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The Kaunteyas by Madhavi Mahadevan – Book Review

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  • Post last modified:February 2, 2022
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Author: Madhavi Mahadevan
Publisher: Tranquebar Press

Writing Style


You’ll feel pity, feel anger and love for Kunti at the same time. It’s a wonderful read that will give us a new perspective of Mahabharata.



•Have a courage to break free of your fears, don’t be cowed down by the opinions of others.•

The Kaunteyas by Madhavismahadevan
Is a journey of Kunti. From her childhood to becoming Maharani of Hastinapur to becoming Mother of the greatest warriors. Who was Kunti? How was her childhood? When did Sage Durvasa give Kunti a boon? Was it a boon she asked for?

Also Read: Imperfect Love by Jaishree – Book Review

It’s about Kunti’s journey to Hastinapur, her life with Maharaj Pandu, her bond with Gandhari, her love for Krishna. Why Draupadi was furious at her? Why she decided to leave Hastinapura and many many questions were answered here.

It’s a book that I could not put down. A book that holds secrets of Mahabharata. I liked how the author narrated the life of Kunti. How she felt when she told Karna the truth, when she told Pandavas the truth and a lot more. The engaging writing style keeps the reader hooked throughout. I liked the way it is narrated, with a smooth flow of words, the author keeps the readers invested in.

It has a lot about Kunti’s life with Pandu, the story of Satyavati, Amba and Ambalika. I wished the author could have discussed more about the war, Yudishtir’s curse and other things. It felt a lil incomplete to me.

You’ll feel pity, feel anger and love for Kunti at the same time. It’s a wonderful read that will give us a new perspective of Mahabharata.


‘Death is important to a man, but survival is more important to a woman.’

With a split destiny ruling her life, Kunti, given away at birth, leads a hard but uneventful existence in her foster-father’s home. At fourteen she is pressed into the service of the temperamental sage Durvasa who grants her a boon. Its first use, however, only brings her adversity and a shameful secret.

With marriage to Pandu, Kunti dreams of a better future, but a curse makes him leave the throne of Hastinapur to his sibling, the blind Dhritarashtra, and retreat to the forest. The births of the five Pandavas rekindle Kunti’s hopes of returning to Hastinapur, but these are destroyed once again when Pandu dies suddenly. Kunti journeys to the kingdom, no longer its queen but a widow, a dependant as are her sons. She must now take up the task of guiding them through the long struggle to get their inheritance, a struggle made harder by the discovery that the illegitimate child she had abandoned long ago is alive and a sworn enemy of the Pandavas.

Recasting the Mahabharata from the viewpoint of Kunti, The Kaunteyas replaces the idealized mother figure with a fully three-dimensional woman, providing new insights into the epic.

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