7 Indian Historical Fictions Written by Expert Historians

There is no greater way to bring India’s diverse and fascinating past to life than to pick up a historical fiction that offers rich and immersive storytelling and blends historical facts with vivid imagination. We have curated one such list wherein each book is penned by an expert historian, ensuring accuracy and authenticity while captivating readers with compelling narratives. Whether exploring ancient myths, royal intrigues, or colonial encounters, these historical fiction works offer a captivating glimpse into a piece of India’s vibrant history.

The Palace of Illusions by Chitra Banerjee Divakaruni

In this captivating retelling of the Indian epic Mahabharata, Chitra Banerjee Divakaruni weaves a mesmerizing tale from the perspective of Draupadi, the fiery and resilient princess of Panchala. Through Draupadi’s eyes, readers are transported to the grand courts of kings, the battlegrounds of ancient wars, and the heart of a complex and enduring love story. With its richly drawn characters and lush prose, “The Palace of Illusions” offers a fresh and compelling interpretation of one of India’s most beloved epics.

The Twentieth Wife by Indu Sundaresan

Set in 17th-century India, “The Twentieth Wife” is a sweeping historical novel that chronicles the life of Mehrunnisa, the legendary Empress Nur Jahan. Through Sundaresan’s vivid storytelling, readers are immersed in the opulence and intrigue of the Mughal court, where Mehrunnisa rises from humble beginnings to become the most powerful woman in the empire. With its meticulously researched historical details and captivating narrative, “The Twentieth Wife” offers a fascinating glimpse into the life of one of history’s most remarkable women. This novel is also the first of the ‘Taj Trilogy’ series.

The Great Indian Novel by Shashi Tharoor

Shashi Tharoor’s “The Great Indian Novel” is a masterful blend of history, mythology, and satire that reimagines the Indian epic Mahabharata in the context of modern Indian politics. Through a series of clever parallels and witty allusions, Tharoor creates a sprawling epic that satirizes the tumultuous events of India’s post-independence era while paying homage to its ancient literary traditions. “The Great Indian Novel” is a bold and irreverent exploration of Indian identity and nationhood that will leave readers both entertained and enlightened.

Sea of Poppies by Amitav Ghosh

Set against the backdrop of the opium trade in colonial India, “Sea of Poppies” is the first instalment in Amitav Ghosh’s epic Ibis Trilogy. Through a diverse cast of characters, Ghosh paints a vivid portrait of life in 19th-century India, from the bustling streets of Calcutta to the sprawling opium plantations of Bihar. With its lush prose and immersive storytelling, “Sea of Poppies” is a captivating journey through the heart of colonial India, filled with adventure, intrigue, and unforgettable characters.

The Shadow Lines by Amitav Ghosh

“The Shadow Lines” is a poignant and evocative exploration of memory, identity, and the legacy of colonialism in India and Bangladesh. Set against the backdrop of historical events such as the Partition of Bengal and the communal riots of the 1960s, Amitav Ghosh’s novel follows the interconnected lives of two families across generations and continents. Through its lyrical prose and intricate narrative structure, “The Shadow Lines” illuminates the ways in which history shapes individual lives and relationships, while also reflecting on the enduring power of memory and imagination.

The Forest of Enchantments by Chitra Banerjee Divakaruni

Drawing from the ancient Indian epic, the Ramayana, Divakaruni offers a captivating retelling of the story, this time from the perspective of Sita, the beloved wife of Lord Rama. Through Sita’s eyes, readers gain insight into her inner struggles, sacrifices, and resilience as she navigates the challenges of love, loyalty, and destiny in a patriarchal society. Divakaruni’s lyrical prose and deep understanding of Hindu mythology breathe new life into this timeless tale.

Sita: An Illustrated Retelling of the Ramayana by Devdutt Pattanaik

Through his signature blend of mythology, art, and storytelling, Pattanaik offers a fresh interpretation of the Ramayana, focusing on the character of Sita. Accompanied by stunning illustrations, Pattanaik’s retelling explores Sita’s agency, inner strength, and challenges traditional portrayals of her as a passive figure. This beautifully crafted book invites readers to rediscover the timeless tale of love, duty, and sacrifice from a new perspective.

Pick up any one of the 7 Indian Historical Fictions Written by Expert Historians from any Kunzum store or WhatsApp +91.8800200280 to order. Buy the book(s) and the coffee’s on us.

About the Reviewer:

Richa Shah spent a decade in the fast-paced world of advertising before deciding to take a leap into the slow, yet enthralling, and ever-growing realm of home brewing Specialty Coffee, all while exploring new and catching up on some unread books. Amidst the pages of books and sips of coffee, Richa has found joy in this new chapter of her journey.
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