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Blessed by the sacred Gauriparvat, Mahishmathi is an empire of abundance. The powerful kingdom is flourishing under its king, who enjoys the support and loyalty of his subjects, down to his lowly slaves. But is everything really as it appears, or is the empire hiding its own dirty secret?Orphaned at a young age and wrenched away from her foster family, Sivagami is waitingBlessed by the sacred Gauriparvat, Mahishmathi is an empire of abundance. The powerful kingdom is flourishing under its king, who enjoys the support and loyalty of his subjects, down to his lowly slaves. But is everything really as it appears, or is the empire hiding its own dirty secret?Orphaned at a young age and wrenched away from her foster family, Sivagami is waiting for the day she can avenge the death of her beloved father, cruelly branded a traitor. Her enemy? None other than the king of Mahishmathi. With unflinching belief in her father’s innocence, the fiery young orphan is driven to clear his name and destroy the empire of Mahishmathi against all odds. How far can she go in her audacious journey?From the pen of masterful storyteller and bestselling author Anand Neelakantan, comes The Rise of Sivagami, the first book in the series Baahubali: Before the Beginning. A tale of intrigue and power, revenge and betrayal, the revelations in The Rise of Sivagami will grip the reader and not let go....

Title : The Rise of Sivagami
Author :
Rating :
ISBN : 9789386224446
Format Type : Paperback
Number of Pages : 474 Pages
Status : Available For Download
Last checked : 21 Minutes ago!

The Rise of Sivagami Reviews

  • Namratha
    2019-06-11 15:54

    To know me is to know that I am a massive fan of the BAAHUBALI franchise. And even that would be an understatement. I approach anything related to Baahubali with a mixture of joy and trepidation. Joy because I can delve deeper into one of my favourite fictional worlds and trepidation because there is a gnawing fear that a hatchet job might be underway on something that I adore with unabashed glee. Therefore, The Rise of Sivagami was opened with much caution. Would it live up to the hype or would it be a pithy attempt at milking an undeniably well-fed cash cow? And then, I started and read and read and read some more. And sweet mother of Prabhas, my book-loving, Baahubali-adoring soul was purring like a well fed beast. We are transported back in time when the powerful Queen Mother Sivagami was just a teenager with vengeance burning in her heart. The young Sivagami is fierce, beautiful, supremely intelligent, equipped with warrior skills and honed by a burning desire to destroy the kingdom of Mahishmati that labelled her father a traitor and had him executed. She has in her possession, an indecipherable manuscript that might just prove her father’s honesty. But Sivagami will soon learn that the path of revenge is riddled with many pitfalls. Mahishmati abounds with political treachery, simmering conspiracies, unimagined cruelty and soul searing secrets. The much-revered land is not a place for the likes of honest young slaves like Kattappa who have sworn to do their dharma at any cost. A dense web of characters unfolds the deceit that permeates every nook and alley of Mahishmati and the storytelling is tight and fraught with intrigue. Your interest never wanes. You worry for the headstrong Sivagami and your heart crumbles like a soggy cookie over the plight of the stoic Kattappa. You loathe the sadistic Prince Bijjala and smile sadly for the shy Prince Mahadeva. A chill runs down your spine over the mechanisations of the eunuch Keki and fear lodges in your throat as the noblemen of Mahishmati vie for power through dastardly deeds. You worry for the love story between the rebellious Shivappa and the beautiful Kamakshi and fervently want their idealistic dreams to come true. You get a giant knot in your throat over the plight of the poor and exploited in a land that claims to be just and generous to its subjects.The Rise of Sivagami is a tale told with a masterful control over the narrative. The pace never slackens and the story is never offered up at the altar of world-building details. The author has done complete justice to the faith placed in him by the director of Baahubali, S.S. Rajamouli. For the record, Rajamouli’s foreword is enough to make you want to devour this chubby read with impatience. I loved the book and all that it conveyed. This was a worthy addition to the Baahubali stable and I look forward to the further ascension of Sivagami and the frustrated battles of Kattappa with all the excitement of a well-baited reader. Jai Mahishmati!!!

