The second book in the Ramchandra Series came out this summer. After the huge success of the first book 'Scion of Ikshvaku', Amish diverts the tale from Lord Rama to the great warrior princess of Mithila in this one.
The origin of Sita is an important stepping stone in Amish's world of Fantasy based on the great Indian myth of Ramayana. Amish, who is known for his widely read and recognised 'Shiva' trilogy is now on a run to capitalize on the success of the genre that he has created.
Amish's tree of books for this series is a humongous one. Following the plan quite deftly, he is covering the main characters in the initial books before bringing all of them into the main fold of the narrative.
His second book treats Sita, the warrior princess of Mithila. The search for the great Vishnu brings us to Sita which in turn compels Sita to look into herself for the answers to the questions that plague her existence. Amish weaves the world of fantasy quite intricately around her and includes many other sub-plot characters. The great divide between the two tribes led by friends turned foes provides the much-needed freshness to the fantastical narrative.
Sita's journey is that of self-discovery. It's a perfect coming of age tale which moves back and forth in time to provide the glimpses of a larger picture. With a wise sage like father and a protective mother, Sita grows into an able princess. The responsibilities that befall her way turn her into a figure that comes to rule the whole kingdom and be respected by all. Her path crosses with the Ikshvaku Prince Ram's and their destinies get bound for eternity. The Demon king Ravana who is now more powerful than any other time in the history makes their life miserable.
As the book comes to an end with a promise of a more bloodies and interesting sequel Ravana, one can not help but imagine that Amish's strength lies in his ability to imagine parallels. But does he have the hold over storytelling or the material he comes equipped with? Is he growing as an author?
With Repeated tropes, improper execution and lacklustre narrative, this book comes out as a painful reminder to the Amish believers that sadly he is still stuck in the success of his Shiva trilogy. He seems to be in love with his 'revolutionary' ideas more than the book. His out of the box approach to tackle the cast system with his 'Gurukul' system where everybody sends their infants to states-sponsored Gurukuls, only to choose their next generation after many years from the teenagers based on their skill set is as chaotic as it is downright laughable.
With his political ideology lurking in the pages of the book like the ghost of the contemporary Indian politics seem like a pitiful attempt to sermonize the readers. His commentary regarding the negative impacts of having an intellectual class in the society comes out as cynical.
The book falls into the passages of utmost cluelessness as the frivolous chapters and lousy writing take over. It's an attempt to enlarge one single idea into a book of respectable length.
The world that Amish is trying to create here is lifeless without any proper motivation. Badly written protagonists are saved here by interesting sub-plot characters. It's a book that is saved not by the genius of writing but the momentary spurts of interesting situations in its otherwise poor plot.
Are we waiting for the next book? Yes, because the character that charms you the most with his flying vehicle and the magical powers is the subject of the next instalment in the series, i.e. Ravana.
With a weak follow up to the first book in the series one can only hope for more action, and the plot to pick up from the loose ends that this book leaves you hanging with.