Goddess of the River


By Vaishnavi Patel

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$41.00 CAD

A Lilly's Library pick!

A powerful reimagining of the story of Ganga, goddess of the river, and her doomed mortal son, from Vaishnavi Patel, author of the instant New York Times bestseller Kaikeyi.

A mother and a son. A goddess and a prince. A curse and an oath. A river whose course will change the fate of the world.

Ganga, joyful goddess of the river, serves as caretaker to the mischievous godlings who roam her banks. But when their antics incur the wrath of a powerful sage, Ganga is cursed to become mortal, bound to her human form until she fulfills the obligations of the curse.

Though she knows nothing of mortal life, Ganga weds King Shantanu and becomes a queen, determined to regain her freedom no matter the cost. But in a cruel turn of fate, just as she is freed of her binding, she is forced to leave her infant son behind.

Her son, prince Devavrata, unwittingly carries the legacy of Ganga’s curse. And when he makes an oath that he will never claim his father’s throne, he sets in motion a chain of events that will end in a terrible and tragic war.

As the years unfold, Ganga and Devavrata are drawn together again and again, each confluence another step on a path that has been written in the stars, in this deeply moving and masterful tale of duty, destiny, and the unwavering bond between mother and son.

  • “A deeply raw and honest retelling, Goddess of the River bravely dives into the moral complications of war and responsibility, painting these larger-than-life characters as human, flawed and brilliant.” 
    Aparna Verma, author of The Phoenix King
  • In her retelling of the Mahabharata, Patel has once again narrowed her version of a famous epic onto one compelling, female protagonist. Fans of the original as well as fans of mythological fantasy and retellings will enjoy Ganga’s fierce independence and well-told journey as well as the twists and turns that spell out Bhishma’s destiny in this complex story. 
  • Patel distills the mythic fall of the Kaurava family into a deeply personal and painfully human tragedy...beautifully crafted. 
  • “Like the best stories, this engaging portrait will move you to take another look at the things you think you already know.”
    The New York Times on Kaikeyi
  •  “A powerful, feminist retelling of the epic...Patel resets the balance of power, creating an unforgettable heroine who understands that it isn’t necessarily kings or gods who change history.”
    Washington Post on Kaikeyi
  • “[A] thoughtful, feminist reclaiming of one of the most despised queens of Indian mythology from the epic poem the Ramayana.”
    Paste Magazine on Kaikeyi
  • "A powerful examination of a woman maligned by myth and men. Patel’s imagination takes a hammer to the image of a stonehearted villainess and reveals the woman within, whose choices sparked immortal legends. Compulsively readable and infinitely compassionate, this is the story I’ve been yearning for all my life."
    Roshani Chokshi, author of The Last Tale of the Flower Bride on Kaikeyi

On Sale
May 21, 2024
Page Count
416 pages

Vaishnavi Patel

About the Author

Vaishnavi Patel is the author of the instant New York Times bestseller Kaikeyi. A lawyer specializing in civil rights, she likes to write at the intersection of Indian myth, feminism, and anticolonialism. She grew up in and around Chicago and, in her spare time, enjoys activities that are almost stereotypically Midwestern: knitting, ice skating, drinking hot chocolate, and making hotdish. 

Learn more about this author