25 December 2023 | By: Writing Buddha

Tara's Truce by Kavita Kane (Book Review: 4*/5) !!!

2089th BLOG POST

35th Book of 2023

Well, I am almost on the last leg of my reading target of this year 2023 and I am grateful to have picked Kavita Kane’s “Tara’s Truce” in the last week of December. As all of us know, Kavita is a great mythological author and she loves penning story from the point of view of women who aren’t given much significance in our ancient texts. She picks such characters and write descriptively on them which turns out to be an exciting read for us as we don’t know much about them and wish to learn more.


This 300-pages book published by Rupa Publications is based on Tara, who is married to King Vali of Kishkindha and serves as the queen of the kingdom. Some events happen and she has to unhappily marry Vali’s brother, Sugriv. The book talks about the kind of trauma she has to go through to survive the ego clashes between both the brothers. She is also shown as a wife who is regularly trying to control her aggressive husband’s behaviour throughout her life. The story speaks of all the pre-events that happens before the main event where Lord Ram kills Vali – something that all of us have heard. Kavita takes us deeply into the world of Kishkindha and basically, the Kishkindha palace and makes us understand the dynamics of how the Vanara leaders were caught in their own turmoil before joining Lord Ram’s force in search of Sita Mata.


Kavita Kane had a very complex task while writing this book which is clearly evident as she had to convey and handle the complexities and dynamics between a lot of characters as every individual had direct relationship with another and none of them were either white or black. The gray shade in the personality of both the brothers- Vali and Sugriv has been beautifully portrayed. Throughout the story, as a reader, one ends up being confused if either of the two brothers can be called righteous and supported against the another. Both had their flaws but their backstory makes you support each of them at different instances. Kavita has been able to play this game beautifully with words and series of events narrated powerfully to display the best and worst in both of them.


Talking about Tara’s character on whom the book is based, I, frankly, didn’t know anything about her even though I am someone who reads about my religion regularly. Thankfully, this book has made me understand the plight and power of Tara. Her role in managing the kingdom in tough situations tells us how women played equal and major role in not only managing the bureaucracy but also go through the tantrums their King husband starts showing out of their ego, power, money and what not. All the conversations where Tara stood up against Vali and make him realize about his wrongs were such courageous scenes to read as any other woman must have got scared of even putting her opinion. Every time she ended up failing in stopping Vali from going the wrong path, her reactions and responses are just too inspirational for us with respect to how to behave when we are at our most hopeless and helpless state.


Though the book is named after Tara, but it gives equal justice not only to Sugriv and Vali but also to Rumi, who is Sugriv’s wife. She is not as courageous as Tara but the way she keeps herself up emotionally against everything that happens around her without her approval or validation tells us about the inner strength of a lady. A conversation between herself and Tara where they discuss how both of them didn’t get an ideal husband is such a phenomenal piece to read. I was in awe while reading what even Rumi had to say about her expectations from Sugriv and how she has not received much love from him.


In the pre-climax, the interest level goes on another stage as finally, Ram enters the storyline and it’s just mesmerizing to read how he talks with Tara after killing Vali maintaining his Godliness and stability. His conduct with Tara even after she curses him teaches us so much about humility, acceptance and forgiveness. Tara’s character again sees an upsurge after she handles Lakshman’s anger against Sugriv for not being available for Ram in search for his wife despite promising the same. Even Lakshman gets confused how she could play so beautifully with words and assure him of support after being cheated for months by her husband. The epilogue comes as a surprise where Ram’s words are being kept by him even in his next birth as Krishna. Kavita Kane’s research and effort can be seen in every twists and turns that makes this story so interesting and powerful.


Now, talking about the drawbacks, I must say that Kavita ends up writing few things very descriptively which ends up lengthening the story. It becomes boring at many places where the story becomes stagnant and we read the same thing repeatedly. Even some conversations between the main characters seems similar multiple times and we wish if author could have shortened it by just mentioning what conversation they had in just 2-3 sentences. The book could have been easily short by 70-80 pages for sure. Other characters such as of Hanuman, Jamvant, Angad etc. should have been given a little more visibility as all of us know about them and wished to read how they were participant in Kishkindha’s work affairs.


Overall, this is a nice read as we get to know about one of the characters in Ramayan who has to offer so much. I give this book 4 stars out of 5. This is my 2nd book by Kavita Kane and I am looking forward to reading all her other works as well.






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