I am just finished with S.Venkatesan’s Sahitya Academy winner Kaaval Kottam. I must say that my appetite is whetted in every way. After a long time, I felt very satisfied after competing this magnum opus.
A word to first time readers-when you start it, complete it in one flow. Innumerable details, all of them of importance, are lined up in every chapter of the novel. Be it the passage of the Saluva axe or the chandrahaasa sword over the time to administrative details on every one who ruled the temple town Madurai(the story has Madurai as it background over a period of 600 years) from the plundering Malik Kafur to Queen Ganga Devi to Mangammaa to Krishna Devaraya to his illustrious general Viswanatha Naicker and his descendents to the British with the people of Naadhanoor in the backdrop who are witness to the changing times, the book is a treasure to every reader. The changing accents, the various historical, cultural, sociological and administrative changes are a guide in themselves to students of these subjects.
Be it the changes a new police station brings in the society to the effect that Blackburn’s ideas for extending the city limits to the minute techniques used by the Naadhanoor’s thieves-brilliant.
What more can I say? The 10 years’ work of the author has borne fruit in a delicious way.
Do buy a copy and enjoy reading it.