  • ~~Poulomi Sylphrena Tonk$~~
    2019-06-03 17:49

    2.5 stars.The Rise of Sivagami stands prequel to the movie, Bahubali. Anand Neelakantan gives his voice to S.S. Rajamouli’s creation and crafts the history of Mahishmathi from scratch with his words. But what really lies behind the doors of this prosperous kingdom is not what any onlooker would picture it from outside. Masked by colours of progress,is the overpowering greed of the ones in power, stampeding the poor and the needy, creating an unfair balance of humanity. Every nook and corner reeks of crookery where the oppressor continues to oppress and the sufferer is persistently made to suffer. About the characters, no one is black or white; all are shades of grey (no pun intended. :P). Neelakantan projects each character in a dilemma of sorts. That, in itself is thought-provoking, because faced with the same circumstances, one might just follow the grey path the character choses, however immoral or nasty it would seem from the outside. I liked this quality of his character building to some extent, but it was all very hurried. You are not allowed to dwell in the mindset of one person for long because soon another ominous twist has crept from behind. This annoyed the hell out of me as I’d rather have preferred more length than jerking out suddenly from such brief episodes of interest. And that is not limited to the characters only. The world building is ineffective, ending as soon as it began. As you try to commit the scene to your mind, the entire set of characters have been altered cruelly and something entirely dissimilar is ensuing in its place. No, that doesn’t quirk up your anticipation, but rather irritates you to the core because the entire process of assembling your curiosity turns out to be futile. Mentally tiresome in a way.Some subplots in the story are half done. I don’t know if they would have any role to play in the books that follow, but right now they have left me nowhere. Brihannala’s character had a queer ring to it (view spoiler)[ when he was depicted as a fighter seeking vengeance under the veils of a eunuch,(hide spoiler)]but there were no more heads to that. Skandadasa’s motive to chase the Vaithalikas using Katappa as a pawn was unnecessarily put, because nothing followed after that one instance in the book. I don’t know if this was brought up to throw some light on Skandadasa’s character, but it was poorly executed.I have more complaints than applause for this book. The twists were strong; the subplots had immense potential but the execution failed miserably for me. Had a lot of expectations from this book but to no avail.Might be looking out for the next book, only to satisfy my curiosity, but that again is a diffeent story.2.5 stars for me.

  • Manpreet Kaur
    2019-06-15 17:56

    The book has multiple plots going on that keep you glued. Excellent writing mixed with a lot of interesting characters and a somewhat mysterious plot. The book as a standalone was a good read. It was moderately paced and keeps you entertained. However, if you're reading it as the BahuBali prequel, you would expect more. It didn't match the grandeur of the story. It doesn't make you sit straight and wait restlessly to know what happens next. I wouldn't even match the ending of Bahubali with this one.Just focusing on the Bahubali movie's story and the story of this book, I would say the book did miss a few rungs of the ladder. It is good, but not great. It is worth reading but not worth spending sleepless nights on it.

  • Jayasree B
    2019-05-30 22:44

    So, have you watched Baahubali? The movie has two really strong characters – Sivagami and Kattappa. First, you see Sivagami (played by Ramya Krishnan) fight warriors whilst feeding a baby and then flee. She manages to save the baby at the cost of her life. Kattappa (played by Sathyaraj) is shown as the humble manservant/slave to the heir to the kingdom of Mahishmati. The movie ends with Kattappa telling the tale of Amarendra Baahubali, and confessing to killing his king.Sivagami and Kattappa are truly bad ass characters. The Rise of Sivagami shows us what came before. Who was Kattappa? Who was Sivagami? And how did they get to where they are in the movie. The Rise of Sivagami is essentially a flashback into their histories. And also a glimpse into the complexities of the movie. Some questions are answered and for the rest, we have to wait for books 2 and 3.There are so many more characters of interest in this book. And since the series is a trilogy, the next two books should be more interesting. But The Rise of Sivagami is packed with twists and turns, vile plots and gripping wars. Betrayal, scams, and prejudice find a prominent place as well.I enjoyed reading this book. It was insightful about how Sivagami and Kattappa, and gave a much better understanding of the kingdom of Mahishmati. It is written in a very simple manner and is paced well. There are no boring parts that you may want to skip.I would definitely recommend it. Go read.For the entire review, visit Frost At Midnite

  • Arvind
    2019-05-22 20:53

    2.5/5 The author is known for his interesting takes on Ramayana (Asura) and Mahabharata (Ajaya) from the point-of-view of d villains Ravana and Duryodhana/Kauravas respectively. His twists to those tales were cunning, dark and d books were enjoyable and believable.Unfortunately in this book he has overdone everything - darkness , detailed description of rapes/orgies (which I have not read in an Indian or any book b4), the rant against caste etc. Another major flaw is the huge number of characters and none of them inspire empathy. A result of which there r excessive threads, some of them r ordinary and wasteful and none of them provide thrills n intelligent twists. One can feel that d book has been written in a hurry and needed more crafting and editing.It is fast-paced and that is d saving grace. While this one was picked up bcoz of d Bahubali-2 movie fever, I m not sure whether I will pick up book #2 in the trilogy.

  • Arun
    2019-06-03 23:37

    The Rise of Sivagami - more like How to Write a Book with Almost 40 Characters and a Series of Never-Ending Coincidences While Making the Main Character as Boring as Possible.Seriously though, I wish authors would write books as books and not made-for-film scripts. This book, although set in the Bahubali universe, offers little in the way of grandiose story-telling or epic word-imagery. Instead, it turns out to be a GoT-wannabe with a never-ending supply of Machiavellian characters, each with hidden agendas galore.Sivagami, the so-called protagonist, does little more than potter around in a few pages. The bulk of the book is dedicated to the remaining 39-odd characters, most of them having little relevance to the overall story.Ultimately, the way Sivagami 'rises' to fame has little to do with her own abilities and more about blundering into the right place at the right time.Bitterly disappointed.

