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Book Review: Scion of Ikshvaku

You live in Ram’s kingdom, hold you head high.

Fight for justice. Treat all as equal.

Protect the weak. Know that dharma is above all.

Hold your head high,

You live in the kingdom of Ram.

Year 3400 BCE. When Ramayan took place. A Ramayan in which we know there was a villain by the name of Raavan, and there was Prince Ram, who went into exile to fulfill his father’s wishes, wishes imposed by his stepmother Kaikeyi on his father.. A Ramayan that took place when his wife, Sita, was kidnapped by Raavan. A fight that took place between Ram and Raavan and burned the whole Asura Empire..

But then there is a Ramayan which was written by Amish Tripathi. And when you read this version, you will start believing that there is only one version of it. Scion of Ikshvaku by Amish Tripathi. A version that will make you forget the previous versions. A book that will simply mesmerise you and will show you such a twist of characters that you can’t even imagine. And that is how you become Amish Tripathi, keeping the core alive but making a refreshing change in all the characters.

After reading Shiva Trilogy from the same author, I did not think twice before pre-ordering Scion of Ikshvaku. And when I started reading this book, I was in awe of the creativity that Amish has shown. This book has been like a breath of fresh air from other books that have been adapted from traditional Ramcharitramanas.

Amish’s twist of characters will leave any reader surprised. Ram, The scion of Ikshvaku, who holds the law above everyone. Raavan, who is an Army General,  not a born King of Asuras. Dashrath, who thinks that his Son Ram brought ill luck for him during his time of birth. He is not a doting father, he is a King who blames his son’s birth to hide his inefficiencies. Manthra, a business woman, richer than King Dashrath, who bribes Kaikeyi to send Ram into exile. Sita, an adopted princess of Mithila, who is also Prime Minister of the Mithilan State. Jatayu, Who is a Naga and a friend of Sita’s. Sita requests him to join them on exile so that Jatayu and his troop can keep an eye on him and get them a little supply of Somras.Guru Vashishtha, who conspires with Nagas so that his student Ram, can live his fate, a fate unknown even to the readers.

Some of the readers might think that if they haven’t read Shiva Trilogy, they won’t be able to understand this book. But that is not true. Little parts like Somras, Nagas and mention of Meluha would be there, but not up to the extent where in one won’t be able to understand this book.

It’s still hard for me to think who would be the best character of the book. As every character had done justice to their part brilliantly. One cannot easily point out which one is the best. This book is just an introduction of all the characters in upcoming parts. The beauty of this book is that the characters that we know since we were kids have now been transformed into a modern version, to suit the time period and reader’s expectations. So I am really not able to judge who is the best character, as this part has only given an outline for each character, and I am desperately waiting for other parts now.

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