#BookReview : Lanka’s Princess



TITLE: Lanka’s Princess
AUTHOR: Kavita Kané
PUBLISHER: Rupa Publications
GENRE: Fiction ( Mythology)






Surpanakha, Ravan’s famous sister. Ugly and untamed, brutal and brazen—this is often how she is commonly perceived. One whose nose was sliced off by an angry Lakshman and the one who started a war. But was she really just a perpetrator of war? Or was she a victim? Was she ‘Lanka’s princess’? Or was she the reason behind its destruction?

Surpanakha, which means the woman ‘as hard as nails’, was born as Meenakshi—the one with beautiful, fish-shaped eyes. She is often the most misunderstood character in the Ramayana. Growing up in the shadows of her brothers, who were destined to win wars, fame and prestige, she, instead, charted out a path filled with misery and revenge.

Accused of manipulating events between Ram and Ravan, which culminated into a bloody war and annihilation of her family, Kavita Kané’s Lanka’s Princess makes us see the familiar events unfold from the eyes of a woman more hated than hateful…


PLOT/ STORY-LINE: If I were to describe it in just a word I’d say, “Gripping.”

Mythology especially Indian Mythology has a special charm. It is open to a wide range of interpretations. It holds in its bosom so many stories, stories told and untold, stories that can shake you to the core, stories that when seen from different angles give one different perceptions of human nature. What to one may seem good will to another be a source of criticism.

‘Lanka’s Princess’ explores the character of Surpanakha of Ramayana right from her birth to her end. It is a tale of a girl, a kid who yearned for love from the ones who mattered most her parents but who faced nothing but ridicule. Always the butt of ridicule Meenakshi or the one with beautiful, fish-shaped eyes finally became Surpanakha the woman ‘as hard as nails.’ But what interested me was that ‘Lanka’s Princess’ actually puts the onus of not only the war between Ram and Ravan on Surpanakha but also the events leading to the exile of Sita by Ram, on her.

While going through the pages of the book one comes across a wide range of emotions. There is love and there is hatred. There is ridicule and there is empathy. There is loyalty as well as treachery. But what really stands out is the extent to which one can go to seek vengeance and the havoc it can create not only in the lives of those against whom it is aimed but also those around.

Lanka’s Princess is in short a saga of the one wronged since birth, the saga of the one who ventures out to destroy all those who are responsible for her sorry plight.

CHARACTERIZATION: The character of the protagonist Surpanakha and her mother Kaikesi the one actually instrumental for making Meenakshi aka Surpanakha an embittered being, are well developed. My only grudge is that the character of Ravan lacks depth. Would have loved to see the author work a little more on him.

LANGUAGE: Simple, crisp and lucid. No hard nuts to crack or pebbles to take away the taste.

PACE AND STYLE: The pace is fine. The style of narrative does justice to the story-line.

EDITING: There are a few typos and one or two places where the author has made contradictory usages that need to be rectified.


A wonderful and refreshing read, one that’s sure to make you see Surpanakha and the events that lead to the war between Ram and Ravan in another light. I’ll give the book 4 on a scale of 5.



amazon.in / flipkart / snapdeal




Kavita Kané

A senior journalist with a career of over two decades, which includes working for Magna publication and DNA, Kavita Kané quit her job as Assistant Editor of Times of India to devote herself as a full time author.

Kavita’s debut novel Karna’s Wife (2013)is a bestseller. Her other works are Sita’s Sister (2014) which deals with another enigmatic personality – Urmila, probably the most overlooked character in the Ramayan and Menaka’s Choice(2015).

Want to follow her?

She’s there on twitter and facebook


‘I received a copy from Writersmelon in exchange for an honest and unbiased review.’

It’s always a pleasure to know others views books and reviews. Do leave your views on the book and this review in the comment box below.


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