Scion Of Ikshvaku is the first book of the Ram Chandra series by the celebrated author of Shiva Trilogy, Amish Tripathi. It was the most awaited book by the readers. The book was launched with a lot of fanfare and Amish and company adopted all the marketing techniques to give the book maximum exposer. But such kind of hype increases a lot of expectation which when not met leads to a disappointment. Well I felt a little let down after reading the book.
Scion Of Ikshvaku is the story of Prince Ram Chandra who is not so popular in his empire. Only very few people understands and loves him including his mother, brothers and wife. It is his journey from the most hated character to the most loved one. How he becomes god will be known in the other books in the series. The story starts with Sita’s kidnapping and then goes in flash back mode.
So if I first start with how much it follows or takes from the original Ramayana, then the answer is not much. Amish has taken only those episodes and character which fits in his own story line. Amish’s Ram is quite similar to Ramayan’s Ram. He abides by law very stringently which is above then anything for him. He is brave and skilled warrior and above all man with a golden heart.There is minor alteration in all other main characters.
Sita of Amish seems to be inspired by Ramayana of Ashok Banker. Ashok Banker’s series of Ramayana is also very popular among the readers. Sita is not a timid homemaker but a warrior kind and daredevil. I really loved reading her interrogation of Ram before the swayamvara. Ram gave perfect answers which every girl want to hear from her to-be-husband.
What I find something very apparent throughout the book was the desperate attempt by Amish to be different from original Ramayana. In doing so he has added his own episodes in the story line; some where good others were just unnecessary or didn’t came out well. For example Ram Chandra was hated by his father Dasratha and elite class apparently entire empire sees him with bad eye. This completely deviates from the original story where Ram is apple of eye of not only his father but whoever comes in his contact. Amish tries his best to give a logical reasoning for it. Later on Dasratha ‘s heart melts which was very heartwarming to read.
There are many unnecessary addition. These days every writer wanted to include Delhi gang rape in there books somehow just fits into it. Last I read was in Your Dreams Are Now Mine by Ravinder Singh. I don’t know how other readers react reading and what benefit it brings. Amish has given punishment to all men in his book who has committed the heinous crime may be for his own soul satisfaction. Personally, I didn’t like reading it. It was just not required in the story. Being a woman it is painful to read such things and the pain on victim is fathomless which men can’t imagine.
Another thing which irritates me about Amish’s writing is his love for description. He want to describe each and everything like wars, city etc which I just love to skip. Also I fail to understand his obsession for Vayuputras and Malayaputras. Although they have no role in the story but anywhere Amish fails to give a logical reason both Vayuputras and Malayaputras comes into the picture.
Original Ramayana is a very heart warming and soul stirring. That is why it is so popular among the masses. Amish’s Ramayana fails on that stand. Warmness completely lacks.
The Verdict: It is good one time read. But cannot beat our epic Ramayana by Tulsi Das. The beginning was very promising but could not continue. Still I’m hoping a lot of action in the upcoming books of the series.
Scion Of Ikshvaku in Hindi version has also released. So Hindi language readers can now read Amish version of Ramayana.
Now also read Scion of Ikshvaku in Gujarati