  • Swetha (ಶ್ವೇತಾ)
    2019-05-29 15:39

    If I had to choose one word to describe this book, I would have to say : Underwhelming. Maybe it was because the movies left me so impressed, that I expected a lot from the book as well. Anand Neelakantan has a reputation for being one of the best authors in the genre.After reading the foreword where it was mentioned that S.S. Rajamouli personally asked Anand Neelakantan to write this book, I jumped in, with a lot of hopes.Firstly, the one thing that confounded me is the entire plot of the Gauridhooli. It was mentioned no where in the movies, and the Gauriparvat either. The whole thing was new, and although the characters were familiar and the setting of the Kingdom was familiar, the entire plot seemed alien .'That is alright', I thought, and I pursued to finish the novel anyway, since Sivagami seemed interesting enough to keep the plot moving.Kattapa's story is rather monotonous. I think Anand Neelakantan tried to give him some Snape vibes, with the whole "Bound to duty" and "regrets" thing, but it didn't really work that well. The two characters that really made the story worth reading other than Sivagami, are Bijjala Deva and Mahadeva. Both men brought realism into the otherwise random story with various plots and sub-plots.The ending was rather interesting though, and I won't give away any spoilers.This is expected to be a trilogy and I shall hope for the other two books in the series to be more interesting. (Hopefully relevant to the movie too!)

  • Vidhun Sankar
    2019-05-25 21:44

    Writing a book after taking inspiration from a movie, which made an entire country watch in awe, is by no means an easy task and the author deserves praise for taking on the story and adding history to it. After reading the book I am a tad disappointed that it didn't engross me as much as I would have liked. Part of the reason might be that I expected a lot more from the book given the success of the movie and partly due to the fact that there a lot of subplots going around, it feels like a lot is happening but with very little end product.Characters in the book are all varied and there is an uncanny resemblance with Game Of Thrones characters. Sivagami's characterisation and story line was good and so was Kattapa's until the got too stubborn and somehow survived thrice from dying. An interesting thing was the number of coincidences that occurred which made it engaging. However the book didn't explore much of the kingdom of Mahishmathi and I couldn't get much clarity about where the certain scenes were taking place.Overall a good book to read and hope the other books are better!!

  • Ramya Rallabandi
    2019-06-16 20:54

    It is rare for a book to be based off a powerful character adapted from celluloid. It was with this curiosity that I started reading this book. This book is a page turner. It seldom gets boring. That being said I believe the author tried mimicking series like 'A Song of Ice and Fire' and 'The lord of the Rings'. Hidumba of this book reminded me of Tyrion Lannister while Sivagami herself I think has been fashioned after Arya Stark. It looks like a poor copy of Game of Thrones. There is a good minister who gets executed. A daughter who wants revenge. A good prince and a bad prince. I could go on and on. All in all the author manages not to disappoint his reader though. It was a good read but I won't say it is a must read.

  • Virat hooda
    2019-06-08 21:57

    True WondererThis was my second book by Anand Neelakantan, The First one "ASURA", the reason of his widespread fame, didn't appeal to me all that much and so i was apprehensive about picking up this one. But curiosity got the better of me and i am glad that it did. I won the book in Goodread's Giveaways and what a ride it has been. Firstly, Watch the movie (i suspect this was a major reason for the commission of this book), Secondly, even if you don't this will work just fine (But you will watch the movie afterwards anyways, trust me, these are clever clever people indeed.). Anand Neelakantan has a specific way of writing, he loves being on the bad guy's side, by his own admission this was his first book where he wrote for a positive character but i felt that his habit of coloring things grey has stayed in this one too. Which, adds a splendid 'anti hero' flavor to the book. The world of 'Mahishmathi' can be experienced in more detail, with its social and power structures sketched out as well as all that ails that world from slavery to the draconian social norms of the 'Varna System'. The story focuses not only on the three main characters with which the audience(of 'Bahubali') would already be familiar with Sivagami, Kattapa (The ever loyal slave) & Bijjala (the arrogant prince) but adds a host of new ones too like 'Keki the eunuch' , 'Skandadasa the deputy prime minister','Gundu ram the lovable orphan', 'Shivappa the rebel', 'Jeemotha the pirate' and many more. The book unfolds as a series of POV's so you get to enjoy different characters in their element. The story itself was good though i feel it could have been better, but considering the 108 days deadline (that's how long he had apparently) you can't really fault the author. The writing thus feels patchy sometimes with the characters being too obvious in their dialogues, giving a somehow rough feel to the reading experience. But the imagination and expansion of the world was glorious. We get to know some new kingdoms and the overall picture of the power hierarchy among them and the secret to the success of the kingdom of 'Mahishmathi'.Other than the awesome tale of 'Sivagami' and the brilliant moral conundrums & struggles of 'Kattapa', the element that works for the book or rather for the whole trilogy is the suspense of the unanswered questions. How did a girl who wanted to see all the royals dead, ended up being the Queen Mother? What happened to Bijjala ? What became of 'Mahadeva' the young prince and his crush ? What is the 'Manuscript' all about ? And Why in the name of all that is possible and impossible did Kattapa did what he did in the End of the movie ? ( I know i am digressing a bit here but well IT is the burning question).So, yes, i would read the next two. And yes, i feel that these books are a welcome addition to the Indian Fantasy genre. I just hope Mr. Neelakantan uses a bit more finesse in the upcoming ones. The books are quite alluring, and i suspect after the release of the next and final movie (This April's end i am told) that allure would go up ten fold. So, read on my dear friends and experience the glory of this fantastical world. "Jai! 'Mahishmathi'" (Hail! 'Mahishmathi').

