REVIEW OF THE BOOK: SCION OF IKSHVAKU
ABOUT THE BOOK
Set in 3400 BCE, India, Scion of Ikshvaku is the first book of Ram Chandra Series by a well celebrated author of contemporary India, Amish Tripathi. It is the re-imagining of the Indian Epic, Ramayana, with re-telling of few episodes. As explained by the author in the very beginning of the book, the series will consist of four books. The first three books will give a detailed account from birth to a certain event in the lives of Lord Ram, Lady Sita and Raavan respectively. The books conclude at the common episode- the abduction of Lady Sita. The fourth book will take the story forward. Scion of Ikshvaku was much awaited and like Tripathi’s previous works, Shiva Trilogy, it was an instant best seller. In all of his four books, Amish have focused on how a common man’s works made him GOD.
Cover of the book is the picture of Lord Ram.
He is pointing his crossbow towards Raavan’s Pushpak Vimaan, flying in the Sky. The background is of a stormy jungle with the land, orange in color and blue sky. It’s the time of sun set. The orange color of land resembles fire, burning inside Ram. And the blue color of the sky shows the outer appearance of Ram, also known for being very calm and composite throughout his life. The storm of the jungle shows the rage in Ram’s life after his wife was kidnapped. The cover successfully depicts the incident which brought major change to everyone’s life. The back cover has a gist of book with a few lines above it which asserts a fact that everyone has to pay price for perfection, even Lord Ram.
Before starting the story, Amish stated a quote in Sanskrit, which translates in English as:
“You live in Ram’s kingdom, hold your 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.”
The quote highlights the principles of Ram’s reign and why you should feel privileged living in Ram Rajya. One of the main features of Amish’s books is that he provides a list of characters and important tribes, arranged alphabetically. With their designation and relation to protagonist, in this case, Lord Ram.
In the first chapter of the book, the story is of Ram and Lakshman hunting a deer for lunch during their fourteen years of exile. It’s the thirteenth year, right before Sita was abducted by Raavan. In the next chapter, the story shifts thirty years back, the time when Ram was yet to be born. The book then traces the life of Lord Ram. From his birth, his adolescence, his marriage to Lady Sita, their exile and completes at abduction of Sita. Many Ramayana incidents are presented with a twist, like King Dashrath’s hatred for his son Ram and Ram’s first meet with Sita. While other incidents are the same as they have been for years.
In the book Scion of Ikshvaku by Amish Tripathi, many characters are given new identities. Like Manthara, who was Queen Kaikai’s handmaiden in the epic, is now a successful and wealthy business woman. Introduction of new characters like Roshni, the rakhi-sister of the four princes, and her Gang-rape and murder is an attempt by Amish to add contemporary elements to the story. Which successfully blended with and added more interest to it. Amish have taken freedom to re-design certain characters and the infrastructure of cities, especially Mithila.
The language used by Amish is very simple and helps a reader keep a constant pace throughout. Fusion of few old Sanskrit words into English makes the re-telling of story more authentic. From the very beginning of the novel, Ram is like any other normal human. Stripped off all the divine powers he had in the traditional Ramayan. Also Sita’s portrayal breaks the stereotypical image of “Lady Sita”. She is as a fierce warrior and prime minister of Mithila.
In the book Scion of Ikshvaku, by reducing the difference between God and Humans, the author has reduced the distance between the Indian youth and Indian epic to a great extent. He has humanized the God in his works and has taken creative liberties in re-imagining the great Indian Epic. His protagonists show that following rules can be cool. Amish has built the Rama epic in a very un-Ramayan way.
-Written by Noopur Jethwa,
Edited by Aanchal Sharma.
I hope you enjoyed reading our review. We will see you soon with a new blog, till then stay happy and stay fit.
With lots of love,
Team ReviewSha. 🙂
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