Book Review: Ponniyin Selvan Book 2: Whirlwinds : – “The Plot thickens”

Pnniyin selvan Whirlwinds

4/5 Stars Goodreads Rating System

After completing his first commission, our rowdy hero ‘Vandhiyathevan’  departs on another, given to him by the beloved Chozha princess ‘Kundavai’, over whom he is obviously smitten. This task will take him to the namesake of this series, to ‘Ponniyin Selvan’ Arulmozhivarman, the younger Chozha prince himself. And the plot decidedly thickens.

The second book in the series lives up to its expectation and more. After getting comfortable with the writing style in the first book, you thoroughly enjoy the characters and the story line in this one. The web of conspiracies been woven by oh so many parties in this story is intriguing in the extreme, and the characters, specially the female one’s are most interesting, be it ‘Kundhavai Piratti’, princess of the Chozha empire, the beautiful but poisonous ‘Nandhini Devi’, the boat-woman ‘Poonguzhali’ or the deaf-mute ‘Mandakini’. They fill the colors in this story, with the pink of their love, the green of their jealousy, the white of their kindness, and the red of their vengeance. And of-course our headstrong hero Vandhiyathevan with his penchant for finding trouble wherever he goes, no dull moment in the whole story indeed.

We get to visit “Lanka” in the 10th century, as war wages on between the Chozha and Sinhala kings, the emerald island is experienced in uncharacteristic peace given the circumstances, courtesy of the benevolence of Ponniyin Selvan of-course. It’s common knowledge that ‘Kalki‘ visited Sri Lanka three times to get the story right, I am happy to report that his visits were not in vain. The plot is furthered by finally getting introduced to the central character of the series. The romance in the writing and the deftness of the plot makes this a specially pleasurable read.

I will be waiting for ‘Pavithra Srinivasan’s’ next installment of translation, of this great historical fiction, with all the eagerness and restlessness of a whirlwind.


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