Book Reviews

Queen of Earth | Devika Rangachari | Book Review

  • Author: Devika Rangachari
  • Paperback: 200 pages
  • Reading level: 12 – 14 years
  • Publisher: Duckbill Books (11 September 2020)
  • Language: English

Book Review

Queen of Earth by Devika Rangachari is a historical fiction set around the ninth-century queen of Odisha, Prithvimahadevi. A woman who’s grown up to be a strong-headed woman interested in state affairs, who dreams of wielding power and ruling the land loses herself after getting married for the sake of the strategic alliance. Would she ever get her chance to live her dreams?

This book is written in the first person where Prithvimahadevi narrates her tale. Right from living under the shade of her Somavamshi father who is extremely fond of her to being married off to a Bhaumakara king who is the least bit interested in her, her story essentially speaks for women. This story highlights the differences between how a woman was treated in two different kingdoms. 

At one place, she commands respect and lives with dignity while at other, she lives as a shadow and in inferiority. Meanwhile, we also get an idea of how women’s condition has not improved over the course of many centuries. Even today, she gets to hear that you cannot do because you’re a woman. She’s merely playing the role of pawn when she desires and deserves to be a queen.

I liked this book for its focus on women. I’ve come to like books with a strong female voice and this one fits the bill for me. This book portrays a woman with her strengths, weaknesses, vulnerabilities, and desires. I liked how the author chalked out her characters and put them in the right places for weaving an interesting tale. The book explores depth with ease and finesses in language. It is a fascinating mix of love, intrigue, vengeance, power, and strength. Totally recommended.


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