Book Review: Scion of Ikshvaku

 

 

scionofikshvaku-bookreview-anupriyamishra.com

Author: Amish

Publisher: Westland Ltd.

MRP: INR 350

Pages: 354

My rating: 3.5/5

Scion of Ikshvaku is the Ram Chandra Series 1, the latest book by the author Amish, who is known well for his previous literary works of Shiva Triology. There’s no hint to how many series of this book are on its way, however, this book makes it a must read for its astounding representation of the great epic, Ramayana in an absolute fictitious form.

About the book

It is an excellent and intriguing piece of mythological fiction. The word ‘fiction’ here needs somewhat more emphasis as you cannot completely relate it to the story of Ramayana. Undoubtedly, the story by Amish draws its inspiration from it, however, relating it to the epic would be an over-expectation. The story is modified to every bits and pieces, yet holds the ability to transport you to a different world of Ram Rajya,”The Perfect Land”, back in 3400 BCE in India. Some of the events in this book would make you wonder, if it was really true?

The events are excellently juxtaposed, weaving into a fine tapestry that is fresh and keeps you glued till the last page of the novel. And, once you are there, you wish to grab the next copy, that is going to be Series 2. Perhaps, this is why, Amish outshines other Indian authors of the same league; his writings are never enough.

Writing style

There’s something about Amish’s style of writing that connects so well with the contemporary world. Every major incident that takes place in the story is like connecting dots to analyse the current societal or political scenario. The exchange of dialogues that occur about the leadership, laws, karma, relationships are so commonly heard, but least applied. The horrific crime scene commemorates the crimes that have happened in the last few years and continue to take place; showcases that India has yet not been free from the loopholes that the law possess. Amish has touched some very sensitive issues with extreme caution in just the right manner.

The story

The story begins with the two brothers, Ram and Laxman, in the forest, busy hunting for a deer and Sita was kidnapped by Raavan. The story concludes with the same episode. What comes in between the start and the end is the real drama and thrill. The various chapters in between cover the:

  • Plight of Dashrath–Dashrath who was the Chakrvarti king of Kosala and emperor of Sapt Sindhu is shown once powerful, becomes miserable and lean after losing the battle with Raavan.
  • Portrayal of characters of the three queens and wives of Dashrath–Kaushalya, Kaikeyi and Sumitra.
  • Innocent childhood of the four brothers–Ram, Bharat, Laxman and Shatrughan. Their education under guru Vashishta in gurukul and how they grew up together with an extraordinary bond of love and respect for each other despite the disparity they had in their thoughts.
  • Ongoing conspiracies
  • Period of downfall and turmoil
  • War between Raavan and Ram
  • Wedding of the two brothers Ram and Laxman with Janak’s daughters Sita (the adopted one) and Urmila, respectively.
  • Departure of Ram, Sita and Laxman for a fourteen years exile.

Pros

  • Splendid imagery
  • Entertaining
  • Intensively thrilling
  • Descriptive
  • Eye to detail
  • Generates curiosity

Cons

Sita’s swayamvar is modified or confused with Draupadi’s swayamvar in Mahabharata. The entire Pinaka incident looks forgotten as the episode describes Ram targeting the Fish eye. This is not just misleading, but indigestible even if you consider the book to be a fiction or an interpretation of the author.

Top 10 quotes from the book

  1. ‘Witholding the truth is different from lying!’ Vashishta remarked with a twinkle in his eyes. ‘Not revealing the truth is lying, isn’t it, Guruji?’ ‘No, it isn’t. Sometimes, truth causes pain and suffering. At such times, silence is preferred. In fact, there may be times when a white lie, or even an outright lie, could actually lead to a good outcome.’ ‘But lying has consequences, Guruji. It’s bad karma.’ ‘Sometimes, the truth also may have consequences that are bad. Lying may save someone’s life. Lying may bring one into a position of authority, which in turn may result in an opportunity to do good….Wisdom lies in moderation, in balance…I am not suggesting that lying is good. But sometimes, just like a tiny dose of a poison can prove medicinal, a small lie can actually help.’
  2.  ‘Laws are the foundation on which a fulfilling life is built for a community. Laws are the answer.’
  3. ‘We’re the most hypocritical people on earth. We criticize corruption in others, but are blind to our own dishonesty. We hate others who do wrong and commit crimes, blithely ignoring our own misdeeds, big and small.’
  4. ‘A relationship is not just for fun, it is also about trust and the knowledge that you can depend on your partner. Relationships based on passion and excitement do not last.’
  5. ‘One of the things that differentiate us from animals is that we do not kill our weak. But if the government interferes to such an extent that the weak thrive and the strong are oppressed, society itself will collapse over time. A society should not forget that it thrives on the ideas and performance of the talented among its citizens.’
  6. ‘Giving a sharp sword to a child is not an act of generosity, but irresponsibility.’
  7. Kimapi Nu Janaahaa Vadishyanti. Tadeva Kaaryam Janaanaam.’ People will talk nonsense. It is, after all, their job.
  8. ‘A leader has to first make the society worthy of enlightened laws before implementing them.’
  9. ‘Sometimes wrath is required to deliver justice. But the strange thing about anger is that it is like fire; the more you feed it, the more it grows. It takes a lot of wisdom to know when to let anger go.’
  10. A society would be perfect only if people were free to do what they actually wanted to, based on their karma, rather than following the diktats of the caste they were born into. And where did these diktats come from? They came from parents, who forced their values and ways on their children. Brahmin parents would encourage and push their child towards the pursuit of knowledge. The child, on the other hand, may have a passion for trade. These mismatches led to unhappiness and chaos within society. Furthermore, the society itself suffered as its people were forced to work at jobs they didn’t want to do.

If the review compels you enough to read this book, you can buy online at Amazon at a discounted price.

 

 

 

 

 

Anupriya Mishra is a writer, an independent blogger, a voracious reader and a freelance journalist. Truly in love with life, she wishes to celebrate each day by contributing to her blog. Her passions such as reading, writing, traveling, and photography have their unending space on the blog, which is a true reflection of her personality. She calls herself, “Wanderer by choice, Writer by passion.” To know more about her travel escapades, take a look at the “Travel & Living” section of the blog. Moreover, she conducts reviews of books, movies, hotels and restaurants. She also has a penchant for Fashion, Lifestyle, Events, Promotions, Books, Music, Features and Poems, all of which find space on the blog.


8 Comments

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