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Sons of Gods -- The Mahabharata Retold [Kindle Edition]

Aruna Sharan
5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)

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Book Description

The Story behind the Bhagavad Gita: a baby abandoned. A queen dishonoured. And a cataclysmic war that would end the Third Age of Mankind.

When novelist Aruna Sharan took an unofficial poll among her Western friends, she discovered that not one of them had read the great Indian epic Mahabharata. It was then that she decided: the time was right to self-publish Sons of Gods—the “secret baby” she had been nourishing for almost years—as an e-book.

Not that there is any dearth of "Mahabharatas" out there, written by a variety of authors both Western and Indian. It’s just that to date, not one of these versions has yet managed to capture the public imagination. The Mahabharata is still a book that many people think they should read, but never do.

For most Hindus, of course, the Mahabharata is unarguably the greatest story ever told (with the Ramayana a close second), a marvellous blend of page-turning entertainment and deep wisdom, peopled with larger-than-life characters who live forever in their hearts. It is at the very core of Indian culture, the story behind their central scripture, the Bhagavad Gita. As the last Governor-General of India, C. Rajagopalachari—himself a Mahabharata author—says: “It belongs to the world and not only to India.

"To the people of India, indeed, this epic has been an unfailing and perennial source of spiritual strength; learnt at the mother’s knee with reverence and love, it has inspired great men to heroic deeds as well as enabled the humble to face their trials with fortitude and faith.”

The highest literature transcends regionalism, and through it, when we are properly attuned, we realise the essential oneness of the human family.

The Mahabharata is of this calibre.

This new version strives to capture the vital essence of the vast original in a single volume: a continuous story dramatised so as to captivate the reader with living, breathing characters, spiritually alive and retaining the powerful spirit of the original, yet restructured into the familiar form of the modern novel.

The story in a nutshell, as told in Sons of Gods:
Karna, sired by the Sungod Surya, is born to the unmarried princess Kunti. She abandons him to the river; he is found and raised by a low-caste couple.

Spurned by all, Karna finds a friend and ally in the avaricious prince Duryodhana. But Duryodhana's worst enemies just happen to be the five brothers, the Pandavas, the noblest warriors in the world. And their mother is Kunti, that princess who still grieves for the child she gave away as a young girl.

Karna and Arjuna -- the middle and mightiest Pandava -- each vow to kill each other without knowing they are brothers. As tensions mount, so does their hatred for each other; until, in the cataclysmic war that will wipe out the entire warrior caste, they meet in the inevitable facedown. This is war in which no-one can be the winner.

Aruna Sharan is the pen name of Sharon Maas, author of the best-selling HarperCollins novel Of Marriageable Age and two other novels. Of Marriageable Age is soon to be made available as an e-book.

Product Details

  • File Size: 544 KB
  • Print Length: 310 pages
  • Simultaneous Device Usage: Unlimited
  • Sold by: Amazon Digital Services, Inc.
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B006Q7F4Q6
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Word Wise: Not Enabled
  • Lending: Enabled
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #396,392 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
Format:Kindle Edition
I've always loved mythologies. Like most of my American contemporaries, Greek and Roman myths were part of our school curriculum. On my own, I sought out Native American and Norse tales. As I let them, they spilled the secrets of the forces and spirits that put color and flourish over the grey cogs of physics and rationalism. I've loved these stories for the freedom from the strictly literal that they offer; the chance to swim in what it says of humanity in the stories we invent to explain the universe.

I had certainly heard of India's rich fables and parables, particularly, the Bhagavad Gita. But I didn't know of its larger contextual epic, The Mahabharata. And I also didn't know that I was poorer for it.

I had read Sharon Maas (writing here as Aruna Sharan) several years ago. Her gorgeous and riveting, OF MARRIAGEABLE AGE, is a treasure to me, as it is currently (but perhaps not for long) out of print. I was delighted for the opportunity to read a new work of hers.

SONS OF GODS: THE MAHABHARATA RETOLD is kaleidoscopic in its beauty and intricacy. The hurdle of the tale's massive scope has always daunted translators, and the difficulty of prising the right tone from an ancient grand epic to suit a modern and Western audience has relegated it to largely academic obscurity.

What's saved it for us is that Aruna Sharan knows full well that love, betrayal, lust, envy, pride, devotion, and heroism never go out of style. SONS OF GODS is a literary soap opera with a soul that spans the full horizon.

Love for the panoramic story itself and the patience of more than three decades of careful crafting has solved the literary puzzle of how to present it for an audience in the digital age.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Wonderful. January 3, 2014
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
A most excellent novelization of what is probably one of the oldest books existent, and assuredly the longest epic poem in all of history. There's bits left out, and it doesn't go into the depths of metaphysical discussion one finds in such translations of bits of the story, such as the "Bhagavad Gita as it is" - by Swami Prabhupata- something not usually read by anyone outside the Krishna ashrams or a comparative theology course, so don't come looking for explanations for the magic, beyond the magic itself.
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