't remove it from the list. I considered myself lucky when I got the book from the author herself in exchange for honest review.

The book is titled on protagonist Abhaya Dhaarmaseni princess of Anagha a small fictional kingdom in the neighbourhood of Avanti in Bharatvarsha. The story is
Warmed up to it.

Since a long time, I was looking for something to read with powerful woman protagonist. As soon as I heard the title of this book, I noted a point to read it immediately.

Set in the times of Mahabharata, Abhaya, an independent and strong princess of Angha, a fictional kingdom, not only inspires and entertains you but also with her intelligence shows what is right to do and what not. Abhaya is about to encounter some greater facts that she was yet unaware of. This book is an insig
Mar 18, 2016 rated it really liked it
It is rare indeed for a debutante author to pen a mythical tale without resorting to miracles and yet retain its modern relevance. ‘Abhaya’ effectively churns poetic Prabandha alongside philosophy, horror alongside humane and adventure alongside introspection.

Narakasura-vadh whereby Krishna rescues 16,100 virgins is the core around which Saiswaroopa weaves her Historical fiction. The mythical demon is replaced by a demoniac cult and heroic Abhaya replaces Krishna’s cherished bride Satyabhama.

Sindhuja R
Nov 28, 2015 rated it really liked it
Abhaya is a fantasy novel set in ancient India, in the era of Mahabharatha. While retaining a minimal number of characters from the epic, it introduces the reader to a whole new set of (fictional) people. The story traces the events in the life of Abhaya, a young princess of the fictional city of Anagha, located in the borders of the larger, more powerful kingdom of Avanti, towards the western frontiers of ancient India.The initial chapters dwell on the growing animosity between the two kingdoms ...more
Vineet Aggarwal
Nov 26, 2016 rated it really liked it
Shelves: fiction
Have to say it's lovely the way the author has utilized the not so well known Narkasur episode to redefine Krishna and in doing so has also given us a new heroine to root for! The connection between Krishna and Yogmaya is beautifully worded and I wish it had been explored even more nevertheless their exchange towards the end is heartening.. Loved the book for its novel way of approaching history and politics of a bygone age in a brilliant way. ...more
Beloo Mehra
Oct 30, 2019 rated it it was amazing
“I revere Krishna today as one of the first architects of a unified India. Yes, I believe he did exist in the obscure history of India…. Abhaya has been my window to explore and experience Krishna Vaasudeva.”

This is how Saiswaroopa Iyer introduces the second lead of her debut novel, Abhaya, in the Author’s Note. Krishna Vasudeva is second leading character because the first place is reserved for his love, his beloved Satyabhama, who takes the name and form of Abhaya in this marvellously moving c
Subramanyam K.V.
Mar 10, 2017 rated it it was amazing
The book starts in the Eastern Hills of Bharathavarsha; a king from these lands is out for a regular temple visit and he and his Senapati save a woman (Dhatri) from what can be a modern day’s equivalent of honor killing. As Dhatri takes her time to recuperate, the author takes us to the western part of the nation where we see a small kingdom Anagha where a nervous King holds his firstborn “Abhaya” for the first time in his hands.

What does fate have in store for these women who come from the two
Dec 01, 2015 rated it it was amazing
I think any historical fiction requires introducing fiction in known history and creating a sense of doubt in the mind of readers. The doubt which the author introduces - if what’s in the book is true or if the history one knows is true - is the fine line between an average book and an awesome one. Debutante author - Sai Swaroopa’s "Abhaya" is all this and more. She’s been tremendously successful in implanting doubt about actual history in the readers mind. The plot, philosophy, protagonists, an ...more
Mayuresh Didolkar
Feb 17, 2016 rated it really liked it
Saiswaroopa in her debut novel asks a very important question: would mythology be different if a few key characters had sensibilities quiet ahead of their times?
very ambitious and brave effort that makes a satisfying read mostly. The unique retelling of stories from Krishna's life ( like the 16000 princess one) is done with panache and sensitivity. Traditional fans of Conan the Barbarian style sword and sandal fiction may come away disappointed since the fights are dealt with economy.
The subte
Oct 20, 2016 rated it really liked it
At the beginning i felt bet confused with the character names but after completion of first few chapters fell in love with them especially with 'Mura'.

This book of 390 pages is something like a box of sweets. Every chapter was totally different. Mainly poems on lord Krishna was too good. It shows author's devotion on the lord Vasudeva. Author fictional writing skills are amazing and the language she used in the book is quit simple which can easily understand by maximum population.

