Parthiban Kanavu by Kalki Krishnamoorthy | A brief spoiler-free review

Hey folks! Welcome back to the reader’s corner. In this blog post, I would like to review one of the gems of Tamil history novels by great Kalki. People might think I have gone crazy about reading books only by this author. But trust me, I guess this is the last in my pile of Kalki’s book for this year. Kindly brace with me and dive into the review. The gem is none other than,



The book Parthiban Kanavu by Kalki Krishnamoorthy was published in 1942. Though the book is small, it has three parts. It comes under the historical fiction genre.


If you are reading Kalki’s epic novels for the first time, you should follow this order for a better understanding while reading them. The chronological order is

1.Parthiban Kanavu,

2.Sivagamiyin Sabatham,

3.Ponniyin Selvan.

                            But the order to read them is first Sivagamiyin Sabatham, Parthiban Kanavu, and lastly Ponniyin Selvan. Though each novel is an individual story, some events in the book are pretty little continuous. When I read, I read in the reverse order but I managed to understand it well. So, it is just a piece of suggestion.


On the beloved untamed and lushes banks of Cauvery lies the Chola kingdom. The king and the people of the region live peacefully under the reign of the Chola king Parthiban. But fate decides to kill the peace of the Cholas, and it had made the entry of the Pallava ruler Narasimhavarman I in their lives. Due to some extortion problem, a disturbing situation arises. The Pallava rulers askes the Cholas to pay the payment but, the Cholas refuse to pay and declare war against them. Before leaving to the battlefront, king Parthiban tells his dream to his son Vikraman I and, he asks for a promise to fulfill them. Read the entire story to learn the aftermath of the war and what happens to his visions.

If you are looking for buying this book, let me make it easier for you. Here is the amazon link, click it, add to your cart, buy, and enjoy reading. Link – Buy here.

Parthiban Kanavu
Parthiban kanavu by Kalki Krishnamoorthy.


Right from the beginning till the end, the story is very captivating. Not once I felt dragging or bored. I was transported from the 21st century to the 7th century through this book. This book gave me the experience of living in both the great Cholas and Pallava kingdoms. These kingdoms have given importance to art and architecture. They had created many wonders during their period and also paid equal respect to their lineage and motherland. At some places, I got goosebumps reading their convos. Even women had great willpower and self-respect. Jojen once said,

“A reader can live a thousand lives before he dies”

It was so true. These kinds of epic novels will have a colossal number of casts, while this story also had many, I lived all their lives. On that note, the character building is magnificent in this story. It was a treat to the readers to imagine such characters. Though this novel is historical fiction, the author managed to choose a handful of characters who truly lived in those times.

Speaking of the word built in this story, it depicts the author’s love for the language. He had loved it like anything. While reading the script, it is such a delight for the bibliophiles. The description part in this book is as usual like the cherry on top. Just for his descriptions, I can blindly read his works. The description of the river Cauvery is a notable one.

Certain benefits of reading these kinds of historical novels are we can learn many old words which might be extinct. We can also learn about their culture, traditions, and food habits. I have learned a few from this book.


We are all aware that Thirukkural was written before Christ. But never did read that the kings and others used them in their life. But here in Parthiban Kanavu, Kalki says that the Chola kings used Thirukkural to rule their kingdom. They used the Thirukkural couplets in providing justice to the people. They kept the copy of Thirukkural as an heirloom which was passed on to their heirs. This act made me wonder how people lived their lives, well-disciplined.


In the middle of the story, there comes a conversation between king Narashima Pallavar and a boatman. During the convo, the king says that these arts and architectures were made not only to show our talent but it is a priceless gift that we are going to leave for our future generations. They should visit these places and learn how their kingdoms were rich in power, and art, and architecture.

After reading that passage, I just wondered how the kings of India had a great foresight view. Because today we are doing the same. Everyone is visiting historical monuments with such awe. I wish that these places should be preserved and protected with utmost care for future generations.

To conclude, Kalki’s novels will always have a colossal puzzle. To solve the puzzle, we need great patience. So, if you think you have the patience to solve it, you can read his epic works. Tell us how much you liked our review in the comments.

Happy Reading!


Formerly, we have reviewed many other books from the same author. In case if you are interested, the links are given below. Just tap them and enjoy reading our reviews.

  1. Ponniyin Selvan
  2. Sivagamiyin Sabhadam
  3. Mohini Theevu
  4. Solaimalai Ilavarasi
  5. Kalvanin Kadhali

If you are looking for similar book review posts, then you must definitely check out my previous blog posts. Here is the link –Readers’ Corner.

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Parthiban Kanavu by Kalki Krishnamoorthy | A brief spoiler-free review

6 thoughts on “Parthiban Kanavu by Kalki Krishnamoorthy | A brief spoiler-free review

  1. This is very nice!
    It feels nice to understand the stories and read about the books especially because I can’t read Tamil as effectively.

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