Cover Image: Until the Lions

Until the Lions

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Member Reviews

This was a beautiful, fierce take on the Mahabharatha, with the poems bringing us its female voices. They speak not only through the story but to one another, bringing together their experiences as a discordant tapestry.
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This is a reworking of the Hindu text Mahabharata, written from the viewpoint of the female characters. 

It is also written in verse. This was a major problem for me as I just couldn't get into the rhythm of the writing, and missed a lot of what was actually going on in the story. 

Not being wholly familiar with the Mahabharata anyway meant I really couldn't follow it all.  

I only got about 50% of the way through and had to give up.
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A phenomenal work by Karthika Nair - and another hit from Archipelago. Brilliant. Highly recommended reading.
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Well I was able to endure this, purely because of the author's techniques and use of form – blocks of obstinate and repetitive yet poetic text, followed by haiku, guide us into this telling, and that's just the start of it.  Later on we meet a hundred warrior siblings all given their own Clerihew – except they're not strictly those, but actually an Afghani poetry form, which here start out yoked, too.  But as to what it's actually telling us, I never really got a grip, for despite the author's note and the dramatis personae list and the family tree, it remained a bit too incomprehensible.  The family tree is useless when the narrator has children that aren't even mentioned on the diagram, and when the cast list tells us "oh, there are three of the buggers with that name, make your own guess as to who's who" you have to despair.  This then is only for those who definitely know the Mahabharata, and in part that's just so the reader actually can tell what this talented writer has done to it.
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