  • Madhulika Liddle
    2019-06-07 00:02

    In the mythical land of Mahishmathi, the much-revered Gauriparvat looms large, dominating the landscape and the lives of the people of Mahishmathi. Deep inside Gauriparvat, too, lie the magical blue stones known as Gaurikanta, which when powdered, yield a dust used to forge weapons like none other. These are stones more precious than anything else in this land, and for them, men will kill, maim, kidnap, and drive to death others. Anand Neelakantan’s first book in the series, The Rise of Sivagami, is a prequel to SS Rajamouli’s blockbuster hit film Baahubali. Baahubali focused on the life of Shivudu, a man who, by a series of twists and turns, ends up returning to his rightful place in the grand palace of Mahishmathi, where a glimpse of the past shows us a tantalizingly strong-willed and intelligent woman, Sivagami, once wife of the would-be king. The Rise of Sivagami is Neelakantan’s attempt to spin a tale that has Sivagami at its centre. It begins decades before the story of Baahubali, when an eighteen-year old Sivagami sets out to find out the truth about her father, executed as a traitor when Sivagami was just five years old. Sivagami’s quest will lead her from the foster home where she has been brought up, to the royal palace, bringing her way unexpected friends, as well as unexpected enemies. This is not, however, just the story of Sivagami herself. The cast of characters runs into dozens here. There are conniving and greedy government officials; traitors; a debauched prince who will let his libido govern everything he does. There is the stubbornly loyal slave Kattappa, who will let nothing—not blood relations, not family ties, not even his own conscience—come in the way of what he sees as his duty. There are wily eunuchs, seductive prostitutes, women warriors, forest dwellers who are working silently together to topple the corrupt regime that rules Mahishmathi. Love, lust, greed, ambition, pride, loyalty, treachery, and more come together in a roller coaster ride of a book: the pace never flags, and the immensely complex but well-plotted storyline never loses steam. Neelakantan’s ploy, of switching perspectives from one chapter to another, of swift changes of setting, character, and motive, works well to keep the story hurtling along. This is an engrossing fantasy novel, but two important details mark it as more than just a great entertainer. One is the feistiness of several of its female characters. Sivagami herself is a strong-willed, focused young woman who, despite being driven by a need for vengeance, is compassionate and kind. Ally, Achi Nagamma, and their fellow women warriors, too, are refreshing departures from the norm: women who make their own choices, women who carve their own destinies. The other interesting thing about The Rise of Sivagami is the occasional reflection of issues that are age-old, as relevant today as they might have been in ancient India (or a mythological ‘ancient’ India). Socialism. The struggle between poor and wealthy, weak and powerful. The need to crush the corrupt and power-hungry: all of these are there, but there are other, more insightful, instances:“… You always say bad things about our country. Traitors, all are traitors except me and those who agree with me…”A fine adventure, and one that promises to be the start of a gripping series. (From my review for The New Indian Express: http://www.newindianexpress.com/lifes...)

  • Vowelor Books
    2019-05-26 15:55

    The Rise of Sivagami by Anand Neelakantan is the first book of the Bahubali: Before the Begining trilogy which is the prequel to the blockbuster movie Bahubali. In this book, The Rise of Sivagami, Anand Neelakantan tells the epic story of the revenge of Sivagami from the King of the state of Mahismathi. The Rise of Sivagami is a gripping tale of power, betrayal and revenge.Anand Neelakantan begins the story of The Rise of Sivagami with the history and prosperity of Mahishmathi, a powerful empire at foothills of mountain Gauriparvat. Sivagami, an orphan girl who lost her father in a wicked conspiracy involving the King, is the protagonist of the first book of the Bahubali trilogy.The Rise of Sivagami by Anand Neelakantan traces the audacious journey of Sivagami as she is determined to avenge her father’s death from her enemy, none other than the King. On her quest to clean the name of his father ...see review

