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Karna's Wife : The Outcast's Queen
Author: Kavita Kane

Publisher: Rupa Publications India
ISBN: 9788129120854
Pages: 295
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Published in 2013, Karna's Wife: The Outcast's Queen is a unique novel in the genre of magic realism that tells parts of the Mahabharata through the eyes of Uruvi, the wife of Karna, who is the unsung hero of the Epic tale.

The novel begins with her story, an accomplished Kshatriya princess who chooses Karna, the 'sutaputra', over Arjun, an antithesis of Draupadi's choice. A bright, witty and intelligent women completely in love with Karna, the novel traces her struggles and travails, coming to terms with Karna's socially inferior position and her own title as the 'Outcast's Queen'. How she uses her wit and intelligence to be accepted into his family is evocatively demonstrated. Slowly, she becomes Karna's mainstay, the one he comes to for advice and solace, and yet, she is helpless in the face of his wilful and blind obedience to Duryodhana. She stands behind him and is his true support when the entire world had turned against him, through a series of cruel misfortunes and turns of fate.

The entire story of Karna and Uruvi unfolds against the larger backdrop of the Kurukshetra war between the Pandavas and the Kauravas. Karna’s fierce loyalty to Duryodhana, Duryodhana’s constant love for Karna, his birth entirely shrouded in mystery and Karna’s associations with the Pandavas and Draupadi, these are all some of the themes explored in this novel. Karna's character is also deeply fleshed out, his role as a son, father, husband, friend, warrior and devotee. Uruvi is a silent witness to the strength and valour of Karna, his immeasurable love for Krishna and the unfortunate end he meets with.

The novel has received good reviews from readers around the world as being a unique recasting of an old story in a fresh and new form. Karna's Wife: The Outcast's Queen is recommended for anyone interested in Mythology.