Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read.
Start by marking “Avishi” as Want to Read:
Enlarge cover
Rate this book
Clear rating
Open Preview


4.08  ·  Rating details ·  202 ratings  ·  47 reviews
Long before the times of Draupadi and Sita
Immortalised in the hymns of the Rig Veda
But largely forgotten to the memory of India
Is the Warrior Queen with an iron leg, Vishpala

Brought up in the pristine forest school of Naimisha, Avishi reaches the republic of Ashtagani in search of her destiny. When Khela, the oppressive King of the neighbouring Vrishabhavati begins to over
Kindle Edition, 388 pages
Published August 12th 2017 (first published August 11th 2017)
More Details... Edit Details

Friend Reviews

To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up.

Reader Q&A

To ask other readers questions about Avishi, please sign up.

Be the first to ask a question about Avishi

Community Reviews

Showing 1-30
Average rating 4.08  · 
Rating details
 ·  202 ratings  ·  47 reviews

More filters
Sort order
Start your review of Avishi
Vishnu Chevli
Sep 23, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: ebooks, english
I am in close contact with Sai Swaroopa ever since I reviewed Abhaya. I liked Abhaya so much, I decided to read Sai's future books. She gave me brief of Avishi almost a year back and I was eagerly waiting for print. I wanted to have printed edition of Avishi because I had very high hopes. Well, I didn't get printed version as the author is planning the same early next year and I cannot wait that long. I got an early review copy. I think I was one of the reviewers who got the copy when the book w ...more
Bookish Indulgenges with b00k r3vi3ws
Dec 30, 2017 rated it really liked it
Shelves: iwe-2018
What attracted me to this book was the protagonist. Despite the fact that there are numerous retellings of mythological characters and their journeys, Saiswaroopa Iyer has managed to bring a freshness by reimagining ‘Vishpala’ from the Rig Veda. The book promises to tell us about a lesser known character who is the epitome of a female warrior – so obviously, I had to read it.

Avishi’s story has a dramatic start with her being rescued from a certain death. She is then brought to Naimisha where her
Oct 06, 2017 rated it it was amazing
I'd like to add a new warrior queen to my favorites list alongside Boudica and Zenobia. Avishi fought for her people against an empire building tyrant. She is remembered in the Rig Veda as Vishpala who fought with a leg made of metal in ancient India before recorded history. Avishi by Saiswaroopa Iyer tells her story, and the story of Satya, the extraordinary healer whose dream was to create an artificial leg that would allow amputees to continue the lives they had before the amputation. I recei ...more
Chitra Iyer
Nov 13, 2017 rated it liked it
Avishi by Saiswaroopa Iyer is about a little known warrior queen named Vishpala (reimagined as Avishi in this book) whose references one can find in the Rig Vedas. As the summary behind the book implies, she was a brave and fierceome warrior way before the popular likes of Sita and Draupadi.

The story is about Avishi, who was brought to the Naimisha ashram as a child after a tragedy hits her. She is recognized as special and is trained to be a warrior, strong and brave. But no matter how hard sh
Manasa Suresh
Oct 03, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
: Sai must have done a lot of research to bring out this masterpiece. This book, set in Vedic India is a refreshing change from all the other novels set in ancient India. It showcased many different aspects of that time, when women were equal to men and even had a higher position than them. It was also a time when wedlock was something new and prosthesis was discovered. All these elements make the story even more intriguing to read. Here are the pros and cons:

Pros: This book paints a picture of
Sahil Pradhan
Sep 17, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: myth, history
do you read puranic fiction? do you love female protagonists? do you love strong female protagonists? do you love tales which fills the dry annals of myth with the lucid fluid of imagination and intense narration?
if you are all these, you must and ought to pick up this book.
ever since I have read the books of the author, I have been in close contact with her. we discuss many topics and follow and comment each other voraciously. I truly thank u so much saiswaroopa mam for providing me with a cop
Vrinda Baliga
Aug 21, 2017 rated it it was amazing
The Rig Veda has one of the earliest mentions of the use of an artificial limb – by the warrior queen, Vishpala. Avishi is a fictional reimagining of Vishpala's life and times.

Avishi, an orphan, is brought up in a forest ashram by the rishis and rishikas of Naimisha. In Naimisha, she learns the arts of warcraft and leadership. She has no recollection of her family or how she ended up at the ashram. But fate will soon take her back to the place of her origin.

The backdrop of Avishi’s story is an
Aug 15, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Abyaya was good.
Avishi is even better!
Well done, Saiswaroopa Iyer!

