Books-U Write I Say,  History, Mythology+Fantasy

Book Review: The Scion of Ikshvaku- Amish Tripathi

“It is the perfect Land- Ram Rajya….But perfection has a price.”

For those who loved the Meluha Trilogy, The Ram Chandra Series is yet another attempt by author Amish Tripathi. Months of advertising and many promotional drives later, the book was released on June 22, 2015. The book is a journey, way back in time, of India in 3400 BC.

As Ayodhya is weakened, with a war that has taken a toll, the damage has been done. The people of the Sapt Sindhu descend into poverty. They need a leader to pull them out of the situation- of despondency and corruption. Only one man can and, he is the ostracized prince Ram. Will Ram rise above the taint that others heap on him? Will his love for Sita sustain him through his struggle? Will he defeat the demon Lord Raavan who destroyed his childhood? Will he fulfill the destiny of the Vishnu? Thus begins an epic journey with Amish’s the Ram Chandra Series. 

The Scion of Ikshvaku is the first in the series of four books of the Ram Chandra series. It explores the tale of Ram. The second book, titled “Sita- Warrior of Mithila”, and the third book will offer a glimpse into the adventures of Sita and then Raavan respectively, before all three stories merge from the fourth book onwards into a single story.

If you have read the Meluha series, you surely would be familiar with Amish’s style of writing. He has this innate way of bringing forth mythology and their characters in a simple form, along with creating a sort of mystic aura around them. It is his sheer imagination that drags me to his writing- the powerful characters that depict every shade of human emotion and personalities.

For example, Manathara, who has often been depicted as the evil one in many versions of the Ramayana, is shown to be a powerful merchant. It is her daughter’s murder that actually brews her hatred towards Ram. Bharat is the pragmatic leader and Lakshman is the over cautious younger brother. To me, the mythological characters were more like human beings, from today’s times, rather than being the Godly sorts.

My favorite quote from the book:

“Parents are like a bow, and children like arrows. The more the bow bends and stretches, further the arrow flies.”

Despite all the believable characters, I wouldn’t consider the book a page turner. Probably, having read the previous Meluha series, the comparisons are inevitable and my expectations were quite high. There was an element of disappointment as the plot lacked the necessary twists and turns. Ram, surely is an integral part of the Ramayana. Yet, I found his portrayal to be pretty bland. The book cannot be considered a great literary work, with the rampant use of colloquial words. Probably Amish wanted to maintain an easy-to-read prose, a version of mythology that’s relatable to one and all. The book lacked depth, a bit amateurish in places. A couple of descriptions of the life and times of then India were quite boring too.

Hoping the future parts to the series would be more promising and would connect dots that lie open in the first part.

I would still consider this a one-time read, just for Amish’s sheer imagination and take on the Ramayana!

Coming soon on the blog is the review of “Sita-Warrior of Mithila” (Part 2 in the Ram Chandra Series by Amish Tripathi)


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