Every country is deep-rooted in its mythology. While there are several claims and historical evidence of mythologies, not everything has been found true by researchers. Yet the age-old tales, either spread by word of mouth or written by hermits and scholars have indeed captivated the history of the land they have spoken of.
Moreover, each of these myths has had several renditions while being narrated by different people over the passage of time.
Lately, writers across India have been affected by a literary trend that emerged back in the west when writers took the liberty of mixing facts and mythology with fiction which came to be known as mythological fiction. This genre has been picked up so wonderfully by our writers that none of their books can be put down. While some have researched the unrevealed section of the myth, some chose to speak of taboos, and some even glorified the villain.
I have listed five such books written by Indian writers which will thrill you no less than science fiction. Here they are.
Shiva Trilogy by Amish Tripathi
Shiva Trilogy has been selling like hotcakes ever since its publication. The book series has become synonymous with the genre itself. Written by Amish Tripathi, the trilogy depicts the story of the Hindu Lord Shiva since his advent as a God.
Amish humanizes the sacred lord as a Tibetan immigrant who is the only hope of the Chandravanshi’s against the evil in his first book – Immortals of Meluha. His second book –The Secret of Nagas portrays Shiva as the God, the destroyer of evil, set to find the door of the Nagas with vengeance in his mind. The third in the series, The Oath of the Vayuputras, is the final showdown between the destroyer of evil and his enemy.
The Pregnant King by Devdutt Pattnaik
Devdutt Patnaik can easily be deemed as the mythology know-all of the current living generation. The Pregnant King is one of the best books written by him although each of his books is completely worth reading. He has also used pictorial representations in many of his books.
The book tells the story of Yuvanashva, a childless king, who accidentally drinks the magic potion meant to make his queens pregnant. It is set in the backdrop of the Mahabharata and makes references to characters and incidents in the Kurukshetra as well as the Ramayana.
The Palace of Illusions by Chitra Banerjee Divakaruni
Every story has many facets when retold through the eyes of each of its characters. The Palace of Illusions by Chitra Banerjee Divakaruni is likewise the retelling of Mahabharata from Panchali/Draupadi’s perspective. In an epic that deals majorly with male characters, The Palace of Illusions narrates the story through a woman’s mind.
The Krishna Key by Ashwin Sanghi
This book is the best creation by writer Ashwin Sanghi. He weaves the story around a boy who grows up believing that he is the tenth avatar of Vishnu, and ends up being a serial killer. From the mystical city of Dwarka and its remains deep under the sea to the ivory white Taj Mahal, Sanghi makes the reader visualize it all very vividly.
Asura: Tale of the Vanquished by Anand Neelakantan
Did you know that in parts of Tamil Nadu and Sri Lanka the greatest of all mythological villains – Raavana – is actually revered and worshiped? The ancient king of Sri Lanka was full of wisdom and might which the Ram Rajya failed to notice.
Anand Neelakantan, in his book Asura, retells the Ramayana from Raavan’s perspective. Asuras, the declining clan, saw Ravana as a young leader and their only hope for prosperity narrates Neelakantan.