Parthiban Kanavu by Kalki
My rating: 4 of 5 stars
This the sequel to Sivagamiyin Sabatham, the book is short compared to Sivagamiyin Sabatham and Ponniyin Selvan.
Parthiban is Chola King who is paying tax to Pallava empire. When Narasimha Varman went to war with Pulikesi, Chola king stopped to pay taxes. Narasimha Varman successful return after defeating Pulikesi he summons the Chola king to pay the taxes. But Parthiban who knows his army is not match to Pallavas ask them to wage war. He takes his son Vikraman to his secret room and shows his dreams of free Chola kingdom. Vikraman takes vow that he will fulfill his father's dream.
In the war Parthiban is defeated while on his death he meets a mystic monk (Saivite saint) who promises in helping Vikraman to realize his dream, before the king closes his eyes he comes to know who the monk is.
Years go by Vikraman tries to hoist Chola flag in his kingdom and he gets arrested by his own uncle who is the commander of Chola under Pallava rule. Narasimha Varman gets suggestion from his daughter Kundavi and so he deports Vikraman to an island, before he sets sail he sees a beautiful girl Kundavi in the port, love at first sight. After reaching the island Vikraman becomes the King.
Some years later Vikraman disguises as Gem merchant comes back to Mamallapuram on the way to Uraiur he was ambushed by his uncle and Kabala Bairavar and was saved by a Pallava spy (mystic monk). He gets the horse from the spy and tries to see his mother in Uraiur but he meets with an accident and fell ill gravely.
Did Vikraman saved from the illness? how did Vikraman gets back his kingdom? Who is the Saivite Saint? Who is the Maha Kabala Bairavar? All these are answered in the end.
From Sivagamiyin Sabatham the non fictional characters Narasimha Varman and Paranjothi now called Siruthondar reprise their roles. There is addition of Ponnan boat rower and his wife Valli, interesting characters who adds pace of the story. Those who have read Sivagamiyin Sabatham will not like the way the novel is written. The story has lot of twists, mysteries, political back stabbings and also the shrewdness of Narasimha Varman explained in detail. The story has potential to be big novel but the author has rushed in many places.
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