The Palace of Illusions by Chitra Banerjee Divakaruni
A Novel

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Taking us back to a time that is half history, half myth and wholly magical, The Palace of Illusions gives new voice to Panchaali, the fire-born heroine of the Mahabharat, as she weaves a vibrant interpretation of an ancient tale. Married to five royal husbands who have been cheated out of their father's kingdom, Panchaali aids their quest to reclaim their birthright, remaining at their side through years of exile and a terrible civil war. But she cannot deny her complicated friendship with the enigmatic Krishna—or her secret attraction to the mysterious man who is her husbands' most dangerous enemy—as she is caught up in the ever-manipulating hands of fate.

From the Trade Paperback edition.

About Chitra Banerjee Divakaruni

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Chitra Divakaruni's first book in the Brotherhood of the Conch series, The Conch Bearer, was a Publishers Weekly Best Book of the Year, and a Booklist Editors' Choice. She currently lives in Texas. Susy Pilgrim Waters is an illustrator, designer, and painter. Susy lives in Boston with her husband, Keith, their dog, Tillie, two cats, and two bunnies. They have two grown children.
Published February 6, 2009 by Anchor. 388 pages
Genres: Literature & Fiction, History, Science Fiction & Fantasy. Fiction

Unrated Critic Reviews for The Palace of Illusions

The Guardian

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The Sanskrit epic Mahabharata has its share of war and bewitchment, but Panchaali (also known as Draupadi), the woman who narrates Chitra Banerjee Divakaruni's feminised retelling, is a fascinating oddity: princess and maidservant, demure beauty and vengeful schemer.

Sep 26 2009 | Read Full Review of The Palace of Illusions: A Novel

AV Club

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Born from a ritual fire, Draupadi was destined for greatness the moment she stepped into the world.

Mar 12 2008 | Read Full Review of The Palace of Illusions: A Novel

San Francisco Chronicle

These elements and many more are found in abundance in Chitra Banerjee Divakaruni's new novel, "The Palace of Illusions," which ambitiously encapsulates the Indian epic "Mahabharat" within a 360-page novel.

Feb 12 2008 | Read Full Review of The Palace of Illusions: A Novel


The pathos of the original tale and its powerful heroine as raw canvas, combined with her gift for imbuing beauty in even the most repetitive storylines, should have made this book the author’s masterpiece.

Jul 26 2010 | Read Full Review of The Palace of Illusions: A Novel

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