In Sklivas’ debut novel, the complexities of love are explored against a backdrop of spiritual and mythological lore.
Beautiful and adored Princess Damayanti has reached the age when it’s time to wed, triggering much speculation in her mythical kingdom. But what she longs for is an enduring, conquering love, one that may not please her royal parents or the kingdom. Defiant, passionate and determined, she sets off on a journey to find enduring love, led by the Great Swan, whose lifelong mating rituals Damayanti envies. The Great Swan instructs Damayanti in meditation and yoga, guiding her toward a deeper understanding of herself and the universe. Filling her mind with ancient wisdom, the Great Swan serves as Damayanti’s spiritual guide, reminding her that the best way to find love is to “be the love you wanted to receive in the world.” Armed with the wisdom from Goddess Shakti and other gods, Damayanti grows spiritually. But even when she is thought ready to accept true love, Damayanti still has many obstacles—some even life-threatening—to overcome before she can be with Prince Nala, her soul mate. As she perseveres and proves herself prepared and eager for love, Kala, the god of time, notices Damayanti and falls desperately in love with her. Determined to come between Damayanti and Nala, Kala uses his powers to try to ruin Nala, leading Damayanti’s quest toward new dangers. Combining ancient mythology, classic tropes and a modern feel, Damayanti’s adventure is one that is timeless and memorable. The unpredictable twists of Damayanti’s journey keep the story well-paced and compelling, calling to mind favorite fairy tales and fables. Sklivas’ prose conveys an otherworldliness that helps this novel stand out as an epic journey. Damayanti’s growth, as she works to find romance, makes her a sympathetic, self-actualized character.
An original and well-written tale about achieving true love.