I strongly re
Pankaj Goyal
Aug 25, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
An interesting literary phenomenon in India today is the rise of historical fiction. Most of these books try to retell our myths, legends, folklore, history and culture in an innovative and interesting manner. The commercial success of these books suggests that such books appeal readers’ need for an adventure (challenging the odds, taking on an impossible task or an intense longing for some extra-special power). This is not a single reason, though. And, one may find as many reasons as one may li ...more
Gautham Shenoy
Sep 12, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Novels based on aitihasika and pauranika narratives have become quite popular ever since Amish Tripathi's Meluha series. Ashok Banker, Amish Tripathi, Ashwin Sanghi are some of the authors who have contributed successfully to this genre. Saiswaroopa Iyer's Abhaya is a fantastic addition to this genre.

Abhaya is set in the Mahabharata period. The incidents in the novel coincide with the Pandavas' bid to perform the Rajasuya. The novel is a retelling of the Narakasura vadha episode wherin it descri
Anantha Narayanan
Jul 15, 2020 rated it really liked it
A very balanced view of world. An author who believes in goodness of our rich culture, it reflects in the writing. More importantly a balanced view of the world which houses men and women. Not a feministic, not a male chauvinistic. Good one
Aniruddha Pathak
Jun 24, 2016 rated it really liked it
Set in ancient India, Abhaya starts with Lord Bhauma – the king of Kamarupa – saving Dhatri from the enraged crowd with the help of his commander Mura and failing to save Dhatri’s love: Amaranatha.

Dhatri is then introduced to Shakta practices and eventually declared as the ‘Mahayogini’ of the Shaktas.

Meanwhile, the story heads ahead with the birth of the hero of the story, Abhaya, the daughter of Dharmasena, and the princess of the province of Anagha. On the day of Abhaya’s birth, Kadambari, the
Nov 27, 2015 rated it it was amazing
The rise of Indian Historical Fiction is among the greatest things to have happened to our literary scene over the last decade or so. Though there is always an argument that it isn't fiction, since writers take liberties in their writing after basing their book on a set of 'facts' as espoused by our scriptures, lets call it fiction so as to be politically correct.
Yes, the books are bringing our history closer to the young generation of India. But more importantly, they are bridging the gap betwe
Feb 04, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Saiswaroopa Iyer’s ‘Abhaya’ is an engrossing work of fiction set in the ancient times. Characters from the Mahabharata mingle with fictional people, including Abhaya, the princess of the fictitious kingdom Anagha. Saiswaroopa has faded the lines between the ancient and the contemporary in this fantasy novel through her storytelling that gives back the epic as much as it draws. The author reflects on dharma, faith, fear, compassion and love with rare sensitivity. Abhaya’s transformation from a pr ...more
Jan 20, 2017 rated it really liked it
Its a book on the legend of Narakasura in a different perspective. The story starts with Bhauma the lord of kamarupa saving Dhatri from her own people and ends with Bhuama getting killed by the same lady (of course there are couple of chapters after Bhauma s death).Bhauma is the lord of kamarupa, temple town of kamaksha whose senapati is Mura. The followers of the Kamaksha are Shaktas. Dhatri is made mahayogini in a shakta conclave, using her bhauma wants to expand the shakta tribe and abducts m ...more
Srilakshmi Kochiyil
Jun 18, 2018 rated it it was amazing
I was reeling back and forth by the time I read this book. I started at 7 PM and then ended up finishing it at 3 AM. The book was that good and i loved it. Abhaya who is the re imagined Satyabhama is an amazing, stubborn character who refuses to give up and that is what I loved about her. She reminded me of myself. Krishna, of course, our hero is charming and amazing as ever. The kind of conflicts in the book is amazingly and beautifully portrayed. I felt quite sorry for Dhatri, a pivotal charac ...more
Jijith Ravi
Sep 19, 2016 rated it really liked it
Saiswaroopa's Book Abhaya has an amazing story carved out from the Ithihaa-Purana Cosmos (which is the home and heaven of a Mahabharata-researcher like me!). The story has its basis on the Narakassura Vadha episode, prominently mentioned in the Bhagavata Purana, Vishnu Purana and Harivamsha but also found in the Mahabharata and Ramayana as fragments. The author has discovered many hidden dimensions of this story to surprise the reader in multiple ways. The most striking among these is the exposu ...more
Sep 25, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Abhaya is an inspiration to the modern woman of today

The author has backed the story with very strong character like Abhaya who inspires you through out. This is a well narrated fiction makes you read again and again. Abhaya made me laugh, made me cry, made me think and question myself about my own existence. In many ways Abhaya's character can be referenced as an inspiration to the modern woman. The plot between Krishna and Abhaya are very well written. Especially I like the narration when the
Nishank Agrawal
May 04, 2017 rated it it was amazing
This book had been on my to-read list for quite some time. Finally, I decided to give it a shot over other books higher up in the priority and I must say this book proved to be beyond my expectations. Abhaya definitely didn't read like someone's debut work, instead it was quite mature writing, and at many places i was forced to draw comparison with authors like Amish Tripathi, who have excelled in this kind of genre.
One particular thing which I liked in this book (and which is usually rare in ot
Vijay Anand Tripathi
Aug 17, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Always interested in Puranic stories, this novel come as surprise for the topic & quality of storytelling by the author. First of all - Diwali as a festival is always associated with Shri Ram & Ravan, however, this novel tries to address this episode with a slightly different perspective of Narakasur-Uddhar.

