Anand Neelakantan gave a voice to Ravana in Asura, Duryodhana in the Ajaya series and Sivagami in the Baahubali trilogy; now he explores the Vanara kingdom, its king Baali, his brother Sugreeva and Tara, the woman they both loved, in his new novel.

Vanara: The Legend of Baali, Sugreeva and Tara, published by Penguin Random House India, will hit bookstores on November 13.

Neelakantan says Vanaras have a fascinating story and his novel explores the Vanara kingdom, its king Baali, his brother Sugreeva and Tara, the woman they both loved.

It is arguably the world's first love triangle, he says.

According to him, his learning from the legend was: Never believe anything without questioning. Every story has many sides. There are no absolute rights and wrongs. He said, "These are the messages that ancient Indian wisdom has given to the world. I try to reiterate the same through my works. That is why I explore age-old epics from all angles."

Baali and Sugreeva of the Vana Nara tribe were orphan brothers who were born in abject poverty and grew up as slaves like most of their fellow tribesmen. They were often mocked as the vanaras, the monkey men. Sandwiched between the never-ending war between the Deva tribes in the north and the Asura tribes in the south, the Vana Naras seemed to have lost all hope.

But Baali was determined not to die a slave. Aided by his beloved brother, Sugreeva, Baali built a country for his people. The capital city, Kishkindha, became a beacon of hope for emancipated slaves from across the world.

It was a city of the people, by the people, for the people, where there was no discrimination based on caste, creed, language or the colour of skin.

For a brief period in history, it seemed as if mankind had found its ideal hero in Baali. But then fate intervened through the beautiful Tara, the daughter of a tribal physician.

Loved by Baali and lusted after by Sugreeva, Tara became the cause of a fraternal war that would change history forever.

According to the publisher, Vanara is a classic tale of love, lust and betrayal. Shakespearean in its tragic depth and epic in its sweep, Vanara gives voice to the greatest warrior in the Ramayana Baali, it says.

Neelakantan is the author of the Baahubali trilogy, the prequel to SS Rajamouli's movie; Asura: Tale of the Vanquished, which told the Ramayana from Ravan's point of view; and the Ajaya series.

Rajamouli has announced a mini-series based on Neelakantan's books, on the lines of Game of Thrones.