Draupadi: Fire-Born Princess: Campfire Mythology Line

Draupadi: Fire-Born Princess: Campfire Mythology Line

by Saraswati Nagpal, Manu

A mysterious prophecy resounds, and the bewitchingly beautiful princess Draupadi arises from the sacred fire in Panchala.

Draupadi the princess is in love with Arjuna, the Pandava prince. But fate weaves strange events, and Draupadi finds herself wedded to five men—Arjuna and his four Pandava brothers. Draupadi's life is complicated further by the Kauravas&

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A mysterious prophecy resounds, and the bewitchingly beautiful princess Draupadi arises from the sacred fire in Panchala.

Draupadi the princess is in love with Arjuna, the Pandava prince. But fate weaves strange events, and Draupadi finds herself wedded to five men—Arjuna and his four Pandava brothers. Draupadi's life is complicated further by the Kauravas—her husbands' wicked cousins—who try everything in their power to harm her and the Pandavas. As the fiery princess Draupadi's terrible destiny begins to unfold, she goes from majestic queen with five warrior husbands to a poor servant girl. Evil waits around every corner and a terrible war looms overhead. Will the impulsive Draupadi brave the humiliation destiny has written for her? Will she lose everything she has loved?

Adapted from the ancient Indian epic, the Mahabharata, this is the story of an astonishingly outspoken woman, who is abandoned at every turn, and forced to make the difficult choice between revenge and compassion.

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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
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.)
From the Publisher
"A story with a princess, a lying king, a cheating lord, a period of exile, a lesson in what matters in life, a family that argues and cheats, and a mystical element that gives magical weapons from the great beyond... This book showcases why the graphic novel format has become one of the leading and best ways to help tell a story... This is a story that will inspire and fill the reader’s mind with faith and drive for their own lives."

— Mark Squirek, The New York Journal of Books

"I highly recommend Campfire’s comics. They do what they are intended to do and do it in  a way that excites kids about classic literature."

— Chris Wilson, The Graphic Classroom (a resource for teachers and librarians)

VOYA - Marissa Wolf
Draupadi, a princess born from fire and wed to the Pandavan prince and his four brothers, is a central character in The Mahabharata, an ancient Hindu epic. She was created to restore peace and order to her kingdom. From Draupadi's point of view, we learn of the family rivalry between the Pandavas and the Kauravas. Draupadi, the fiery heroine, is shamed and forced into slavery when the Pandavan prince loses a fixed dice game, having bet her freedom and the kingdom in the process. They are then forced into exile for thirteen years and, upon returning must fight a horrific battle to gain their kingdom back. Draupadi weaves an engaging and intricate tale of her family history and her role in vanquishing evil from the throne. From her perspective, readers witness the consequences of greed and jealousy; likewise, Draupadi's ability to forgive and love again is just as powerful as her thirst for revenge. Part of the Campfire Graphic Novel Mythology series, Draupadi: The Fire-Born Princess is an interesting, high-quality retelling of an important Hindu text. The art works well to enhance the story and will assist readers in following the sometimes complicated storylines. At the end of the graphic novel, the author provides a helpful glossary, describing important Hindu concepts and terminology, as well as a section called "The Many Facets of Draupadi," providing information about Draupadi as a woman and as a goddess. There is also a family tree, which readers may have to refer to periodically in order to keep all the relations straight. While Draupadi is a strong character that readers will generally relate to, this book will be most popular with teens already interested in mythology. This book is recommended for libraries looking to enhance their graphic novel collection or for those that have a strong mythology following. Reviewer: Marissa Wolf
School Library Journal
Gr 6–8—Draupadi was a legendary Indian princess marked for a tragic and powerful destiny at a time when gods and mortals existed on Earth together. With the help of her friend Krishna, she navigates a marriage to five husbands, a fight to keep control of her kingdom, a 13-year exile, and, finally, a terrible battle between her husbands and their cousins. The colorful illustrations are drawn with bold lines in a stiff, though realistic style. The story is full of jealousy, passion, and violence, but the formal, portentous language and the details of Draupadi's intricate family tree may discourage some readers. A family tree at the beginning, explanatory notes throughout the text, and additional information at the end help with comprehension. This informative and unique graphic novel should help to balance collections that have an emphasis on Western mythology.—Lisa Goldstein, Brooklyn Public Library, NY
Kirkus Reviews
This graphic adaptation of the Mahabharata would be easy to conceptualize as a math problem. The original Indian poem has 100,000 stanzas. The graphic novel is 112 pages long. So the panels are covered with dense blocks of text like this one: "Since Dhritarashtra was reluctant to hand over the kingdom to Yudhishthira, Bheeshma and Vidura urged him to divide the kingdom so that the Pandavas and the Kauravas could live in peace." Readers might have been satisfied with less Mahabharata per page. Any one of the incidents that make up the story could have been turned into a full-length graphic novel. There are battles and disguises. There's a funny, and strangely moving, sequence in which Draupadi finds herself married to five brothers. When the book simply tells an adventure story, it's captivating. The artwork, helpfully, is stunning. The colors nearly glow. The book includes everything a reader could want but not right away. The prologue has hundreds of words about lines of succession that lie between them and the story. Children who stay with the book will find war, romance, gambling and political intrigue. But the first chapter or two may feel a little too much like a math test. (character guide, family tree) (Graphic classic. 9-14)

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Product Details

Steerforth Press
Publication date:
Campfire Graphic Novels Series
Product dimensions:
6.30(w) x 10.10(h) x 0.30(d)
Age Range:
10 - 14 Years

Meet the Author

Born in 1980 in Dubai, Saraswati Nagpal was an early reader. She wrote plays, stories, and poetry through high school and college. Also a keen student of Indian classical dance and music, Saraswati has been teaching young children for the past five years how to create their own stories through words, music, and movement. She is working hard at her dream of creating magical, enchanting stories for kids and adults.

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