Book Review: Scion of Ikshvaku

Author: Amish Tripathi, the famed author behind the Shiva Trilogy.
Pages: 354
Opinion Rating: 3/5.

Though not a fan of Amish Tripathi’s writing style, I enjoyed his Shiva Trilogy, and I right away bought this first book of the Ram-Chandra Series.

SOI_book_cover_Amish Tripathi

The book has a very interesting cover, the much talked about Pushpak Vimaan being aimed by the slender, tall and long flowing haired man (Ram ofcourse), sure would capture the eyes of mythology and sci-fi lovers.

The book based on the well known Ram, needs no summary. Though I finished the book the very week, I couldn’t get myself to write a review as I was disappointed. Yes, Amish’s take on the Ramayana was a personal non-satisfaction(to me), compared to the other versions and short stories I have read. Though he never mentions Ramayana, the stories we know are ofcourse adaptations from the very same.

Yet, I wouldn’t say the book was a failure or even near boring. The book is a delight to read, takes your imagination through the intrinsic relationship shared by the main characters ie Ram and his family. The logic Amish offers behind incidents and happenings is true to believe. The Ram-Lakshman relationship description is done justice to their brotherhood which has been celebrated for centuries now; though they differ on the importance of following law (Ram being the staunch one), Lakshman being the more outspoken and expressive one over emotions. So is the twin brothers’ Shatrugan-Lakshman behavioral characters.

My favourite was his innovation of Ram’s birth coinciding with Dashrath’s defeat in battle and the father going onto hate the son through his adulthood was astounding. Also, Amish making use of the feminist wave (on purpose or not), is the portrayal of Sita as a ‘physically’ strong women with scars as opposed to the delicate nature deserves a thumbs up. The reasoning why Dashrath was devoted to Kaikeyi, and later on forced to grant her, her wish is ratiocinating.

Manthara as rich and shrewd, her daughter Roshini- the rakhi sister of the brothers, being gang-raped, Bharath’s secret revenge and his carefree language are well narrated with tinges of modern India. The Vayaputra’s devotion and them moving west, Vashishta and Vishwamitra supposedly cold war is intriguing and sure has invoked my eagerness to read the second book.

However, the Suparnaka, Ram and Lakshman’s episode was no surprise, I sure liked this article (link) better, a must read I say.

The first book of the Ram-Chandra series despite being a little drag in few portions, I predict the second to be more interesting; reason being I liked ‘The Oath of Vayaputhras’ best in the earlier series, just a strong hunch you see.

~W.H.

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