  • Raksha Bhat
    2019-05-21 20:42

    Writing a prequel to an epic movie which has become a phenomenon of sorts in Indian cinema and has raised the standards of regional films in mammoth proportions has to be out of the ordinary. The Rise of Sivagami, the first book in the series Baahubali: Before the Beginning authored by Anand Neelakantan is a prodigious attempt in this regard. I have not read his previous works and Baahubali fandom is an untrodden territory for me, therefore my opinion is pretty much unlike that of a kid in a candy store. One must admit that subconsciously we are lured by the expectations all the publicity that has been created. A director’s magnum opus with characters and visuals as strong and stunning as it gets, if needs a prequel it also calls for words that weave ‘Magic’. I liked the turn of events and the element of surprise in every chapter but I was not very pleased with the language. A reader does care ‘a rat’s arse’ about the vocabulary and the manner in which conversations take place in the story. Paulo Coelho writes in Alchemist “The book is a film that takes place in the mind of the reader. That's why we go to movies and say, "Oh, the book is better.” In this book even this seemed impossible because the story is a rewind of events before the movie, so there is no comparing! I was completely blown away with the map of the Mahishmathi kingdom and the supercalifragilisticexpialidicious list of Dramatis personae. But somehow it seems impossible for me to imagine and attribute some things in the book to people who belonged to that era. Perhaps a better editing would have helped; this work was indeed published in a rush. Drawing parallels with other works of fantasy fiction like ‘A Game of Thrones’ or ‘The Lord of The Rings’ would be sheer imprudence. Indian literature is a treasure chest, exploring it by itself is an adventure of sorts. Authors and we as readers need to understand that what we write is what we read and what we encourage, and what we finally show to the world. In an age where everything is available at the touch of a button and forgotten in the same way, the excitement of seeing or reading something never seen or read before is definitely beyond compare. Truth be told, there is room for more.

  • Kajal Dhamija
    2019-06-14 17:48

    A prequel of the very amazing and grand movie, bahubali: the beginning, a lot is to be expected from this book. Even though the grandeur of the movies is hard to adopt in any book, Anand Neelakantan did a great job with this book. Even though the book has so many characters, the book mainly brings light to the characters of Sivagami and Kattappa- both very important characters in the movies as well. Also, we find some new characters like Pattaraya, Rudra Bhatta , Pratapa and Skandadasa who influence the story in a major manner.With so many characters, this book gave me the feels of Game of Thrones to some extent. With first half making us used to this kingdom of Mahishmati and the places near it, I must say that it wasn't very fast paced or exciting. But in the second half, the story quickly picked up the pace and it turns into a page turner.This book has abundance of cruelty, greed, selfishness, betrayal and any other such emotion which indulges the characters in some really dangerous activities. You are going to feel a lot of pity for the low caste people there- they become the prey of the greedy. I think I pretty much enjoyed this book because this is that proper Indian historical fiction, which is sure to transfer you to a totally another world. For me, this book was a complete package of drama, thrill and fantasy. I can't wait for the second book!!

  • Sheetal Maurya Godse (Halo of Books)
    2019-05-20 21:41

    ‘Baahubali’ movie, I don’t think there is anyone who hasn’t watched the movie and not smitten by the characters. This book is a prequel to the ‘Baahubali’ movie. I wanted to buy this book since the time this book was available for pre-order but I was not able to pre-order it and finally bought its Kindle edition. So let’s see what this book offers.Please do check the full book review on our blog The Rise of Sivagami by Anand Neelakantan - Book reviewPlot summary: The story of this book moves with the characters. Each chapter is titled with the name of characters.Sivagami, our powerful queen is a teenager. She is the daughter of traitor Devaraya, who was punished by the King Somadeva in a very cruel manner. The only aim of her life is to destroy the kingship of Mahismati and revenge her father’s death. Destiny or plan (we can’t say anything now) makes her live in the royal orphanage of Mahismati, which is ‘royal’ just by the name. Here she meets Kamakshi and Gundu Ramu. Which later plays interesting role in story.Another powerful character of ‘Baahubali’ was Kattapa, this book gives a detailed insight of Kattapa’s life. He is the son of Malyappa, slave of King Somadeva. He is dedicated to his duty of slave towards Prince Bijjala. His other brother Shivappa is totally opposite and doesn’t accept the destiny of slave. The life account of Kattapa is really interesting to read.My perceptionIncredible! I know Anand Neelakantan is a master storyteller but never actually read his any of books. This was the first book of him I read and I am totally impressed. I am going to read his other books soon. 🙂 This book has every element which gets your attention and makes you hooked till the last.

