'Retellings of the Mahabharata often succumb to the temptation of reversing the gaze and providing a noble patina to their protagonists. Meenakshi Reddy Madhavan, though, bravely reimagines the story and the inner life of the fisher-maiden Satyavati before her arrival into the epic, before she changes the future of the Kuru dynasty. Madhavan humanizes Satyavati, and reminds us that the passage through adolescence is in itself a heroic odyssey.' - Karthika Nair Who is Satyavati? Truth-teller. Daughter of water. Child of apsara and king. Cursed from birth. Fish-smell girl. Growing up as a girl in the Vedic age is anything but easy - and even harder for the future Queen of Hastinapur, the kingdom of all kingdoms. She must contend with magic islands, difficult sages, calculating foster parents, sexual awakening and loneliness. Even when she is at the threshold of the capital, King Shantanu, smitten though he is with her, already has a crown prince from his marriage with a goddess. Young Satyavati must walk on thorns to reach her destiny in a world ruled by men.
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