The premise of the book itself was quite intriguing. A female warrior from the Rig Veda period, who got an Iron Leg created for her! I did a bit of research and realised that the author pretty much had to create the entire story from just two slokas in the Rig Veda. No mean task that 👏🏼
In Abhaya, there was a well known story to weave the tale around. Here, the author had to create it all, and she does so with aplomb.
It was quite
Jan 07, 2018 rated it really liked it
Shelves: reviewed
I loved the research Ms. Iyer has put in this novel. I have not read her other works but the way she has portrayed Avishi will stay with me for a long time. Stubborn, brave and ready to battle even a lion... literally. Avishi became an orphan at an early age and her training to became a warrior started after she was adopted. I loved the way the society of that era is depicted. Power of women, power in individuality and above all - everyone could take their own decision. Marriage was not a norm i ...more
Oct 22, 2017 rated it really liked it
India has a rich heritage. The civilization is almost 5000 years old and started with Rig Veda. Most Indians are not aware of this rich heritage. We have rudimentary knowledge of Ramayana and Mahabharata and not beyond this. This book is a commendable effort by Saiswaroopa Iyer to bring to forth that legacy.

There is mutiny against the General Ugra and Sukratu, his loyal bodyguard is killed. Avishi, his daughter is saved by a transgender and taken to another kingdom. What destiny has in store for
Aug 14, 2017 added it  ·  (Review from the author)  ·  review of another edition
You don't expect me to rate my own book, do you?
Dola Singh
Jan 24, 2018 rated it really liked it
Loved the gutsy heroine and the Vedic culture depicted in the book. A little more pace would have been great. Thorough research by the author. Liked the book very much. Detailed review coming up soon.
Pankaj Goyal
Jan 17, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
"Avishi: Reimagining Vishpala of the Rig Veda" is the second book of Saiswaroopa Iyer. As the title of the book suggests, the book is a fictional re-imagination of Vishpala, a female warrior of Vedic time. We find the reference of Vishpala in the hymns of the Rig Veda. These hymns are dedicated to twin gods Ashvinas, the divine physicians of the Vedic Pantheon. These hymns mention that Vishpala lost her leg in a war and the twin deities gave her a leg of metal so that she could fight yet again w ...more
Srilekh Sridharan
Nov 06, 2017 rated it really liked it
What attracted me to the book? Firstly, a strong female character and secondly an uncommon one! Many of us have just heard of the Vedas, how many actually get into the details of who is who? These authors and books are the gateway for us to a different world. I have read Abhaya by the same author, which again has a strong female protagonist. As an avid reader and a reviewer, this book was definitely in my hit list.

Book Cover and the Story

Vishpala from Rigveda is a warrior and the first lady with
Aug 26, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Before starting the book i was intrigued by the tagline the book had 'Vishpala of Rig Veda Reimagined'. I almost know nothing about the vedas but always curious to figure out what they actually are. Though this book has nothing to do with the teachings of vedas, i was curious to know that based on a couple of couplets of a Rigveda an entire 300 odd page book has been written. And the book doesn't disappoint me, rather it has made me understand how far an authors imagination can go.
Coming to the
Nov 23, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: 2017
This is the first book I have read by the author. I haven't read her first book. So I wasn't sure how it would be when I started reading. And I am a lover of Mythology but I confess I am more in love with Greek Mythology than Indian. This book has made me reconsider my stand. It has made me look deeply within our own mythology.

The cover was what caught my attention at the beginning and then the blurb had me thinking of reading of this book. This blog tour has only accelerated my reading the book
Ranajeet Dewasthalee
I had read 'Abhaya' by Saiswaroopa Iyer and loved it, so with huge expectations I started reading Avishi. I had finished 3/4th of the book and started to feel that it was more of a thriller (absolutely gripping narrative) rather than it being about moral dilemmas, intellectual debates and bringing out perspectives which were not thought about earlier (it was the primary reason I loved Abhaya). Albeit there were flashes of that whether it was debate about wedlock or about a monarch's code of cond ...more
Nov 07, 2017 rated it really liked it
To be honest, I am not a very big fan of mythological stories..I haven’t read this Author’s previous book “Abhaya”…. I started reading this book without much expectations..But now, I am happy as it is interesting and I enjoyed reading the same!!!

Protagonist Avishi’s father gets murdered and she is brought up in forest school of Naimisha..She travels to Ashtagini in search of her destiny..There she meets Satya, a doctor and is reminded of her past ..She had to save her people from problems create
Ruchi Singh
Oct 03, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: mythology
I have always been fond of Indian mythology, and one woven with fiction, I feel, adds its own intrigue to the tale. The fact that the story has been imagined based on a few verses of Rigveda adds to the appeal of the story and it satisfies the reader in me at all the levels.

In the backdrop of ancient India, the tale is about Avishi from Vrishabhavati who loses her entire family to a conspiracy, and is taken to a holy ashram of Naimisha, a dwelling of Rishi’s and sages who set the rules for all k
Love Africa Book Club
What an wonderful read.
I was fascinated by the cover and description of this book right from the word go. A story based on the folk-lore of a warrior queen? Where do I sign up.I'm so glad that I signed up. This is an epic fantasy action adventure that fuses coming of age themes with fulfilling your destiny which are well-used fantasy trope.

In this case the story is done very well and even more intriguing because the protagonist is female. Avishi is such a strong character, even as a child you c
Nov 15, 2017 rated it really liked it
Avishi is a story of a strong-willed lady with the same name. Avishi is set in an era where the institution called marriage was not yet in existence.

