Shelves: have-read This is a retelling of the first book of the Ramayana, the great Indian epic. I loved it. So one has to switch to "Hindu myth mode" for this story. In such myths, the hero This is a retelling of the first book of the Ramayana, the great Indian epic. One might wonder how a good story can even be told about a hero like Rama, who is perfect in dharma and meditation, who is invincible, with divine weapons that always hit their mark, etc.
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Shelves: have-read This is a retelling of the first book of the Ramayana, the great Indian epic. I loved it. So one has to switch to "Hindu myth mode" for this story. In such myths, the hero This is a retelling of the first book of the Ramayana, the great Indian epic.
One might wonder how a good story can even be told about a hero like Rama, who is perfect in dharma and meditation, who is invincible, with divine weapons that always hit their mark, etc.
Especially when he had his fortune told at birth, and pretty much everything was laid out in advance. The conflicts are really conflicts of duty, resolving the problem of one type of duty clashing with another equally legitimate type.
What I really liked about this book was that the mythical characters get fleshed out as real people, to a great extent, even if they are supposedly perfect. But he and other characters get to be pretty real in this story. We have noble young princes who will discharge their honourable duties to protect the realm of their ailing father.
We have the return of an ancient evil many now consider mythical. We even have an ancient, near immortal wise man and sorcerer, the Brahmarishi Vishwamitra, who will complete the training of the princes and take them on a perilous quest. Like The Lord of the Rings we have an evil lord returning with an even vaster army than before. This may make the first book of the Ramayana cycle sound terribly unoriginal, and a couple of reviewers have indeed expressed this opinion.
However, I would have to argue they are being terribly unfair and just a little obtuse - this is a fantasy-novel-narrative version of a Sanskrit myth the original is over 3, years old.
It is the basis of much of Indian mythology, theology, poetry and art. Far from being unoriginal - it is, in fact, one of the original sources of one of the great myths of mankind. I know little of Indian mythology plenty about the food though and I found it astonishing how many themes in this ancient mythological cycle were similar to Greek, Roman, Persian, Norse or Celtic mythology.
One might just as well say is a very late version of a Ramayana-type story. Oh, and another quick note. Sanskrit terms are used all through the book, with no explanation or translation except a glossary in the back. Some can be understood fairly quickly by the context. But anyone who reads this -- keep your finger in the glossary, and be prepared to do a lot of flipping.
I now must pick up the remaining six books.
May Agnes Smith had been born and raised in Ceylon. When that country achieved independence, all other members of her family chose to claim British citizenship and either return to the UK or migrate to other countries. May Agnes was the only member of her family to move to India. She married Mr. The couple settled in the neighbourhood of Byculla in Mumbai , or Bombay as it was then known. It was in the same house in Byculla that Banker grew up, under the care of his grandmother. He has mentioned in interviews how she not only encouraged him to write but even financed the publication of his first book, a collection of his poetry titled Ashes in the Dust of Time, which he self-published at age 15, and which was selected to represent Young India at the World Book Fair in Paris.
Books by Ashok K. Banker