I have never been an overtly religious person. My vision of the existence of God has been more organic than everyone around me. These basics are important to see which way we trundle forward in life. But that’s a discussion for another day. Still, when Amish, my favorite Indian author, decided to write the Ram Chandra series, post the enormous success of the Shiva trilogy, I was obviously ecstatic.
Scion of Ikshvaku came out in 2015 and had been sitting on my bookshelf ever since. I don’t have any particular reason why I put off reading Scion of Ikshvaku. Maybe I wanted to be able to give it my everything, maybe I wanted to treasure it for far longer than seemed apparent and fair. I don’t really know how that worked. But I finally picked it up. Recently.
Amish’s style of writing has a ringing modern thrum to it. You don’t feel like he’s writing about Gods, because he’s turning Gods into superheroes in his stories. He’s humanizing them. He makes Gods more relatable, in the process, increasing the awe factor that comes with us looking at Gods.
Scion of Ikshvaku is typically Amish; he doesn’t stray far from the line. Prince Ram’s righteousness and insistence to stick to the law even in the most unlikeliest of situations makes you go ballistic with anger on him. Amish channels everything about Prince Ram, the God, so simply yet cleverly into the story that he makes Prince Ram, the (super)human to be believable; that such a person as him really exists. His descriptions descend into your mind as pictures as you read, thanks to their simplicity and how you can identify with them. Even though he is telling you that Scion of Ikshvaku happened millennia ago, it feels like it’s happening right now, in a parallel universe that you obviously aren’t aware of.
The characters in Amish’s story, so well developed, are so much in sync with the original characters that it gives you goosebumps to go forward with the story. You start itching to find out what happens to your superhero God and the people around him. And when the book ends, you can’t wait to buy the next book in the series and dig your teeth into it.
Despite all the thrills that the book gives, there is a small ‘but’. The Shiva trilogy catapulted Amish into literary rockstar status. But as the first book of the Ram Chandra series, Scion of Ikshvaku, despite being extremely catchy, does just enough to keep Amish at that rockstar status. As an ardent Amish fan, I just hope that the next books in the series lift it up to Meluha level. After all, Meluha was founded by Prince Ram and Princess Sita!
All in all, I love Scion of Ikshvaku, but not as much as I love the Shiva trilogy!
Rating: 4/5 stars
Other mythological books I’ve reviewed:
The Rise of Hastinapur – Sharath Komarraju
Dear Sakhi – The Lost Journals of the Ladies of Hastinapur – Sharath Komarraju