Initial some chapters were dedicated for character building and must say that Ms. Iyer didn't shy away or tried to put pace in this stage, and it is the reason why she takes the reader into d
May 10, 2017 rated it really liked it
A memorable read

A gripping tale set in the Mahabharata era, Abhaya has many strong and varied characters. The protagonist (fictional) is assertive yet sensitive, idealist yet adaptive to changes in rapidly changing circumstances. Familial bonding, valour, commitment to one's cause & word, strategic & critical thinking, love, devotion as well as basic insticts shape the varied characters, many of which are interpretations of well-known ones from dwapar yuga. The author's love for Krishna is evide
Rohit Omar
Jul 16, 2017 rated it really liked it
Though I have rated the book by 4 Stars, but it doesn't deserve the rating.

When a reader picks up a book for a read, obviously he looks for good content that will took him to a different world, away from his/her miseries or monotony. And when the characters of the story are so impeccably crafted, that they surround you, for every moment, even in your dreams where you see them visually in action or even better, you conversing with them; well the author has mastered the craft in there.

Abhaya is on
Ranajeet Dewasthalee
Aug 31, 2017 rated it it was amazing
I started reading the book with curiosity and after waiting for many pages (almost thought about shelving this book) for something to happen, finally my patience paid off and thanks to Krishna for that :). Once the author got into the depth of the story, She just galloped right through. The story, underlying philosophy, characterization and the almost poetic prose totally absorbed me. The book is not purely a thriller or mythological fiction, it has undercurrents of philosophy and a deep underst ...more
Preethi Venugopala
Jun 30, 2017 rated it it was amazing
I love stories set in ancient India. Among tales that I love, stories about Lord Krishna are my favourite. Abhaya was a fresh take on all such tales I have read till now.
Familiar characters from the Mahabharata and a few fictional characters drive the story ahead in this brilliant story.
A brave princess along with her brother sets about to right the wrongs in their corner of the world which might have long-lasting consequences.
I loved Abhaya from page one. It took me on time travel to a period
Jan 11, 2019 rated it really liked it
Abhaya, a brave princess of Anagha finds herself in trouble when she embarks on a mission to find out the reason behind mysterious kidnappings of young girls of Aryavarta. Aiding her, is none other than Vasudev Krishna. Will they succeed?

This is Saiswaroopa Iyer's debut novel, and I must say, it is a great read. It is rare to find such mythological fictions based on female protagonists. So, this one is quite a breath of fresh air.
Plotting is great. The book is quite a page-turner with thought-p
Pratyasha Nithin
Nov 12, 2016 rated it it was amazing
If you are fan of Pauranic fiction, then I would recommend you Saiswaroopa’s “Abhaya”, based on the lore of “Narakasura”. The story has been written so profoundly that it hooks the reader instantly. The characters, their thought process, their weakness, their strength, everything has been portrayed excellently.

I personally loved the way the author has portrayed the character of Krishna and the relationship of Abhaya and Krishna. Abhaya’s straightforward character and her fight for the right make
Prashanth Srivatsa
Sep 19, 2017 rated it really liked it
Abhaya is at once engaging, playing in the shadows of its much-known and revered Mahabharata, while creating a memorable halo of its own. Revolving around the eponymous daughter of a slain king, the plot balances faith, politics, love and war as Abhaya travels from her decimated kingdom towards a supposedly evil presence, a cult that has spawned out of the mind of a madman who seeks dominion through blind faith. Mytho fiction in India is scaling new heights with strong feminine leads, but on thi ...more
Somdip Datta
Oct 17, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Abhaya is very much about bridging the new and the old.

It is based on an ancient lore, of Narakasura, yet it is a brand new story, of a brand new protagonist.

It depicts Krishna, as a man, with his personal, and political constraints, yet without compromising his status as a God.

It has a lot contemporary dialog on topics ranging from politics to polygamy ... and yet they fit in seamlessly in the mouths of characters thousands of years old.

(From Amazon Review)
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Formerly an analyst with a Venture capital firm, Saiswaroopa's interests include Startups, Economics, Carnatic Music, Philosophy, Politics, History and Literature of India. She won a state level gold medal from TTD in rendering Annamacharya Kritis. She holds an MBA from Indian Inst

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Abhaya Collection (2 books)
  • Mauri (Abhaya Collection Book 2)

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