Tuesday, February 13, 2007

Kings, Kinship and Valour

"Stories of kings and battles of long ago."

The Hindu
(The Young World, 12th January 2007)
Abanindranath Tagore's Rajkahini is a series of tales about kings, kinship and valour. The stories also prove that kingship isn't just about grandeur and luxury. He was a painter and perhaps that's why his novel at most parts seem to be word pictures of forts, battle and kings of long ago.

Rajkahini may at times, when the details get too much, seem very like a very colourful history book. The first few stories may seem superior in terms of characters, situations and the settings while in the later tales the decline of circumstances and grandeur in the personal characteristics of the royalty is striking. Their descendants undergo a natural decline and this is subtly indicated throughout the stories. The earlier stories are tales of valour where men live by the sword and in the latter ones the battlefield is abandoned and treacherous methods of poisoning are adopted to ensnare and kill.

Translated from the original Bengali version, it almost seems as if the translator has superimposed English over the work.
- Paromita Pain
About the author

Abanindranath Tagore

Illustrations and Inside Drawings

Vikram Nayak

Publishers: Katha
Series: Katha Pocket Plus Series
Age Group: 13-17 years
200 pages
ISBN 81-89020-52-8 [PB]
Price: Rs 120 [in India and the subcontinent]

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