Prince of Ayodhya (Ramayana, Book 1)
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Prince of Ayodhya (Ramayana #1)

3.88 of 5 stars 3.88  ·  rating details  ·  1,243 ratings  ·  90 reviews
The original Ramayana was written three thousand years ago. Now, with breathtaking imagination and brilliant storytelling, Ashok K. Banker has recreated this epic tale for modern readers everywhere

In this first book of the Ramayana, it is predicted Ayodhya, legendary capital of warriors and seers, will soon be a wasteland of ashes and blood. Only Rama, Prince of Ayodhya, c...more
Paperback, 532 pages
Published July 1st 2005 by Little, Brown Book Group (first published August 27th 2003)
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Meera Srikant
The trouble with reading a book based on Indian mythology - especially ones like Meluha and this one - is that one keeps trying to map what one is reading with what one knows. And this book, like the other one, is startling in what it reveals - my complete ignorance.

Prince of Ayodhya was a book I hesitated to pick up because well, it is Ramayana retold. What can it offer more than the Amar Chitra Kathas and C. Rajagopalachari's books? Having depicted different aspects of Ramayana in dance and wa...more
Phyl
This is a retelling of the first book of the Ramayana, the great Indian epic.

I loved it. I read one guy's disappointed comment on Amazon, to the effect that it was supposed to be something like Lord of the Rings, and he hadn't found it that way at all.

One mistake he made was that this isn't a fantasy like LOTR (though in its themes, it is); and the Indian style of myth is very different from other myth tellings. So one has to switch to "Hindu myth mode" for this story. In such myths, the hero i...more
Nisrin Aziz
One of the most interesting novels I have ever read. Although it is an epic, Banker smoothly translates it into the kind of reading our generation is used to. This book has satisfied my fears of the notion that the Ramayan is slow and way to fantastical to digest. Banker deserves an award!
This series is truly a milestone.
Jay Bostwick
As a big fan of the Ramayana, I have to admit being predisposed to liking this book.

The book does move slowly, as other reviewers have commented, but all for the purpose of becoming acquainted with a large cast of characters at the beginning of a large story and a long series of books. This is epic storytelling, at an epic pace, which is not at all to say that it is a tedious read; you just can't be expecting that the major villain, Ravana, will be defeated, or that he will even make much of an...more
Andrew
I did enjoy this first book of the retelling of the Ramayana and plan to find out more about the original epic!
Ramya Narayanan
I have been on a mythological trip for a while now. Realized one day that I know precious little about the mythological heritage of our country. So I set out to understand what exactly all the hoopla is about.

For a novice, the first 2 stories that come to one’s mind when spoken the word ‘mythology’ are – “The Mahabharata” and “The Ramayana”. I spoke to a few people about which books to read to gain understanding on these subjects. The whole journey started with my copy of “Jaya – A retelling of...more
One
This book begins slowly with horrible images of war. I began to appreciate it more as the story progresses and describes the Odyssey-like journey of Rama. The book does a really good job presenting some of the myths of India.
Anoop B
I rate this book few good notches above Immortals of Meluha & Secret of the Nagas. For, the auther Ashok Banker's sheer mastery in creating the 3D vision for the re-telling is commendable.
Vikram
renewed my interest in hindu mythology!! great way of putting the ancient tale!
Jonathan
I enjoyed this first book of the series based on the Ramayana. However, as a Christian, it left me feeling a bit in the dark. When I read a novel, I tend to let myself ooze into the material. Or perhaps the material oozes into me. I am a Christian. I believe in Truth. Capital letter T. So when I read a novel which contains many and BIG lies, it hurts my soul.

No, not in an effeminate kind of way. As if, "Oh, my poor soul." Give me a break. Don't be so immature.

No, but when I read a novel and it...more
Jyoti Babel
See the full review here http://jbabel.blogspot.ie/2012/06/pri...


The book was every bit fascinating that I expected it to be. Even though I have read that the author has added his own imagination in the story telling and that his version of the story deviates a lot from the original Ramayana, the novel refreshed a lot of my childhood memories that I had of the epic saga. All thanks to the Ramayana TV serial that was telecast-ed on Doordarshan in those days.