Saiswaroopa has done a commendable job with Avishi. Though this is her second book, it is the first time I have read her work and I absolutely loved it.

Initially, I found it little bit slow-paced but then once the plot catches up it's just unputdownable.

I loved the manner in which the central character has been portrayed as a strong-willed, able
Preethi Venugopala
Nov 03, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Loved this fascinating tale of the warrior queen, Avishi.
It is in Rig Veda that the use of an artificial limb by Queen Vishpala gets mentioned thereby making it the first instance of prosthesis recorded in history.
Saiswaroopa has done an amazing job of reimagining the life of the brave queen who despite losing a leg, rises to save her people.
The amount of research that went to writing this epic story is indeed commendable. We read about the sages of Naimisha contemplating the issue of whether t
Pratibha Pandey
Aug 20, 2017 rated it really liked it
Shelves: 2017
What is most remarkable part of this narrative is how the author has added other aspect of the life of those times. I would not want to give spoilers or mention some of the research areas but be assured that you will learn a lot about the evolution of society and knowledge while reading this book.

The references mentioned in the end of the book are an indication how well thought and crafted this book is. Apart from telling the story of Avishi , it is a book that has some important lessons to off
Vinay Leo
Nov 01, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
4.5 stars, actually. Review at A Bookworm's Musing

Loved the author's narration style a lot. It draws me into the story. Loved the character of Avishi, and how well it is fleshed. It's not easy to do such a good job without lots of research when the character isn't as prominent in mythology, and that research reflects in the story. Would have loved to read more about the character of Maharishi Vahni though. All in all, it's a book I loved and would re-read.
Kathryn Parry
Oct 23, 2017 rated it really liked it

A great start to this Arc story. Pulled me in on the first chapter. Thanks to the author for the chance to read this story for an unbiased review.
As I said the story pulls you into the mystery of Avishi on the first chapter. Feeling this is going to be one of those stories hard to put down.
A slow build up in the story and character development but I do like this in a story. I like to get to know the characters before the action starts.

Sharada Mohan
Nov 15, 2017 rated it really liked it
Avishi was an amazing read. The book is a real page turner and wonderfully imagined. The story is well woven connecting the kingdom of Vrishabhavathi, the settlement of Ashtagani and the sacred school of Naimisha forest. The concept of no institutionalization of marriage during the time is intriguing and raises many questions but doesn't result in any concrete conclusion. But, all in all , this book gave good insights about how life might have been during the Rig Vedic times.
M.V. Kasi
May 14, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Although I love mythology, I haven't read many fiction books based on the genre. Saiswaroopa's Avishi is sure to encourage many to explore into this genre. The usage of simple prose didn't distract from the storytelling. I also loved that many modern feminist sensibilities existed in that era. The courage, the passion and the intelligence shown by Avishi were truly awe-inspiring, making this a wonderfully memorable read.
Oct 10, 2017 rated it really liked it
I love Indian Mythology and that coupled with the fact that the main protagonist is a female warrior did the trick for me...
The writing style is simple and the story engaging...
Definitely worth reading.
Anjana V Pasari
Sep 12, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Something you should knwo about the ancient days

A story of ancient India..... Plot is arresting ,but somehow the fight in the end is too much to digest,can be better...
Hemantkumar Jain
Oct 03, 2017 rated it it was amazing
A gripping storyline with the series of events nicely woven into the story line. Events occur one after another without losing the pace or the tempo.

Well written. Delight to read .
« previous 1 next »

Readers also enjoyed

  • The Mists of Brahma (The Pataala Prophecy - Book 2)
  • KASHI: Secret of the Black Temple (Harappa Series)
  • Son of Bhrigu (The Pataala Prophecy Book 1)
  • HARAPPA: Curse of the Blood River
  • Ahalya's Awakening
  • The Fisher Queen's Dynasty
  • Shunya: A Novel
  • PRALAY: The Great Deluge
  • Krishna's Secret
  • Keepers of the Kalachakra
  • Raavan: Enemy of Aryavarta (Ram Chandra #3)
  • Lanka's Princess
  • 51 Lesser Known Tales From the Mahabharata (Mahabharata Companion, #1)
  • The Wedding Tamasha
  • The Vault of Vishnu
  • Rukmini: She Who Was First Among The Wives Of Krishna
  • Scion of Ikshvaku (Ram Chandra #1)
  • Mind is your Business
See similar books…
To receive the sample chapters of Saiswaroopa's next novel, do subscribe to her newsletter :

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

Related Articles

Need another excuse to treat yourself to a new book this week? We've got you covered with the buzziest new releases of the day. To create our lis...
27 likes · 15 comments
“Those with large hearts take risks for others, not because they see others deserving it. But because they see it as right.” He sighed.” 0 likes
“Desperation is often an opportunity. Frantic soldiers can win a losing battle if they are desperate enough.” 0 likes
More quotes…