  • Anuradha Gupta
    2019-06-02 22:57

    The Rise of Sivagami by Anand Neelakantan is the first book in the supposed trilogy of a literary series to be based on the film, Bahubali. A reel life fictional character seldom inspires a novel but this book has a different tale to tell. Set in the kingdom of Mahishmati, the book trails the back stories of several important characters from the film, the protagonist being Sivagami, along with Kattappa, Pattaraya, Thimma, Shivappa, the royals of Mahishmati and many more to reach to the point where the first of the two films of Bahubali begun...To review this book is not only a tough task in terms of it's enormous plot-line, but also unwise considering that not all stories can be re-told by people like us, some are best left until explored by oneself. But still, since it is my duty towards my blog to review the novels I read, I will make a feeble attempt at writing a review for the monstrosity that Bahubali has become.The kingdom of Mahishmati is ruled by Maharaja Somadeva who is a descendant of Uthama Varma, who centuries ago had chased out the original rulers of Mahishmati, the Vaithalikas and stole the secret of their invincibility. The Maharaja's son, elder Price Bijjaladeva and the younger Prince Mahadeva are the complete opposites of each other. While the former is a fearsome warrior and a corrupt person, the latter is a figure of compassion and truth. Blessed by the auspicious Gauriparvat, Mahishmati is flourishing in abundance. With the Maharaja enjoying the support from his loyal staff, nothing can even touch them. But is it really the case, or the empire is hiding a few secrets of it's own? The parvat serves as a source for the Gaurikanta, the stone, which when used in a proper manner with the metals, makes the weapon and the wielder immune to defeat. The residents of the kingdom supposedly know that it is the parvat itself that gives out the stones during the festival of Mahamakam held every 12 years and not the children who are kidnapped/fooled and made to mine. Over the years, the royal family of Mahishmati have accquired a large number of enemies, both outside and within the walls of the palace. One such girl is Sivagami. The daughter of a tainted Bhoomipati, a title of great importance in the kingdom, Sivagami is brought by her Uncle Thimma (her father's friend and another Bhoomipati) to the royal orphanage to serve out the couple of months left until her 18th birthday after which she will be free to go anywhere she desires. Though she behaves like a prick with her uncle for doing so, what she realises later is that it is a boon in disguise because unknown to anyone but her, she is harbouring a dark desire, to ruin the royal family for putting her father on death sentence years ago for a reason she does not yet know. All that she knows is that she is all alone in this audacious journey and for that she needs to stay as close as possible to the royalty.While Sivagami is embroiled in the politics of her orphanage warden and being harrassed by the other occupants along with undue attention from the younger prince, Pattarya the Bhoomipati plans to gnaw at the kingdom's roots. He has his own sinister plans, why, we don't know yet. Simultaneously, Kattapa struggles to bring back his younger brother Shivappa from the Vaithalikas, who attack the palace on the occassion of Mahamakam to kill the Maharaja only to be defeated by a mere chance. What will happen next? How will Sivagami survive amongst her harassers and other forces? Will Pattaraya's plan for supposed regicide be found out? Will the Vaithalikas re-group and come back? Will anyone stand up to the horrors the children of the kingdom face in the name of Ma Gauri on the Gauriparvat? The novel is aptly left on a cliffhanger and for all these questions to be answered, we will have to wait until Neelakantan takes pity on us poor inquisitive souls and brings out the second book.The Rise of Sivagami is one of those books whose story is difficult to tell to someone else. One can never ever explain in depth the complexity and the intertwined sub-stories that play an equally important role. A story is not complete until the author (in this case, the director) wants, in the words of S.S.Rajamouli himself, "When we created Bahubali, we were in a dilemma. The story world of Mahishmati kept growing as we worked on the theme. There were so many stories to be told. The stories of Mahishmati could not be contained within the two-and-a-half hours of films, even with two parts. We did not want to let go of the fascinating story world that was emerging. There were characters lurking in the shadows, waiting for their stories to be told. There were secret that had to be unveiled, there were whispered conspiracies that could thrill and terrify. We knew if we went back further in time, a series of interesting stories would emerge." We know that the story of Mahishmati is yet to reach it's completion, yet to enchant millions with it's larger-than-life portrayal of the background and the characters like the film, but until then, we will have to satiate with the one book that is out for us. Being the impatient soul, I would frankly call it "A drop in the ocean" but something is always better than nothing. Therefore, go, pick up your copy of this enthralling story and tuck in!

  • Shalini
    2019-05-23 23:34

    PlotAlthough it was exciting to read about the corruption and dirty politics in Mahishmathi, it was tough to wrap my head around all of the parallel stories in the plot. The first 16 or 17 chapters just feel like an introduction to a ton of different plot lines, characters and parallel stories that would one day converge into the main event, in a very Game of Thrones-esq manner. I read the first few chapters at least a couple of times to even grasp what was happening and where the origin of the story's plot was. For any novel that I read, this is super taxing unless the big reveal is really that… REALLY BIG. Which it wasn’t (not completely) in this case. It ended with a cliff-hanger, which is not as thrilling as #WKKB.Writing StyleAn origin story, it took a total of 18 sittings for me to finish this book. I usually read through a book with a maximum of 3 sittings (meaning, I pick up where I left off at most 3 times). With a ton of names of people, places, and objects completely unfamiliar to me, it was a draining task to finish reading this novel and wrap my head around the plot. But, with a flair for rich description, Anand Neelakantan paints Bahubali in (appropriately) suffocating hot tones, that goes best with describing the diminishing morality and increasing dirty politics in the kingdom.CharactersThere were lots of characters, but the book felt short in the sense that I could not spend a lot of time reading (or being with) some main characters like Sivagami and Vikramadeva/Bijjaladeva. Kattappa had a lot of pages dedicated to him because he wove through 3 or 4 different parallel plot lines bringing them together, but this novel didn't feel like it was about Sivagami as much as it was about Kattappa.OverallRead if you’re all up for being dragged into the world of Mahishmathi, and its dirty tricks and mind games. I prefer the two movies much more, to be honest. Maybe because it has Prabhas and Rana in it. ;)Recommended Age.18+

