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Prince of Ayodhya (Ramayana #1)

3.9  ·  Rating details ·  2,024 Ratings  ·  127 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
Paperback, 532 pages
Published July 1st 2005 by Little, Brown Book Group (first published August 27th 2003)
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Rishabh Bhandari Absolutely! I was skeptical about reading it first, but I was caught completely unawares. Banker is able to work his magic by still telling the…moreAbsolutely! I was skeptical about reading it first, but I was caught completely unawares. Banker is able to work his magic by still telling the original story, but injecting it with graphic descriptions of fight sequences that match epic saga battles found in other fantasy series.

I found myself devouring the series. I read the first 7 books and the series ebbs and flows through the story with battles, strategy and legends I grew up learning about.

All in all, I found it to be pretty neat series! (less)

Community Reviews

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Meera Srikant
Mar 28, 2013 rated it really liked it
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
Jul 06, 2007 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: have-read
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
Nisrin Aziz
Jan 21, 2010 rated it really liked it
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.
Jun 30, 2008 rated it it was ok
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,
Jay Bostwick
Aug 02, 2010 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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
Aug 14, 2010 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I did enjoy this first book of the retelling of the Ramayana and plan to find out more about the original epic!
Ramya Narayanan
Mar 26, 2012 rated it liked it
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
Nov 19, 2012 rated it did not like it
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
Mridusmita Bordoloi
Nov 28, 2012 rated it liked it
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
Jul 02, 2008 rated it really liked it
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.
Feb 28, 2008 rated it it was amazing
renewed my interest in hindu mythology!! great way of putting the ancient tale!
Anoop B
Feb 16, 2012 rated it it was amazing
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.
Rahul Dutta
Jun 04, 2017 rated it it was ok
This is the first time I read a book by Ashok Banker. As someone who grew up on the Indian mythological epics of Ramayana and Mahabharata, I was unsure about my expectations. Will the author provoke his readers and challenge long held beliefs? What kind of literary novelty will he pursue to retell a well known epic ? At the end it turned out that Banker just merely wrapped the epic with a superficial storyline with endless details bereft of any thought provoking narrative. Some of his writing at ...more
Mitesh Patel
Jul 31, 2017 rated it really liked it
This is an amazing rendition of ancient tale told in a bit more contemporary fashion
Jan 06, 2018 rated it really liked it
A good, interesting take on The Ramayana.the author keeps most of the elements of the epic and puts a few modern touches of his own..
Jun 09, 2017 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fiction
It is a page turner though sometimes so verbose, you tend to skip few parts of it. A few bits bear a striking resemblance to the prose of Lord of the Rings and Harry Potter.
Shantanu Sharma
Oct 02, 2012 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: mythological
Please go through my review written on my blog:

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
Ана Хелс
Jul 26, 2014 rated it really liked it
Още една осакатена откъм пълно издаване поредица, този път обаче – напълно незаслужила съдбата си, дори по моите леко претенциозни критерии. Признавам, с времето все повече започнах да разбирам решенията на някои издатели да не довършат поредиците си, особено когато същите имат само една силна книга – понякога първата, понякога четвъртата, и си личи че всичко след нея е писано за пари, а не заради нуждите на историята и героите и. По настоящем в повечето случаи дори и видели силния спад в качест ...more
Shweta Pandey
Sep 30, 2014 rated it it was ok
Ramayana deals with the interpretation of Dharma as it was valid then and mostly how the character and life of Ram can inspire every living human being despite time lapses. When retelling such a tale the author has to be very careful about how he interprets the text and how he conveys it.

This retelling by Mr. Banker lost my respect when he pretty much painted Ram as selfish in one of the books - Ram refuses to help Sugreev on the pretext that he has just ended a fight with 14000 demons and has
Average reading experience

While reading this book it seems like I was reading some harry Potter book not story of Ram. Black magic, people living for 7000 years, magic by manthara etc was too much to digest.
Flow of story is excelente and the way it is presented was awesome. But it is content of this story which make me feel that it is fiction and not a story of a real man.
Ranjit More
Jul 01, 2013 rated it really liked it
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
Pradyota Prakash
Jul 09, 2017 rated it it was ok
I must say I am a tad bit disappointed. Maybe I had high expectations, maybe I read it at a wrong time. I don't know how a very highly recommended book with great reviews could turn out to be a disappointment.

I would like to give credit where its due. It's very well written, the literature is impeccable- it's very rich as though bathed in luxury. Banker is a very good story teller and his attention to detail is almost picturesque.

However, a neat package cannot really compensate for the content
Uthpala Dassanayake
Sep 28, 2013 rated it liked it
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
Jyoti Babel
Nov 14, 2011 rated it it was amazing
See the full review here

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
Ak Sabapathy
Aug 27, 2013 rated it liked it
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
Lady Clementina ffinch-ffarowmore
From all I'd read about this series, I expected to enjoy this a lot but I was pretty disappointed. In the first half of the book particularly, the author uses at many places, language that seems out of sync with the time period he is writing about-some more modern usage like the brothers addressing each other as "bhai" or Lakshman and Shatrugan being addressed as "Luck" and "Shot"- a tad too modern for the Ramayana. Also, Hindustani words like "khamosh" and "wafadar" which again seemed out of pl ...more
Apr 20, 2013 rated it really liked 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
Jul 08, 2014 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: fantasy, travel
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Jun 15, 2008 rated it it was ok
Shelves: reviewed
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
Oct 29, 2012 rated it liked it
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
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        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
More about Ashok K. Banker...

Other Books in the Series

Ramayana (8 books)
  • Siege of Mithila (Ramayana, Book 2)
  • Demons of Chitrakut (Ramayana #3)
  • Armies of Hanuman (Ramayana, #4)
  • Bridge of Rama (Ramayana, #5)
  • King of Ayodhya (Ramayana #6)
  • Vengeance of Ravana (Ramayana Book 7)
  • Sons of Sita (Ramayana series, #8)

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