I am done reading another book under the epic fantasy or mythological fiction genre. Reading such books take you eon years back and you witness a truly different world in your imagination reading such books. Sitting in a local train and reading such book can surely take away all the stress of being in a crowded train or between intoxicating smell of people sweat all around. :-) Reading love stories and campus tales of 3 friends, I thought that Indian writers can not think any thing except these stories but from last one month, the kind of book that I am reading under this genre makes me happy that authors are exploring a genre which will make the readers feel interested in myths and religious books that will encourage young generation to read Ramayana and Mahabharata. I am just done reading "The Exiled Prince" by Ravi V. A fine 250-pages book that is written so specifically that you can complete it in one sitting.
Legend has it that there exists a supreme Crystal of Creation, with part of the souls of Lord Shiva and Narayana suspended within it. This single most powerful weapon with the power to construct, annihilate and recreate the universe, remained hidden somewhere deep within the Himalayan ranges for millennia until now. And now it has gone missing.
Rama, the hero of the ages, must embark upon a perilous journey to find the Crystal of Creation before someone else, someone with an insatiable lust for power, discovers it and the reign of the entire cosmos falls into his hands. And thus begins an epic adventure that will take Rama beyond the kingdom of Ayodhya into lands where he will have to battle the fiercest of demons that have colonized the earth and in the course, change the destiny of human lives forever. This tale will also seek to answer a question that has never been asked: Who was Rama really? What was his real purpose? Is he the real immortal? As powers greater than the universe itself come together only to erupt into chaos and intrigue, discover a tale set in a time before time, where the immortal Rama will come to life and reveal his mysterious world through his eyes as he begins his true purpose the quest for the Crystal of Creation.
About the Author:-
Ravi V is an entrepreneur and innovator in the IT sector in the USA where he has been living since the late 1990s. Though trained as an engineer, Ravi has a keen interest in ancient Indian history and mythology and his first literary venture, The Crystal Guardian Series, is a testimony to this deep abiding passion. Apart from his academic and literary pursuits, Ravi also loves exploring such varied topics as futuristic science, human evolution and cosmology. A globetrotter in the truest sense, he enjoys hiking and snorkelling in different corners of the world and uses these experiences to connect better with the natural world. Of the firm belief that our myths are linked to our evolution as a species, Ravi took about three years to do extensive research on the legends and myths that surround the figure of Rama in order to write this book where he seeks to create a larger than life image of this ancient Indian superhero. This book is a testament to his faith and his life. He takes inspiration from J. K. Rowling, Sidney Sheldon and Dan Brown. Ravi is also a fan of Stephen Hawking, Michio Kaku and Carl Sagan.
Coming to the author, I must say that a wonderful job has been done in writing a tale as easily and clearly as possible. It's very hard to make a story look straight when there's lot of complications involved as the twists and tales of a plot. If an author manages to make his readers understand the story even when readers aren't a serious intriguing one, the author tends to have the loyalty of that particular reader. :-) Ravi V is surely going to be make his mark in this genre with his The Crystal Guardian Series of which this book was the first part. Right from the cover page to the first chapter till the climax and that italic chapter in the end, this book makes the reader look forward to next chapter and in the end, towards the next book in the series.
I loved the way author describes the birth of Rama and his brothers descriptively in the beginning. I also liked the first chapter when it rains and the Englishman fears of the village getting drowned due to the rain and storm but... :-) After that, on the whole, I loved the way story is described from Lord Rama's point of view. Rama's doubt of him being a human with eternal power is quite valid as he does not feel any specialty in his body and living. Kaikeyi's role is wonderfully described as a warrior in the beginning and then a doubtful character in the end. Vishwamitra's narration of his story- his obsession towards a cow, his tryst with Menaka and how he gets betrayed is very well written. According to me, that's the BEST PART in this book. I also liked how Lord Rama stops seeing into the past as soon as he sees Kaikeyi demanding something from his father which he feels inappropriate to see at the moment. I loved the philosophy that's showered upon us when Rama and Lakshman goes with Vishwamitra for lesson and killing demons.
There are many such parts in the book which excited me as a reader which are not easy to mention in a review but there are few drawbacks too. Let's come to them. I didn't like extensive description of each fight in the book. It became irritating after a while. Though characters are well defined in the book, I felt that Lakshman is quite ignored some times when it was necessary to state even his mind. If the book is written with the intention of describing Ramayana as it is with little changes, then it's fine. I also feel that the book is little slow because of which I feel that Part 1 has very short story. I would love author to accelerate the speed of the story in the future parts. In all, I would say a very good attempt and everyone who wants to know about Ramayana and mythology, please pick up this book. I would give The Exiled Prince 3.9 out of 5. Waiting for the second part.
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