Book Review: Rise OF Sivagami by Anand Neelakantan

Baahubali book  – doesn’t that seem to be an amazing thought? BaahuBali is one of the greatest movies in Indian cinema and who doesn’t want to know more about it? The Rise of Sivagami is exactly that. It’s Baahubali – before the beginning story.

The director and creator of Baahubali, S.S. Rajamouli, had wanted to share more about this gigantic world of Mahishmathi kingdom and how everything happened the way it was at the time movie focused on. Hence, he contacted one of the greatest Indian mythological fiction writers – Anand Neelankantan. He is the writer of Asura and Ajaya series both of which are retellings of Ramayana and Mahabharata but from the losers’ perspectives.

Enough about the writer of the book and the actual creator of the story. What’s the book actually about? Is the Rise of Sivagami worth reading? If yes, how good it is? Keep reading to know more.

About The Rise Of Sivagami

Rise of sivagami book review

As evident from the cover page of the book, it is the Baahubali – before the beginning. It’s a series of books that will introduce you to the time before Baahubali happened and the first book in the series is named as the Rise of Sivagami.

Who is Sivagami? Sivagami, if you remember her from Baahubali movie, is that charismatic woman who raises two kids, one of them being Baahubali. She allows them to get the best education and then works on deciding who will be the rightful king to the great Mahishmathi kingdom.

But what is this Mahishmathi kingdom? It’s a powerful kingdom that is flourishing and is considered invincible. People say it has the blessings of sacred GauriParvat which is a blessed mountain. It has one of the best types of weapons that make the army of the kingdom stronger and it also enjoys the loyalty of the subjects so much so that the slaves of the kingdom are also insanely loyal to the king. That’s what everybody thinks Mahishmathi kingdom. However, there are deeper secrets, hidden agendas and much-complicated truth behind all this facade.

Sivagami is a little girl who wants to avenge her father’s death. Years ago, her father was declared a traitor and sentenced in the cruelest manner. But she doesn’t believe her father to be a traitor and blames it all on the king. She grows up with the motive of bringing the fall of this kingdom.

The Rise Of Sivagami is the first book in this amazing tale of the fight to gain power and revenge.

Plot of The Rise Of Sivagami

The Rise Of Sivagami is far beyond Sivagami’s story. In fact, Sivagami makes a very small part of this complicated story. There are various other subplots going on apart from Sivagami’s life.

There are these people who are not loyal to the king and are continuously working on some devious motives.

There are people who don’t believe in the greatness of the Mahishmathi kingdom and want to see it falling down.

There are people who are loyal to the king yet they are working on curbing some malpractices happened beyond the sight of their great king.

And then there’s this amazing person who really became the subject of millions of memes and online discussions – Kattappa.

The book is, in fact, the story of all of these. With various subplots, the book lengthens at times and doesn’t truly end all the subplots at its end, leaving a lot of loose ends which may not be appreciated by all the readers.

Cliffhangers are still acceptable (and expected) in a book series but the loose ends in this book bothered me personally. My wait for all the sub-plots to fall in one place was left incomplete which made me feel not so great about it. There were some instances where I felt that the story needed the closing and required more elaboration. Let’s hope they make up for it in the second book.

Characters of the Rise of Sivagami

There are too many characters in this book and it’s entirely possible to write a whole review discussing just the characters. To be honest, when you deal with so many characters, it gets tough to leave a mark on the reader’s mind. You keep forgetting who was who.

But I am glad to say that it wasn’t so with the book. Each character was defined so well, in really less words and space, and yet you forget nobody. You don’t want to refer to the reference section of the book. You remember even that small boy who seemed like a nobody.

There is Sivagami and her new gang of friends. There are also the people who she left behind in the beginning of the book. There are people who changed the course of her new life and how she spent the time at the new place she was sent to.

There are the bad guys who keep planning and plotting. There are more bad guys these guys get into their team and you don’t even forget to notice the slaves of these traitors.

There are princes, the king and the queen along with the slaves which are given much more attention in the book than the king himself. Trust me! You’ll love that it was done this way.

There are these tribals with some interesting characters and their dialogues wreaked of their personality and let them imprint their character in your mind. It was all amazing.

Writing style

That’s the best part of the book. Even when I had issues with the plot, I kept cherishing what I was reading. By the end of this book, I did feel like nothing big happened in the entire book but not even once did I feel bored while reading the book due to its gripping and beautiful writing.

The descriptions are apt and short. The characters are well built. The narration is beyond amazing or lets just say it was just like how the Anand Neelakantan writes.

Yes, I am amazed myself on how I am becoming a fan of this author but once you read his books, you will be wondering the same thing.

Final Words

I believe the book – Rise of Sivagami is a one of its kind historical fiction written in India and I absolutely adored it. It’s a series and would help you stick to this Mahishmathi world for a long time. It won’t be tough to ignore the slow pace, for you will completely adore the book no matter what.

Go ahead and grab the book for a great reading experience and to know more about Sivagami and maybe have some more theories on why Kattappa killed Baahubali. I already have a few more now. Comment below what are your theories!

My Ratings: 3.5/5 

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