Posts Tagged ‘Kaikeyi’

Cover Launch: KAIKEYI by Vaishnavi Patel

Earlier this year, Redhook announced the acquisition of a very special debut: KAIKEYI by Vaishnavi Patel. Today, we are so excited to reveal its gorgeous cover!

This stunning novel reimagines the life of Kaikeyi, the vilified queen from the Indian epic the Ramayana. It is a tale of fate and family, of courage and heartbreak, centering Indian mythology and giving voice to a woman determined to leave her mark in a world where gods and men dictate the shape of things to come. If you love books like Circe, Ariadne, and The Witch’s Heart, add this to your TBR right now!

We knew such an extraordinary debut deserved a show-stopping cover to match, and Orbit designer Lisa Marie Pompilio delivered. KAIKEYI won’t hit shelves until April 2022, but you can find the book on Goodreads here! And say hi to author Vaishnavi Patel on Twitter and Instagram at @vaishnawrites.

 Cover design by Lisa Marie Pompilio


In the kingdom of Kekaya, Kaikeyi is raised on grand stories about the might and benevolence of the gods: how they churned vast oceans to obtain the nectar of immortality, how they offer the devoted and the wise magnificent boons, how they vanquish evil and ensure the land prospers. Yet she watches as her father unceremoniously banishes her mother, her own worth measured by how great a marriage alliance she can secure. And when she calls upon the gods for help, they never seem to hear.

Desperate for independence, she turns to the ancient texts she once read with her mother and discovers a magic that is hers alone. She uses it to transform herself from overlooked princess into warrior, diplomat, and most-favorite queen, determined to forge a better world for herself  than the one that gods and men have granted.

But when darkness threatens the cosmic order, the path the gods have chosen for Kaikeyi’s family—especially that of her beloved son, Rama—challenges all she has built. She must decide if her resistance is worth the destruction it will wreak…and what legacy she intends to leave behind.

Acquisition Announcement: KAIKEYI by Vaishnavi Patel

Redhook is thrilled to announce the acquisition of KAIKEYI, Vaishnavi Patel’s sweeping, powerful, and provocative debut, which reimagines the life of Kaikeyi, the long-vilified queen of the Indian epic the Ramayana.

I was born on the full moon under an auspicious constellation, the holiest of positions—much good it did me.”

So begins Kaikeyi’s story, that of a young woman determined to create her own destiny in a world where gods and men dictate the shape of things to come. But as she transforms herself from an overlooked princess into a warrior, diplomat, and most-favored queen, Kaikeyi’s will clashes with the path that has been chosen for her family—and she must decide if her resistance is worth the destruction it will wreak.

In the tradition of novels such as Madeline Miller’s Circe, KAIKEYI interrogates the role of female characters in the Indian myths, questioning where and why we draw the line between heroes and villains. When speaking about her inspiration for writing this particular story, author Vaishnavi Patel says, “Among characters in the Ramayana, Kaikeyi draws the short straw. Despite the fact that her exile of Rama is what allows the rest of the epic to happen, she is cast as a petty woman acting out of jealousy. But that never sat right with me. Why would a powerful queen and warrior tear her family and kingdom apart over envy? After years of wishing for someone to explain Kaikeyi’s actions to me, I decided to write her perspective myself. I hope that in this world, her decisions might be understood, and even righteous.”

KAIKEYI is a bold and imaginative debut from a supremely talented new voice, and we are so excited to be publishing it in the spring of 2022! In the meantime, please join us in welcoming Vaishnavi to the Orbit/Redhook family. You can find her on Twitter at @VaishnaWrites and at

Orbit US senior editor Priyanka Krishnan acquired world English rights from Lucienne Diver at The Knight Agency.