The author has given a lot of attention...more
Ak Sabapathy
After finish reading the book, I did a quick search online for the other titles in the series. Wikipedia, where I first landed, mentions this Ramayana series as one that is "credited with resurgence of mythology in Indian publishing". When you portray the likes of Vasishta and Vishwamitra as the ultimate bad-ass wizards making Gandalf and Dumbledore look like 8 year olds in Halloween constumes, you certainly are going to attract attention from the young generation of readers. (yet, it was strang...more
Ranjit More
Ashok Banker is a brilliant writer and this is a great book and he's got his heart in the right place, but there are some things I'm not happy about.

Rama is not some ordinary warrior-prince, or even an extra-ordinary human being who owes all his might and power to some mystic formulas imparted by a sage. He is not someone who can be made powerful through Brahman 'sorcery' for the simple reason that He is Brahman Himself.

If the author couldn't stick to that simple fact, which, goes without sayi...more
Shantanu Sharma
Please go through my review written on my blog:
http://shaanzworld.wordpress.com/2012...

Ramayana Redux is what I might call this - in the “Lord of the Rings” format with a “Clash of the Titans”-ish lore. Its a heavy-duty remix of all Ramayana’s written till date (as Banker writes in his epilogue), with a very widened touch of his own visualization of this epic. The dramatization of the events are invigorating (some of them were good to note – as you will read ahead) – and not like the Ramanand S...more
Sathyam
Apr 20, 2013 Sathyam is currently reading it
Great start to the Ramayana series. The author has tried to be true to Valmiki's version, rather than the watered down, docile Tulsidas version, that today's Ramayana followers are so accustomed to. So it is a little different than what you would expect! Manthara, in this Valmiki version was a truly worthy and frightening foe!

Mind you, this is not a version you read to kids. For that, you will have to reach for Rajgopalchari's Ramayana. This version of Ramayana is clearly R-rated, more for the h...more
sean
I give this book a resounding "eh." I mean, it's okay, and he can keep you turning pages with his moderately interesting picture of the society, but almost nothing happens in the whole damned 500-page book (which, unlike most of the other people who gave it a poor rating, I actually finished). The first 350-400 pages are literally just the first day of the Ramayana.

Beyond a very little palace intrigue, and a moderate amount of exposition, there's not much there--almost no character development,...more
Uthpala Dassanayake
Prince of Ayodhya is the first of a series of books “Recreating Ramayanaya”. It did not took me long to realize by “recreating” author meant much more than telling the story in simple English. It would have been good if it is mentioned how far this diverts from the original ramayanaya. Obviously the characters are given some human touch and lots of their thoughts were added by the author. Not having read an original un-abbreviated Ramayanaya, I am not sure whether the incidents are reinvented or...more
Abhishek Narayan
Still no one is able to retell Ramayana in English properly. Always believed that Ramayana & Mahabharata have potential to outdo all Western mythological classics. Prince of Ayodhya is a good attempt. It suffers from meandering. The story could have been more compact or description of location more in-depth. The story progresses slowly & nothing much is happening in first half of the book. Get interesting in the second half. Here again there is lack of justice to the story as the battles...more
Darrell
A basic fantasy novel about a young boy with special powers killing monsters with the help of a magician, except instead of battling ogres and dragons, the supernatural creatures in this book are based on Hindu mythology. A fun, quick read, but ultimately mediocre.

The book annoyed me at times. For example, Banker insists that the multiple gods of the Hindu religion are really all different aspects of one god, as if monotheism were somehow superior to polytheism. He speaks positively of the pract...more
Smitha
Phew! Thank god it's done. Maybe it's me, but this book totally did not live up to my expectations - especially given that I've read loads of rave reviews! How? I guess it's just me.

