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DRAUPADI by Saraswati Nagpal


The Fire-Born Princess

From the Campfire Mythology series

by Saraswati Nagpal ; illustrated by Manu

Age Range: 9 - 14

Pub Date: April 2nd, 2013
ISBN: 978-93-80741-09-3
Publisher: Campfire

This graphic adaptation of the Mahabharata would be easy to conceptualize as a math problem.

The original Indian poem has 100,000 stanzas. The graphic novel is 112 pages long. So the panels are covered with dense blocks of text like this one: “Since Dhritarashtra was reluctant to hand over the kingdom to Yudhishthira, Bheeshma and Vidura urged him to divide the kingdom so that the Pandavas and the Kauravas could live in peace.” Readers might have been satisfied with less Mahabharata per page. Any one of the incidents that make up the story could have been turned into a full-length graphic novel. There are battles and disguises. There’s a funny, and strangely moving, sequence in which Draupadi finds herself married to five brothers. When the book simply tells an adventure story, it’s captivating. The artwork, helpfully, is stunning. The colors nearly glow. The book includes everything a reader could want but not right away. The prologue has hundreds of words about lines of succession that lie between them and the story.

Children who stay with the book will find war, romance, gambling and political intrigue. But the first chapter or two may feel a little too much like a math test. (character guide, family tree) (Graphic classic. 9-14)