After the success of The Shiva Trilogy, acclaimed author Amish Tripathi, brings The Scion of Ikshvaku, the first book of the Ram Chandra series.
The Scion of Ikshvaku is the first book in the Ram Chandra series by the author Amish Tripathi. After his best-selling Shiva trilogy, the Ram Chandra series is accounted to be a collection of six books. Released in 2015, the book won the award for the Best Fiction Book at the 14th Crossword Book Award. Amish has sold more than 4 million books as of now and was coined as India’s First Literary Popstar, along with being placed in the list of 50 Most Influential Young Indians.
Just like the previous trilogy, this book is a retelling of the life of Lord Ram. Unlike the portrayal in Ramayana, Ram’s father considers him to be the reason behind the downfall of their kingdom at the hands of the Lankan king, Ravana. After successfully maintaining the security of the kingdom, Dashratha appoints Lord Ram as the king of Ayodhya. When Ravana is humiliated at the swayamvar of Sita, where she marries Ram, Ravana attacks the kingdom of Mithila, and Ram is forced to use the sacred Asurastra, and as a consequence, he must face a 14-year exile from the kingdom. Lord Ram is accompanied by his brother, Lakshman, and his wife, Sita during the exile, where Sita is kidnapped by Ravana. Without the support of his army or anyone else by his side, Ram must find a way to free Sita and defeat the tyrant Ravana.
What to anticipate
Beginning from scratch with a totally new story and a new deity, Amish manages to keep the charm of his writing intact. His writing is simple in the true sense, and nowhere in the 300-page journey would you need to consult a dictionary. In the form of conversations between Ram and Bharat, and Ram and Sita, Amish manages to convey the essence of Ramayana as well as bring out the contrast in personalities and beliefs of the brothers. His attention to detail makes the whole scenery play out beautifully, and once again the character development is strong. Much like the previous works, Amish has put special attention to the character development of female leads. Similar to Sati in the Shiva Trilogy, Sita in The Scion of Ikshvaku is a much more powerful and independent woman in contrast to her portrayal in the actual tale.
The description of ancient technology still seems a bit farfetched, and the writing style seems predictable and old after the previous books. The rape incident added in the middle, similar to the Nirbhaya case in Delhi, seems forced and completely unnecessary. Unlike The Immortals of Meluha, this story is pretty similar to the original tale of Lord Ram, and the book just isn’t as compelling and doesn’t hold the reader well enough.
While still a pretty good read, Amish seems to have lost his magic touch after the trilogy; and the next book in the series shall be vital to determine the development of the story. The series is now twice as long, which means that Amish will have to do twice as much work to hold the reader engaged. The good reception of the first book should motivate Amish to keep new tricks up his sleeve for the upcoming books in the series which should keep the readers in awe. After writing India’s version of Lord of the Rings, Amish just might write the Indian version of A Song of Ice and Fire.