The Prince’s Special Bride by Devika Fernando

The Prince’s Special Bride by Devika Fernando

The Prince’s Special Bride is a sweet love story between Prince Christian of Taragonia and Marie Kemei,  an Anglo-African hotel manager working in the Maldives.

The background –

The book starts with a beautiful sunset in Maldives which Marie loves to watch in solitude.  Her solitude is broken when she finds one of the hotel guests sobbing her heart out.  Marie soon becomes friend and confidante to Olivia.  Christian comes in search of his sister Olivia and finds her staying in the Malaysian hotel.  Marie and Christian are attracted to each other.  But,  Marie comes to know later that Olivia and Christian belong to the Royal kingdom of Taragonia.  It is a fictitious kingdom in Europe.  Olivia’s distress is she is engaged to be married to the Prince of Visteria.  Everything changes when Princess Olivia invites Marie a month in advance to her wedding and asks her to be her special Bridesmaid.  Marie is awed by the grandeur of the palace and the way the royals live.  Her exotic looks with darker skin and Afro hair makes her stand out in the European kingdom of pale skins and pastel gowns.  She feels she is a misfit.  It is only her love for the Prince and the friendship of the Princess that makes her stay pleasant.  During the course of the month, she discovers a lot about the kingdom and also about herself.  So,  what makes Prince Christian fall in love with a commoner like Marie.

What I liked –
  1. I love to read about heroines who are strong and independent.  Marie is a very independent woman content with life.
  2. I have never read a romance where the heroine is of a different skin-color.  I would like to see more of such heroines.
  3. Christian is a dutiful Prince who wants the best for his Kingdom.  He is duty bound as Crown Prince and takes his role seriously.  He is environmentally conscious, grows organic food and is also ready to help out countries in distress.  It actually made me root for monarchy.  He is a true knight in shining armour.
  4. The descriptions are vivid.  The author brings the Palace alive in her descriptions,  you will wish to go have a walk in it.
  5. The dresses are described well and there is some excellent designer wear there.
  6. The language is easy to read and simple.

My only grumble is I wanted to read a little more of their romance in the beautiful palace.  They are two very good people who are in love.  But, I wanted them to have some lover’s tiffs,  some misunderstandings,  some distress.  But, they truly are a match well-made.

This Cinderella meets Prince Darcy tale is a light, breezy read.  It is perfect for an afternoon of good times.

Where the Rain is born  – Anita Nair  #BookReview

Where the Rain is born – Anita Nair #BookReview

Rain is synonymous with Kerala.  As a Malayalee (person from Kerala),  I naturally love the monsoon rains.  The title itself drew me to the book.  This is not just one book.  It has many books within it.  The book is a mixture of 34 fictional stories, poems, non-fiction,  essays,  POVs from writers in Kerala,  or writers writing about Kerala.  Also, all the stories are not about rain.

The book starts off with the first story which tells us about where the rain is born.  This short non-fiction account is taken from the book ‘Chasing the Monsoon’ written by journalist and travel-writer Alexander Frater.   He recounts how he witnessed the rain being born at the southern-most tip of Kerala.  He is at the Kovalam beach with a bunch of weathermen, journalists and other enthusiasts.  The south-western monsoon clouds make it’s first landing here and thus the rain is born.  This place Kovalam is just about 50 km from my hometown Varkala.  Thus we probably see the first monsoon rains in India and never even knew about it.

Next is a short fiction by Shashi Tharoor called ‘Charlis and I’.  I loved the way the author has woven the progress of the different castes through the various policies in Kerala.  But still, it is a simple, heartwarming story about a few boys.  His language is impeccable.  On a similar vein is the story ‘A village before time’ by V K Madhavan Kutty. Continue reading

Son of Shiva by Preetha Rajah Kannan #BookReview

Son of Shiva by Preetha Rajah Kannan #BookReview

This is the second book of Preetha Rajah Kannan I am reading.  I had loved Shiva in the City of Nectar.  The book and a few other blogs had inspired me to travel to Madurai during the summer vacations.  So, when Jaico Publishing asked me to review this book,  I was more than happy to take the offer.

The Hindu religion is full of stories.  In fact,  in today’s terms,  I would call it mythological fantasy.  Each story more fantastic than the other.  There are the numerous re-tellings,  and local village stories pertaining to the Gods.  There is so much of religious literature in local languages that we the English readers are missing it.  So,  I am glad that Preetha has compiled a treasure trove of stories based upon the Tamil writings primarily from the book Sri Kandhapuranam written by Dr. Akila Sivaraman and other sources.  So,  is this a translation?  Not really.   The stories are put together following a sequence of events.  Back stories are highlighted as and when a character is touched upon.   Continue reading

Ponni’s Beloved by Sumeetha Manikandan #BookReview

Ponni’s Beloved by Sumeetha Manikandan #BookReview

Ponni’s Beloved is the translation of the classic Tamil historical novel called Ponniyin Selvan written at the beginning of the 20th century by Kalki Krishnamurthy.   The original book has 2400 pages split into five volumes.   The book narrates the story of Arulmozhivarman (later crowned as Rajaraja Chola I), one of the kings of the Chola Dynasty  during the 10th and 11th centuries.  (Source : Wikipedia)

Being a translation,  the plot and story is already good.  But,  let me add full marks to the translation.  A translated book is only interesting if it catches the essence and the mood of the original without sounding like a literal translation.  This one is surely well-translated.  The notes and ready pointers to meanings made it easier for reading the book.  In the e-book,  it was easy to navigate to the meanings and get back to the story.

Before reading this book,  I was not aware of its Tamil origins and had never heard about it.  It reinforces my faith that we should have more translations of regional books.  It is not possible to know all languages but why should we not be able to read good literature.  Follow the hashtag #ReadTranslations for more translated works.

Continue reading

Love Sees No Reason by Reshma Ranjan #BookReview

Love Sees No Reason by Reshma Ranjan #BookReview

I won the book ‘Love sees no Reason’ by Reshma Ranjan during the Tornado Giveaway-3.  I loved the pretty cover and put it away to be read during one of those days when I feel like reading a bit of romance.  I was so wrong. I should have read the book right away.

Love Sees No Reason (LSNR) is a phrase which only those who have truly loved will understand.  It is illogical and listens to no reasoning.  The book starts with Ria running into the arms of Suhaan,  calling him Suhas and fainting.  It is a bit dramatic,  but it sets the tone for the rest of the book.  It is one of those stories which someone like a Bollywood director would love.  I had always secretly thought what it would be like if we fall in love with a twin.

Ria is in a marriage of convenience with Suraj who is having a terminal illness.  She goes into the marriage with her eyes open, with the sole objective of adopting Mia from an orphanage.  Again, it sounds cliche,  but the Love Sees No Reason.  As expected Suraj dies.  Suhaan is back at the haveli to look after family interests.  Ria has never met Suhaan and the scene above plays out when she meets him for the first time. Continue reading