Tuesday, December 13, 2022

The Tiger Throne: Kalki’s Ponniyin Selvan Retold by Preetha Rajah Kannan- Book Review

 Name of the Book: The Tiger Throne-Kalki’s Ponniyin Selvan Retold

Author of the book: Preetha Rajah Kannan

Genre: Historical fiction


Preetha Rajah Kannan has written five books on Indian mythology, edited a translation of the Telugu Navagraha Purana and contributed to several newspapers and magazines. A homemaker and mother to two sons, she lives in Madurai, Tamil Nadu. 

She is like neighbour and homemaker next door, excited about setting up the golu next week. But the difference is that at 53, Preetha Rajah Kannan has not one but 54 stories sold in a book and that seems to have opened the gates for her in the literary world.


The Tiger Throne-Kalki’s Ponniyin Selvan Retold is a historical novel set around 970 C.E. This book is a compact version of the Kalki's  2000 odd pages novel which was brilliantly written. It is about the Chola king and queens and princes and princesses and their friends and enemies. It has everything that one would expect in a historical novel from dashing warriors, beautiful princesses, secret passages, dark dungeons, sorcerers, spies, vengeance, romance and too many surprising revelations.

In this book you can see that the author has very vividly captured the Chola era and created a brilliant mental pictures for the readers to cherish. The book talks about Sundara Cholan who was a pacifist ruler, he had two gifted sons, the eldest and heir was Adita Karikalan and the younger was prince Arulmozhivarman aka Raja Raja Cholan. Adita Karikalan is murdered, a mystery that is unsolved to this days. The Cholas begin an invasion of Sri Lanka chasing after the last Pandyan king  Arul, who becomes the emperor. 

The protagonist of our tale is young Vandiyatevan, he has given a task to deliver a message from his master, Adita Karikalan, who heads the Chola armies and is based in Kanchi to the King and Adita’s powerful sister. Now from here, we meet a whole lot of interesting characters from the beautiful and dark Nandini, to the brave, noble and clever Arulmozhivarman in the jungles of Sri Lanka to Anirudha Brahamarayar, the spymaster and the man of whispers and secrets and his eternal devotee and aid Azhwarkadiyan Nambi. The book revolves around a Pandyan conspiracy to regain the throne.

This is not just a book but an evidential record of our illustrious history and culture that offers a glimpse of our roots and the rich lives of our ancestors.


What would you expect from any historical novel? Something that captures the details of the time period as accurately as possible for authenticity, including social norms, manners, customs, and traditions and the author of this book has exactly done the same. l loved the setting and plot of the book as it is authentic and real. The description of each character is so accurate that it makes you feel part of the era. Historical fiction books resonate with me especially because they give me the chance to immerse myself in another time. 

The book is quite thick, it has 688 pages but I can assure you that once you start reading you will be completely hooked. Reading this book is a complete pleasure which will soak you in greatest of imagination that is magnificent and splendid. I truly loved it and would advice each one of you to read this to enjoy and learn about our glorious history. 


Book format: Paperback/Kindle edition

Book price: 599 INR/ 569.05 INR

Pages: 688

Publisher: Jaico Publishing House

Availability: Amazon


  1. Oh the story sounds fascinating but I have never read any historical novel ever so really don't know what one should expect from that. But as per your review, I feel like reading it once.

  2. The Tamil Movie Ponniyn Selvan's huge box office success did inspire me to read the original book upon which it was based but the sheer size of the book was a deterrent.
    "The Tiger Throne" looks like a book I could read and enjoy. Thanks for the review!

  3. I appreciate your efforts for the book review. Though I don't read much of historical books but loved your review. Hope it will help historical books lovers to pick up this book.

  4. This is one of my favourite novels but I haven't read Preetis work. I'm sure after this review I will definitely look to read her works in future. Thanks for sharing

  5. I am awed by the amount of research involved and then write a book without making any mistakes. Hats off to such writers in India, who are making our rich history accessible. This was a very tempting review and I am going to grab this book for sure.

  6. I have not come across this book..you have wonderfully reviewed the book i am definitely going to add it to my list.

  7. I too read this book and what at the end I can say is that it’s a book which all should read. It will never give you a chance to feel bored at any point of the story and offer a complete mythological entertainment package

  8. I don't think i have tried reading a historical fiction book because I'm wary of some history but love the royalty stories in any version. This looks like a good one to start with, right?

  9. I love to read historical fiction as it takes me back in time and era I would love to enjoy and experience. I will check this book out for myself.