It was slow,slow, slow. It just did not capture my interest. The characters were all one sided -white or black with no shades of grey. i felt he tried to make a Harry Potter out of Rama, and the Asuras were all Voldermort's(Ravana) forces, of course. Kaikeyi was super evil, while Kausalya was all pure. I mean, in a...more
Dan
The story alone is almost enough to carry this one. Almost. I'm a huge fan of the Ramayana, but the prose of this retelling has the tendency of overstating the brutally obvious, often several times per page. For example, when the demon king Ravana finally enters the action, Banker takes a full two pages to describe him. This is fair, considering Ravana has ten heads. The passage concludes by saying the outer two heads have ears. "These are the auditory organs by which the creature accomplished t...more
Devnandan
The book is a good read and i think the author is trying to write the ramayana as it was by dividing it into the 7 Kaands. The first one in Valmiki's ramayana is "Ayodhya kaandam" , here it is the prince of Ayodhya. However, for a mythology nerd this book will not meet up to the expectations and may fall well short for some of us (i am a myth nerd too). There are 3-4 mistakes which will stick out like a sore thumb to the nerd and a couple of controversial things, but Hindu myths are fraught with...more
Gayathri Manikandan
Though I have grown up hearing stories from Ramayana, I have never attempted to read Ramayana in any form. From that perspective, Ashok K.Banker's retelling is a great start. Although am not sure how much width and depth of the epic AKB's series covers, the narration is captivating, characters are well defined and the writing style is apt for the time period the story is set in. Reading a book with 500+ pages is not an easy task. Not only has the author succeeded in this, but also he has left me...more
gramakri
This book has rekindled my interest in Ramayana enough to look forward to reading its sequels too.
Banker through his creative imagination and interpretations has added sub-plots and incidents not found in any of the previous versions of Ramayana and has described them very vividly. This has bloated the size of the book to 500 odd pages based on this outline. Yet not in any point of time while reading it I was bored. This itself speaks of the author's story telling prowess.
Recommend this book for...more
Mridusmita Bordoloi
My love for all things mythological and historical led me to pick up "The Prince of Ayodhya", although I wasn't sure since This was something we have grown up reading and what new aspect will I find in it.... The first feeling I got while going through this book was as if I was watching a Bollywood flick. This is not just because of the very visual treatment of the story but also because of the dramatisation of each incident. Not to mention the almost "black and white" characterisation and refer...more
Vidya
The book gives a very nice description of the entire Ramayana epic. All the secondary characters and stories are described in full detail. However, I found the book to be a little exaggerated when it came to the characters, personalities and emotions and did not fully correspond to the stories I had been told as a child. Guess that's why I did not complete the series.
For everyone else, it will be a great read on the lines of mythology and fantasy. If you are unbiased, then this series is very w...more
Lisa
I have wanted to read the Ramayana since I moved to India but the inaccessible prose of most of the English versions out there has put me off. This version was recommended and it is easiest going of what's out there while remaining true to the Valmiki version.

That said the prose is trying, it lacks all subtly and is peppered with Hindustani words, often for no reason I can grasp. Do we really need the word road in Hindi rather than in English? The flow is slow and less than lyrical.

But the story...more
Brian Turner
Part one of the Indian tale of Rama told in an epic fantasy style.

An aging king, his kingdom never conquered, is under threat from devils and demons who want to make an example of it. His son Rama is tasked with taking the first part of the battle to them under the guidance of a guru.

In places it seems a bit like the Monkey series on TV from years ago but in a different setting, in others there is lots of intrigue within the court, action and danger making it similar to Game of Thrones.

Very good...more
Richard Friedericks
This is a great contemporary version of the timeless Indian story of Rama and Sita. It is a page-turner; and not just this book, the entire series.
Girish Krishnakumar
I half expected something on the lines of Meluha knowing it would be nothing like Alexander (Manfredi). I found - it gave me a mild headache.

This book is struggling between reason, mythology, animation and an almost after thought of telling a story. 500+ pages of this book, moves much like Dan brown novel between two plots. Writing style - not my cup of tea.

Somehow challenging the popular notion is one thing, but forcibly trying to introduce a character sketch that is different seemed contrive...more
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3387850
Ashok is an internationally acclaimed author of mixed-race and mixed-cultural parentage based in Mumbai, India. His Epic India Library is a lifetime writing plan that aims to retell ALL the major myths, legends and itihasa of the Indian sub-continent in an interlinked cycle of over 70 volumes. This includes the Ramayana Series, Krishna Coriolis, the Mahabharata Series, the contemporary thriller Bl...more
More about Ashok K. Banker...
Siege of Mithila (Ramayana, Book 2) Demons of Chitrakut (Ramayana, Book 3) Armies of Hanuman (Ramayana, Book 4) Bridge of Rama (Ramayana, Book 5) King of Ayodhya (Ramayana, Book 6)

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