Monday, August 11, 2014

Rise of the Sun Prince - Book Review

Book: Ramayana: The Game of Life - Rise of the Sun Prince
                                                               Author: Shubha Vilas
ISBN: 9788184955309
Pages: 252
Ratings: 4/5
Price: 250

Something from the Book
Sweet, genuine words of gratitude are the best welcome drinks!

Ramayana is the way of life. Haven’t we heard this line a number of times? But do we believe it? Do we really see glimpses of our lives, our day to day challenges, our reverberating thoughts of what is right and wrong, in the versions of Ramayana that we know? I don’t know about all of you but till last week Ramayana was nothing more than a mythological story for me. Then what changed in a week? It was this book - Ramayana: The Game of Life #1 - Rise of the Sun Prince by Shubha Vilas.
There have been hundreds of renditions of this ageless saga but none have come this close to making me look beyond the tale. Rise of the Sun Prince is the first of the 6 books that have knitted the story from the poetic verses of Valmiki to the veiled analogies of Kamba Ramayana. The first book mainly focuses on Bala Kand of Ramayana but with a lot of insight to various aspects of the epic.
The book starts off with a gist of Ramayana in a very fundamental form but slowly delves into the era and the circumstances of the era. Ramayana that we have read till date runs on the high emotional quotient and the theme of love and sacrifice but this book makes you look at the book from the angle of society, struggles, and “not everything is black and white along with the emotional built up. The story starts with how Rishi Valmiki came to be despite of his sinister past and then gives you the whole insight to the great king Dasharatha. Did you know Dasharatha had 350 wifes other than his Prime Queens? You don’t believe me, it is ok, I didn’t believe either. But this book not only mentions that, it also gives the reason behind it. After that starts the journey of a hero in making and the journey of a spiritual teacher to find the true sense of the spiritual realms and the strength of the Guru Sishya relationship.
The protagonist of the story might be Rama but for this book it was Vahishtha – Flawed, Strong, Famous, Respected, Lost and on the journey of finding himself. He was the guru of the Suryavanshi Princes, but the short tempered sage was also on a quest of his own, to defeat the demons that were determined to spread the negative energy everywhere. But in his journey he tends to lose himself cause of his anger and spreads some level of negativity himself. The book connects to our very own lives with that of Vashishtha and the way he learns from the young princes all while teaching them. At the same time the story of Ahilya and that of Sita talks of Fate and dedication.

Pros –
1.   Narration - Powerful yet simple and crisp narration.
2.  Perfected Rendition - Logical, bit philosophical but very apt rendition of Ramayana and not just a direct rip off of the story in different words.
3.  The chapters – The way the story is written, it makes you think clearly and connect directly to the physical and metaphysical lines of the mythology.
4.  The footnotes – The give you all that you need to know but not enough that you would have wanted to know. For example The Author started with Ravana’s story, gave just a sneak peek of his beginning but it was the footnotes about him and his brothers and sisters that made me say – I want to read more about them!

Cons –
1.   If you are not a mythology fan, I don’t think you will enjoy the book.

On the whole the Book is a sure read for every mytho-fiction fan and is a soul stirring yet a very light read and re read version of Ramayana. More than the story you will end up learning a lot out the characters, era and about life. This book is a sure 4 on 5 book and am eagerly waiting for the next part.

P.S. - This review is a part of the Book Reviews Program at Participate now to get free books!


  1. I read this book before a few months and liked it. I never knew there was so much back story to Ramayana! :) I thought the footnotes should have been more succinct - at places, they exceed the content and that sorta interrupted the flow of the story. But the philosophical insights were good and the book never felt heavy with philosophy. Carefully balanced story-telling with insights. BTW, I have written a short novel called 'The Archers Revenge'. If you want to read and review it in your blog, do send me a message via the contact form of my blog, and I'll send you a copy.

    1. I agree at time the footnotes took the spotlight away from the main story and broke the flow but on the whole the amount of insight the book gave was the biggest plus point of the novel. :)

    2. : please mail me your novel called "the archers revenge"