Wednesday, May 7, 2014

Book Review 2014 #9 : Rise of the Sun Prince by Shubha Vilas

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

Author: Shubha Vilas

Excerpt from the book: 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

My Review:  It is with much skepticism that I picked up this book for reading because I’m not really a fan of mythological or philosophical books and of course most of us would have read or seen the story of Ramayana as kids. So what new could the book tell that we already did not know?

But I was wrong! Right from the first page where the author chronicles how the great sage Valmiki was inspired to retell the life story of Lord Rama, till the last page which ends with confluence of two great kingdoms of Ayodhya and Mithila, when Lord Rama marries Janaka’s beautiful daughter, Sita, this book grabs the reader’s interest and manages to entertain and enthrall.

The footnote in every chapter, which expresses how the inherent wisdom from this beautiful tale can be imbibed in the present modern life, is wisely articulated. The narration is detailed, especially the chapters where Vishwamitra takes Lord Rama and Lakshmana under his wings to train them in different skills. Although the mention of the scheming Ravana and his life is confined in this book series, it was enough to perk up my interest and make me wish that I had the next book series in my hand.

I also appreciated the fact that the author has given enough importance to all the characters and given abundant information on the history and background of every character that appear even briefly in the life of Lord Rama.

When a book is part of a series, the success of each series can be measured on the how the reader responds to one simple question “Would you read the next book in the series?” and for Shubha Vilas’s rendition of Ramayana, I would answer in a very emphatic and enthusiastic “Yes”.

Verdict: A simple but fascinating rendition of the epic mythological saga. A crisp and yet detailed account of the life of Lord Rama from his birth till his marriage.

Rating: 4/5

 This review is a part of the biggest Book Review Program for Indian Bloggers. Participate now to get free books!


  1. sounds interesting...think i will give it a shot. nice review. thanks for sharing :)

  2. Interesting... mythological connections always sound interesting.
    Thanks for the review on it.

  3. I am sceptical about such a book, but your very positive review makes me interested in this one!

  4. I so wish I had signed up for the review! But my schedule isnt allowing me to read novels :( this one sounds interesting prasanna! following ur blog now ;)

  5. I am currently reading this one. Hope to finish it by tomorrow. It surely is an interesting read.

  6. It's always nice to read a detailed and perhaps a lesser known version of the mythologies :-)