Krishnan and I just loved the Shiva Trilogy – The Immortals of Meluha, The secret of the Nagas and The oath of the Vayuputras. Infact Krishnan managed to read “The oath of the Vayuputras” before me and I was miffed for a few hours. All three books were “un-put-downable”, just gripping and brilliantly written. Amish Tripathi had arrived with a bang !
So when his latest book “The scion of Ikshvaku” was released, I bought it right away. I finished reading it today and unfortunately I was underwhelmed .. It took me a few days to complete reading the book, it wasn’t as gripping. Amish’s speciality is blending our mythology and the stories of our Gods and Godesses with some fiction and using simple English to build a great story. He has a compelling ability of weaving a great story. Maybe my expectations were too high.
Scion of Ikshvaku is loosely inspired by Ramayana and it refers to the Shiva trilogy as well – the Malayaputras and the Nagas are in this story as well. The masculine and feminine ways of leading … An interesting thought. I felt that Amish was struggling to bring out a solution to the current religious debate that’s centre stage in the world -the “many Gods” Hinduism Vs the “one God” religions like Christianity and Islam. It’s not an easy solution and that’s probably why the plot is more preachy than a gripping story.
Ram the law-giver and the one who abides by the law … The letter of the law, unlike the spirit of the law – need to see how he develops that character further. Sita as a warrior queen .. Interesting and different. I loved the way Ram is banished from Ayodhya and sent off on exile – different reason from the one in Ramayana and ofcourse Dashratha not liking Ram at first was difficult to digest :):). Also the Somras makes a comeback while it was debunked in the Shiva trilogy, so don’t know why and how he plans to use it. I also liked the caste divisions basis “work” or “potential” rather than birth idea being sown because that’s the way the caste system was meant to be. The caste-by-birth is inflexible and an incorrect interpretation.
I gave 3 stars to this book. It’s ok for a one-time read, maybe the plot will thicken in the subsequent books in the series. Amish is an inspiration anyway, because of his brilliant ability of story-telling. One book being a slower read doesn’t dent his inspirational value in any way.