  • Jithin S
    2019-06-15 15:33

    I picked up the book being a fan of the movie and previous books by the author. I was still a bit skeptic as I was doubtful of a novel written in relation to a movie, having never read one. Also, since the author having finished the book in 109 days, there was a great chance of things going sideways. But I can say all those doubts were put to rest as The Rise of Sivagami was splendid. It was a real difficulty putting down the book for other important works.The book is written with POVs of many characters, but clearly the protagonists are Sivagami and Kattappa. Sivagami, whose only aim in life is revenge for hanging of her father for what she believed a falsely alleged treason and Kattappa, who follows the path of loyalty and servitude taught to him by his father but still have doubts in his mind seeing his brother profess about freedom and dignity, clears the fact that the author have moulded his protagonists well. There are other notable characters like Skandadasa, Shivappa, Kamakshi, Mahadeva, etc. The main difference of the book from the movie is that the characters dwells in shades of grey rather than being all black and white characters like in the movie. And that is exactly something desired in novel for adults.The story begins with Sivagami finding a hidden document by breaking into in her late father's home which was sealed by royal decree. The document in an unknown language holds the secret as to what was the reason for the fate of her father. Kattappa is introduced who is anointed slave of Bijjaladeva (last character who is in the movie other than Sivagami and Kattappa) after saving Bijjaladeva and young prince Mahadeva (name mentioned in the movie), but still subjected to ill-treatment by his master even after saving the life of latter a number of times. The story takes us through corruption and lust filled life in Mahishmathi and people who wants to bring an end to it and those who plans to corrupt it more for their advantage. The book had lots of heart pacing moments and it was a joy ride reading it.The book ended with a number of cliffhangers and hence, really looking forward to the second installment of this series.

  • Puveshini Rao
    2019-05-26 19:45

    The movie was great but the book tells us the untold story of Queen Sivagami and her background. It's easy to imagine how she would have been as young girl with the same determination, sass and charisma. Different characters are weaved together throughout the movie and meet at the climax with a cliffhanger that is unexpected. Can't wait for Book 2.

  • Pavithra S
    2019-05-29 20:39

    i enjoyed the book throughout. As a huge fan of bahubali movie, i was interested to know more about the characters in that film. This book gave a great introduction to mahismathi and its characters. This book is absolutely a page turner. Its just q first part in the trilogy. I am waiting for the second part as there was a lot of questions remained unanswered. Only a very few parts of the book, i didn't like. sometimes i felt author is describing slavery too much but overall story and the narration is a thumbs up☺eagerly waiting for the second book. Hope it will release soon.

  • Jaspreet Kaur | jas_thebookthief
    2019-05-28 17:59

    Indian writers can create such vulgar characters is my huge disappointment till now. I completely hate this book. It did no justice to be a prequel to the epic bahubali- the movie.

  • Story_girl
    2019-05-31 15:56

    I love the movies so much, I'm almost scared to read this book!

  • Shriti Chatterjee
    2019-05-19 22:48

    3.5/5One of my favorite things about Bahubali is that it is a straight-forward story about a great kingdom and how the rightful heir wins the throne. No hidden ulterior motives, no dramatic reason behind characters' actions, everything moves along AND WORKS BEAUTIFULLY, due to the circumstances and pure black & white emotions of love, jealousy, and loyalty. In some ways, it reminds me of theMahabharatha , the epic about righteousness winning the day. Unfortunately (for me), the book moves away from this clean-cut narrative and instead delves into a mesh of plots, and sub-plots, almost all of which are fueled by vengeance.Had this book been a standalone, or even part of a trilogy, in a universe where the Bahubali movies did not exist, I'd have gobbled up the book. Why? Because the story moved so quickly. Sivagami's quick temper, and sharp tongue, along with her composed self for the sake of her father, for the sake of her Thimma, elicits nothing short of respect from the reader. Katappa's constant struggle to do his Dharma, in spite of what he knows is right or would be just, definitely got to me, as it would anyone who second-guesses themselves often. Overall, it was a good book but I have some complaints:(view spoiler)[1) Hidumba seems to be heavily influenced by The Imp of GoT2) Disappointing cliffhanger... I had already deduced it was Thimma who took the fall. How could Sivagami have not known? Seems like a major PLOTHOLE!‘Sivagami!’ She heard a voice.She opened her eyes and saw the sword was a finger’s length away from her neck. The masked man’s eyes stared into hers.Sivagami looked down at the sword in her hand. Something about it disturbed her. The sword of the man she had pushed down. That was something she did not want to think about.So the amazing Sivagami recgnizes neither her uncle's voice nor his sword? unbelievable!3) Really hope this is not the last we heard of Achi Nagamma and other minor characters like Raghava and Mekhala. I'd love to read if they have any part to play in the downfall of Mahishmathi. (Sidebar: I'm big on closure so kindly oblige)4) This one's not really a complaint. I just feel very sorry for the fates of Kamakshi, Gundu Ramu, Skandadasa and Shivappa. I can only hope that none of it was in vain and the tragedies add to the dark cloud growing over Mahishmathi day by day. (hide spoiler)]For all my complaints, this book still won me over. I'm definitely eager for the next one in the trilogy, and the one after that.["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>

  • Abishek
    2019-05-23 22:37

    Anand Neelakantan manages to keep the mystery alive throughout the book and makes sure the reader is engrossed until the very end. A delicious mixture of revenge, honour, power, and politics, this book is a great start in establishing a backstory for one of the most powerful female characters in the movie. Can't wait for part two!

