Draupadi: The Fire-Born Princess

Saraswati Nagpal. Campfire, $12.99 trade paper (116p) ISBN 978-93-80741-09-3
Extremely exotic in both art and outlook, this story from Indian mythology covers several generations of dark scheming and glorious deeds. After emerging full-grown from a fire ritual, the beautiful princess Draupadi is at the center of the action, since her five husbands, each of whom embodies a major heroic trait, are the victims of plots by envious relatives and evil courtiers. Her reaction to affronts is usually voluble outrage and this is understandable enough when, for example, one husband gambles away his freedom and she is ordered to disrobe before their enemies. The story insists that Draupadi later purifies herself of anger as she escapes attachment to the material world. Nagpal’s script respects the character’s dignity, and the art by Manu (with color by Pradeep Sherawat and Vijay Sharma) is elegant and stately. The book is fascinating, though Western readers may not draw as much inspiration from it as the creators intended. (Apr.)
Reviewed on: 02/25/2013
Release date: 04/02/2013
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