Wednesday, 22 January 2014

யவன ராணி - சாண்டில்யன்


Have you read or heard about this masterpiece, Yavana Rani, from Sandilyan? I have read a quite a few books of Sandilyan like Kadal Pura, Raja Perigai, Raja Thilagam, Raja Muthirai, Jala Deepam, but this is his best work according to me. This book takes place in the great Karikala Chozan's period. Ilanchezhiyan, a Choza chief commander is the hero of this novel.

The main characters in this book are Ilanchezhiyan (hero), Hippalaas (Greek soldier under Ilanchezhiyan), Brahmananda (a monk who helps the hero), Yavana Rani, Poovazhagi (Ilanchezhiyan's lover), Karikala Chozan.

Sandilayan doesn't take much time to get into the story. The story starts right from the first page, where Ilanchezian finds Yavana Rani at the seashore of Poompuhar, which was Choza's fort once. His life changes completely from that point. Tiberius, a Yavana leader, who plans to bring Poompuhar in his control and rule under this Yavana Rani is the main antagonist. He is as good as Ilanchezhiyan. Ilanchezhiyan escapes from Greek soldiers by taking the Yavani Rani as his hostage, imagine that scene from Gillli :). And, he runs and runs and runs, the story too moves as fast as it could.

This story travels to Arabia. Ilanchezian was poisoned and sent in a ship, we get to know about a king of that land and Ilanchezian is caught there with all other thieves. He manages to escape with the help of that king's adopted child. He comes back to Tamilnadu with that girl. Ilanchezian rescues Karikalan, Sandilyan also explains why he is called 'Kari'Kalan, must be fictional. Then, he plans for a big war against the Karikala Chozan enemies. He helps Karikala Chozan to get his throne. After that, he returns to Poompuhar to destroy Tiberius after almost some years.

Ilanchezhiyan was already in love with a girl Poovazhagi, but Yavani Rani also falls for him. Yavani Rani's love only will save Ilanchezhiyan. Ilanchezhiyan will form a very good war strategy for Karikala Chozan. Those sequences will be too good. He lets us imagine the battlefield exactly with his words. Sandilyan also provided historical facts every now and then with its source.

After reading, as usual I thought about how it will be if it's made into a movie. I had Vikram in my mind for Ilanchezhiyan, Anushka for Poovazhagi, later after watching Madharasapattinam Amy for Yavana Rani. This cast came together, but for a different movie. And, Vikram started a movie Karikalan which was stalled. I was disappointed since its director mentioned Yavana Rani book in one of his interview for Karikala Chozan's history.

Sandilyan has a formula like some movie directors. His books will have at least a minimum of two main female leads, an old wise man who constantly advises the hero. And, the hero will do some things which will look stupid until he explains his plan himself. These are must in most of the Sandilyan novels I have read. So after reading few novels I was little bored with Sandilyan, but my first book of his, Yavana Rani, is really too good. I have read many historical novels of Sandilyan than Kalki.

This book is a must read for all those love historical fiction. This will be as good as Ponniyin Selvan, but shorter than it. It has many twist and turns and it never let the pace down at any point. You will get completely involved in the story and love Yavana Rani and Ilanchezhiyan.


  1. Of course yavana rani is the best book of sandilyan...super characterisation but indeed " Raja muthirai" was the excellent novel according to me ..

    1. I have read that as well, but maybe my love for Chozas made me incline towards Yavana Rani more than Raja Muthirai :)