  • Lakshmi
    2019-05-19 22:56

    So much to say about the book, but I would like to summarize in a sentence. I was in Mahismati Kingdom for the whole weekend. If writing a successful novel is difficult, writing a prequel to a much loved script and making it successful is much more beyond difficult.

  • Namrata Ganti
    2019-05-29 22:39

    I am sure all of you out there have watched Baahubali 1 and 2. Most of us have come to love the characters but as with most movies, we do not get to know some of the characters well. In this case, with the focus of the movie plot on Baahubali (first the father and then the son - who share the same second name), we are introduced to some very strong and compelling characters about whom we don't know much.This book, the first in a trilogy, seeks to close the gaps and give us an insight into those characters who definitely need to be explained. The major questions of - Who are they? Where are they from? How did they get to where they are today? - are brought up and the author seeks to give us the answers.Sivagami, the strong-willed lady, who is ruthless with her decisions, is a woman who brings out the curiosity in people. Since the movies do not give us anything about her or how she came to be the Queen, this book tells us her story. A girl from humble beginnings, with a thirst for revenge, Sivagami is portrayed as head strong and determined. She takes her time to plot and plan, showing us the strength and cunning in her nature while at the same time, we are shown how much she cares for her friends and can go to any length to protect them.The book also talks about Kattappa in his youth, at a time when he is just starting out, along with intricate details about his life, his father and brother. It is a completely different person that we are shown, which might take you by surprise, but remember, he is still an unsure youth, trying to understand and find his place in the world.The book has a lot of subplots and twists, bringing out the darkness of the times and the conspiracies and corruption behind the doors of the kingdom. Everyone has an agenda and something to hide. The characters are all portrayed in shades of grey, making us believe that they aren't as bad as they actually are. Though the story is well written, there are many times when many of the characters introduced do not inspire empathy, in-spite of the dire circumstances. There is so much that seems to be cluttered together into this first part. It feels more like a rant on the system than a portrayal of emotions that arise due to the circumstances, with the nobles and the slaves, and then those who take advantage of and abuse their power!Pushing these flaws to the side, the story has immense potential and brings out a feeling of nostalgia and a slight sense of satisfaction of knowing who these characters are. Of course, this is just the beginning, there is more to come!

  • LuvLaw
    2019-05-31 16:49

    So even though we all loved Bhaahubali, why have I given this book only three stars?Cause let's start by saying... somewhere is this book confused me a lot. I remember during my trip in Thailand, as I was reading this book, one of my Thai friend asked me what I was reading. Though I read this book half I tried and explained saying... I myself don't know what I am reading. This book is pretty complex in its own way... the relationship between Kattappa and Shivappa, Shivappa and his love interest. Above all Shivagami. She is one of the most complex character. Then you have Bjiladev and his brother. The shrewd king and his court. The orphanage. The scenes are gore and graphic. I felt sad after I read this book. I was still in Thailand when my friend asked me what happened and my answer was... pointing to the book... I just don't know what happened. It's that kind of book. So if you're great reading books which as such are more on characterisation than plot then go ahead and pick this up. Njoy!!!

  • Mahima
    2019-05-23 18:43

    If you are a baahubali fan,then what are you waiting for? go grab the book and read,don't you dare waste a single minute.The book was awesome indeed,anand neelakantan has described every scene beautifully.I can visualise mahishmathi very perfectly according to his descriptions.Story wise, each person's point of view has various plots and the way they meet in the climax is unexpected and thrilling.I am eagerly waiting for the other two books and want to find out how exactly he's connecting to the movie or whether it is completely different. There was a monotonous pace even during the fight scenes,i infact left two to three pages unread because i couldn't withstand the boredom.Anyway criticism apart, Its worth giving a shot,if and only if you love love baahubali and wouldn't complain even if its not fantastic

  • Sneha
    2019-05-26 19:41

    Just finished reading the book 1 Its an amazing book waiting for Book 2 desperately.. This was the first of its kind book which I read after the movie.. now for the next part of the movie I would have a background of Mahishmati kingdom. Worth reading.. very well written by Mr.Neelkanthan. It was so interesting that I had the book always with me and whenever I could find even time while travelling I read the book.

  • Tapasi Raju
    2019-05-17 20:02

    Completed reading #RiseOfSivagami (Part one in Baahubali Book Series) and surprisingly, it turns out to be a very good read which I didn't expect it to be after reading the first two chapters. It gets better with every page. The characters are mind blowing (I can't even point out coz they are many many characters). Do give it a read, the man behind it is ANAND NEELAKANTAN who doesn't really disappoint!P.S - It is not the same story as the film. It is a different story but which is set in the same kingdom MAHISTHMATHI with the characters we are aware of!