Author: Vaishnavi Patel
Released: April 26, 2022
Received: Own (BOTM)
Warnings: Controlling, misogyny, abuse, assault, animal death
Who else has been craving more mythological retellings? I know I have. That’s why I absolutely had to snag Kaikeyi when I saw it available on BOTM. Written by Vaishnavi Patel, Kaikeyi is a captivating fantasy tale worth diving into.
Kaikeyi was born the only daughter of a ruler of Kakaya. At a young age, she witnessed her mother’s banishment, and she took this lesson to heart. Do not trust others, especially men, to arrange her well-being and fate.
In a move of desperation and loneliness, Kaikeyi delves into the texts that her mother left behind. These texts help Kaikeyi understand the magic that flows within her veins – the magic that gives her the ability to influence those around her. These abilities will eventually shape Kaikeyi’s life, though perhaps not in the ways she could have ever anticipated.
“I was born on the full moon under an auspicious constellation, the holiest of positions—much good it did me.”
Wow. Kaikeyi was such a compelling read. It hits home on many points, especially the treatment of women and how wars can ruin lives and families. Vaishnavi Patel did an absolutely wonderful job of capturing these very human elements.
This is an impressive feat, given that the characters often felt larger than life. Kaikeyi seemed to take on the world, tackling the challenges and issues that so many had overlooked. It was beautiful and powerful to see, even if things didn’t go as she hoped or planned.
I don’t know enough about anything that Kaikeyi is based upon, and I wish that were different. I can tell you that Vaishnavi Patel did so much research prepping for this novel – much of the preparation is listed at the back of the book. I love it when authors do this. It provides insight into just how much work went into the novel, even before the writing process began.
Part of me was so sad when Kaikeyi. I wasn’t ready to say goodbye to the characters or the story, even though it did feel like the natural conclusion to the tale. I’m looking forward to seeing whatever Vaishnavi Patel has to write next, and know that I’ll be reading it.