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Queen of Earth

Nominated | Book Awards 2021 | Writings for Young Adults

Queen of Earth

‘I am Prithvimahadevi, the goddess of the earth.’

Full Title: Queen of Earth

Author: Devika Rangachari
Publisher: Penguin Random House India

Award Category: Writings for Young Adults
About the Book: 

Prithvimahadevi is the daughter of the powerful Somavamshi king of Kosala. Her life is circumscribed by the rules that govern the existence of women of her royal family. She can only hope that she will marry a king whose power matches that of her ambitious father.

Instead she is married to her father’s enemy, the Bhaumakara ruler, Shubhakaradeva, whose way of life she finds alien and austere, and who worships strange gods. There seems to be no hope for her to fulfil her dreams of becoming a great queen-until suddenly one day, there is . . . But is she willing to play the game of sacrifice and betrayal that this will entail?

The story of this ninth-century queen of Odisha by award-winning historical novelist Devika Rangachari will keep you riveted.

About the Author: 

Dr Devika Rangachari is an award-winning children's writer whose book, Queen of Ice, was on the White Raven list, won the Neev Young Adult Book Award and has been optioned to be made into a movie/ television series. She is also a historian who has conducted post-doctoral research on gender in early medieval Indian history. Devika is inordinately fond of reading (especially historical fiction), chocolates, potatoes, and exploring bookshops and libraries. She would happily spend her time among her four loves were it not for her lovely-but-stern editors who occasionally compel her to write.


My tale begins the way of all others—with my birth—but it is a rather unusual story. For most, it is an easy entrance into this world; for others, such as I, it is a tortured one. And birth makes no distinction between royal and non-royal, in this regard.
In giving me life, my mother abandoned hers. So there I was, a mewling, newborn Somavamshi princess, bereft of her love and viewed with distaste by the midwife and the others in the chamber. I am told that my mother was the focus of everyone’s concern then. No one had time for me—a girl, unwanted and entirely dispensable.

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