NP Recommends: Why you will love Barbarika
Author: Hariharan Raju
Genre: Epic fiction, Fantasy, Mythology
Shyam slowly backed away and sat down on the bed with his hands on his mouth.
“What have I become!” he whispered. Slowly, he raised his arm and let his fingers run from his shoulder to his newly acquired breasts and down to his lean waist. The words and warnings of Vishaka came back to him, one at a time. “Things will change, but you must not,” he had said.
And here he was, sitting in his old clothes in a new apartment and an even newer body – one that belonged to the step-grandmother of his legendary ancestor Barbarika.
“Oh dear, what have I become!” he said, a bit louder this time. Shyam could hear the sweet voice of Queen Draupadi.
A boon from Lord Krishna results in Barbarika, son of Ghatotkacha and grandson of Bhima, being reincarnated in Kaliyug as Shyam. A genetics experiment by one of King Ashoka’s fabled Unknown Men gives him the ability to change his form to anything he wants. But there’s a catch. Shyam has to find his one true love within 18 days else he will remain unable to control his transformations. Hariharan Raju blends mythology, history and science seamlessly in this book and keeps us hooked till the end with his unexpected plot twists. Does Shyam overcome his trials and gain the power he is destined to possess?
Krishna looked at Barbarika and said, “Boy, you know a war is coming. The Pandavas will face the Kauravas. Who will you support in the war?”
Barbarika still abided by the promise that he had made to his mother. “I will support whoever is weaker. No matter whom that is, I will fight only for them.”
Krishna realized that the Kauravas would be the weaker side as they were destined to lose. This meant that Barbarika would take their side and destroy the Pandavas with his power, and even Krishna would not be able to stop him. He had to stop him from taking part in the war somehow, and he devised a plan.
“Barbarika, you are truly a great warrior. Will you grant this humble Brahmin something that his heart desires?”
Barbarika, being the admirable person he was, agreed without the slightest bit of hesitation.
“Barbarika, I need your head as charity.”
Why we love it:
Barbarika weaves mythology and science to create a fantastic narrative that teeters on the edge of realism. The boon Barbarika obtained from Lord Krishna is mystical while the way in which the boon manifests itself in Shyam is scientific. Divine intervention and epi-genetics play an equal role in his life.
Whether you are a lover of fantasy or realism, this book will appeal to you because it balances both in a brilliant way. The Mahabharata is a great source of inspiration for writers, and there are countless books in the Indian market that focus on the various characters who take part in it or offer a different perspective to the war itself. In Hariharan Raju’s Barbarika, the aftermath of the Mahabharata extends throughout history and is realistically brought into the current era. Fast-paced and replete with action, the novel grips you till the end and therefore makes you demand a sequel!
You will love it if:
If you love mythological fiction like The Palace of Illusions, The Immortals of Meluha and The Mahabharata Secret, you will enjoy this book. Fans of Clash of the Titans and Percy Jackson will also love it.