By Indian Authors Fiction Mythological fiction

Lanka’s Princess by Kavita Kané – Book review


Lanka's Princess Book Cover Lanka's Princess
Kavita Kané
Mythological fiction
Rupa Publications India
December 1st 2016
Read from library

Surpanakha, Ravan’s famous sister. Ugly and untamed, brutal and brazen—this is often how she is commonly perceived. One whose nose was sliced off by an angry Lakshman and the one who started a war. But was she really just a perpetrator of war? Or was she a victim? Was she ‘Lanka’s princess’? Or was she the reason behind its destruction?

Surpanakha, which means the woman ‘as hard as nails’, was born as Meenakshi—the one with beautiful, fish-shaped eyes. She is often the most misunderstood character in the Ramayana. Growing up in the shadows of her brothers, who were destined to win wars, fame and prestige, she, instead, charted out a path filled with misery and revenge.

Accused of manipulating events between Ram and Ravan, which culminated into a bloody war and annihilation of her family, Kavita Kané’s Lanka’s Princess makes us see the familiar events unfold from the eyes of a woman more hated than hateful…


Ramayana is the epic which has various characters who teaches us a valuable lesson. Reading these great epics through the eyes of lesser known character is always amazing to read. Kavita Kané, who is best known to highlight the lesser known women characters of Hindu mythology, has again chosen the most misunderstood women character Surpanakha as of her protagonist. Having been already read her book Karna’s Wife, Sita’s Sister and Menaka’s Choice I was super excited to read this book! So let’s see which story this book unfolds.

Plot summary:

This book starts with a prolog where Krishna meets a hunchback woman named as Kubja in Mathura. The woman senses some familiarity with Krishna. After some days Krishna meets to the lady and heals her body. Krishna told her that she was Surpanakha in the previous birth and starts narrating to her story.

Meenakshi is the fourth born child to the learned Rishi Vishravas and asur kanya Kaikesi. Her color is dark compared to the other fair and good looking family members, her eyes are fish shaped. (See the beautiful cover page) But the thing which renamed her Surpanakha was her talons.

Growing up in the hatred behavior of her mother, she loves her father. Ravan, her elder brother who has always got the love and privilege of her mother have won Lanka thus fulfilling the aim of Kaikesi. She is now Lanka’s princess but there is no one who can understand her. She is lonely in the golden Lanka as well as in her family.

She able to gain some love in her life through Vidyujiva but fate also snatches this chance away from her.  Constant hatred, suppression, and ego of Ravan finally lit the fire of vengeance in heart of Meenakshi cursing her brother to die. What happens next is destruction, the death of a whole generation!

But really Surpanakha was the perpetrator of this war or a mere victim? Was she right or wrong? Who was the main culprit? Read this gripping saga of Surpanakha, a demon princess.

Writing style:

This book starts with an interesting note and maintains the essence throughout the book. The language is pretty easy and narration is captivating making you finish this book in three sittings.

My perception:

As I have already mentioned in my previous reviews of Kavita Kané’ s book that writing a story through the eyes of lesser known characters of an epic is a tedious task. About Surpanakha, I have just read that she has cursed her brother Ravan that you will be killed by my cause but I have never imagined that anyone can write a whole book on her.  This book is very well researched, well narrated and well presented. There was a time in the book when I really find myself hooked with the character of Meenakshi. She was a common girl but her surrounding has made her gain an infamous name in mythology. Apart from Meenakshi’s viewpoint, this book also shows the family of Ravan which I have never read before. This book is going to be my favorite book of the year. Mythology lovers do not miss this book!

Grab a copy of this book from here, 

Until next time, Keep reading 🙂 

Sheetal Maurya

Sheetal Maurya is a full-time blogger. She is a die-hard bookworm and has read more books than she can count. She believes in the art of storytelling and reviews books so that the world can choose the best ones and embark on an adventurous virtual reading journey.


  • Purba Chakraborty March 8, 2017 Reply

    I loved reading this book. Very well reviewed 🙂

    • Sheetal Maurya March 10, 2017 Reply

      Same here Purba ! Thanks for commenting 🙂

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