Wednesday, May 10, 2017

Ramayana - The Game of Life - Rise of the Sun Prince

This is my third book by Shubha Vilas, and trust me he never disappoint his readers. Shubha Vilas' writing shows his expertise as an orator and inspirational speaker. He always makes sure that Religion is not just shown as mythological or magical stories but the ocean of learning for mankind.

Book blurb
Ramayana: The Game of Life (Book 1), one of the world's great literary masterpieces, skillfully retold for modern audiences. Epics like the Ramayana have been recounted infinite times. Is there a need for another chronicle in the presence of so many? How is this one different? And is it relevant to our ever-changing modern lives?
Yes, there is a need, yes this is different and yes, it is relevant. This new series of books, each following one khand of the Ramayana, decodes the eternal wisdom of that poetic scripture through gripping narrative and thought-provoking instruction. In the time-honored custom of spreading wisdom through tales, every fascinating story in the epic is retold here and every character unfolded to captivate your heart and open your mind to life's deepest questions.
The narrative closely follows Valmiki's Ramayana, gently weaving in folk tales as well as the beautiful analogies of the Kamba Ramayana. The first of this six-volume series, Rise of the Sun Prince, takes you through the divine story of Lord Rama from His birth up to His marriage. Through these pages are revealed the tales of Dasaratha's leadership, Vishwamitra's quest for power and the intriguing story of a little-known stone maiden. Ramayana: The Game of Life has all of this and much more - food for contemporary thought drawn from an enduring masterpiece.
As rightly mentioned in the blurb, "The Game of Life - Rise of the Sun Prince" is first "khand" of epic Ramayana. The story depicts golden days of Ayodhya when it was ruled by the king Dasharatha. Ram, son of Dasharatha, was born out of divine sacrifice. Four main stories of this book would be, 
  • Background of Dasharatha & Ayodhya
  • Childhood of Ram
  • Ram's adventure with Vishwamitra
  • Sita's Swayamwar & Ram's wedding with Sita
I would say there is nothing new in story part, as on any given hour of any given day you will find Ramayana or related mythological scene playing on one or another channel. But innovative part of the series is author's deep understanding of action of each character. Author has successfully explained each action with proper message. Simply speaking, the book is divided into two parts, the story, and the learning. Though learning part is given as footer (as support to the main story), you will find equal weight given to learning. On many pages, you will find only a few lines of the main story but 80% page with learning. I think without this learning, this book might have ended as another version Ramayana. You can take story lightly but if you miss learning part you would regret it later.

Talking about ratings:
  1. Cover - 5 / 5 (I liked even previous cover as well)
  2. Characters - 5 / 5  (I already mentioned in my review of The Chronicles of Hanuman, I cannot judge characters of Ramayana.) 
  3. Storyline - 4.5 / 5
  4. Concept - 5 / 5 
  5. Content - 5 / 5 (We usually have this category under non-fiction but this is an exceptional case)
  6. Overall - 5 / 5
Book can be found at - Amazon & Flipkart
Review from other readers can be found at GoodReads

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