I started the year with an aim of reading at least three books every month which I couldn’t manage. However I have been reading two books per month on an average which is a consolation. Yesterday I finished reading ‘The Rise of Sivagami (Bahubali: Before the beginning #1)’ by Anand Neelakantan.
The entire nation is gripped with Bahubali fever. Being a huge fan of Bahubali, I was filled with apprehensions about the book. Would it live up to the standard that Bahubali has set or is it just an attempt to cash in on the established brand that Bahubali has become? Writing a book inspired from a blockbuster movie which has taken the entire country by storm is by no means an easy feat and the author definitely took a huge risk by not only accepting the challenge but also by finishing the book in just 109 days. However my doubts were put to rest as the author has definitely done a marvelous job by doing justice to the trust placed in him by Babhubali’s director S.S.Rajamouli who has also written a foreword for the book.
The Rise of Sivagami is the first book of the Bahubali: Before the beginning trilogy and is a prequel to the movie. Apart from the protagonists, the movie has two pivotal characters- Sivagami and Katappa. The book revolves about the teenager Sivagami whose father was declared a traitor and was killed by the powerful Mahishmati Empire when she was only five. Sivagami was raised by her father’s friend Thimma and she grows up to be fierce and beautiful with a burning desire for vengeance. She has in her possession an ancient manuscript in an indecipherable language which is her only hope to prove her father’s innocence.
There are multiple plots in the book which keep you glued. There is a conspiracy to dethrone the King of Mahishmati by some of his own powerful Bhumipathis. There are the rebels Vaithalikas who are yearning for freedom from last 300 years. Katappa, the faithful young slave is in turmoil as his younger brother Shivappa has turned rebel. There is the cruel Prince Bijjala who because of his greed and lust puts his country in danger. Then there is younger Prince Mahadeva who is hopelessly in love with Sivagami not knowing that she has vowed to kill his father.
The book doesn’t disappoint but I would still say that I am biased towards the movie. Still it’s an interesting read with a well-told story and powerful characters. With a rich narrative and enough twists and turns, The Rise of Sivagami is definitely worth a read.
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