Title: Son of Shiva
Author: Preetha Rajah Kannan
Publisher: Jaico Publishing House
Kartikeya is an ancient god, traceable to the Vedic era. Also known as Murugan, Skanda, Kumara, and Subrahmanya, he is the Hindu god of war and as such the commander-in-chief of the celestial army. An important deity found all over the Indian subcontinent in its history, Kartikeya is particularly popular in South India, such as among the Tamil people. He is heralded as the champion of gods and commands great respect from his followers. He is the son of Parvati and Shiva, brother of Ganesha, and a god whose life story has many versions in Hinduism. Based on this background, Preetha Rajah Kannan’s ‘Son of Shiva’ explores the stories related to Kartikeya.
Though the protagonist of the book is Kartikeya, he makes his appearance only in the third segment of the book. By this time half the book is over. Kannan has gone into a lot of back story before telling the actual one. The book actually starts with Parvati being banished from Kailash, to her adoption by Daksha, marriage to Shiva, rebirth as Girija, remarriage to Shiva, and finally the birth of Kartikeya. One may think that this book is more about the story of Shiva than his son. But it does not spoil one’s reading experience for the author’s way with words has the capacity to cast a spell on the reader.
Kannan writes assuredly and evocatively and with a precise eye for details. The flowing language and short chapters makes for easy reading. The occasional illustrations add a certain kind of charm to the story itself. There’s nothing path-breaking about this book, but it never bores. One would think that it is an exhausted subject for new writing, but the fact remains that mythology retellings seldom go wrong.
To sum it, ‘Son of Shiva’ is a neat package and a delight for mythology lovers.
About the Author
Preetha Rajah Kannan is the author of Shiva in the City of Nectar, an enthralling collection of stories based on the revered Tamil text, Thiruvilayaadal Puranam. She is also the editor of Navagraha Purana, a translation of the eponymous Telugu work on the mythology of the nine planets, by celebrated author V. S. Rao. Kannan has contributed extensively to newspapers and magazines, such as The New Indian Express and The Express School Magazine. A homemaker and a mother of two boys, she lives with her family in Madurai, Tamil Nadu.
I'd like to thank the author for letting me review the book. I do hope you end up liking the book when you read it. Thank you so much for stopping by, and happy reading!
* I received a review copy from the publisher in exchange for an honest review.
** Picture courtesy: Amazon.in