Raavan (Ram Chandra #3)
WITHOUT THE DARKNESS, LIGHT HAS NO PURPOSE.WITHOUT THE VILLAIN, WHAT WOULD THE GODS DO?INDIA, 3400 BCE.A land in tumult, poverty and chaos. Most people suffer quietly. A few rebel. Some fight for a better world. Some for themselves. Some don’t give a damn. Raavan. Fathered by one of the most illustrious sages of the time. Blessed by the Gods with talents beyond all. Cursed by fate to be tested to the extremes.A formidable teenage pirate, he is filled with equal parts courage, cruelty and fearsome resolve. A resolve to be a giant among men, to conquer, plunder, and seize the greatness that he thinks is his right.A man of contrasts, of brutal violence and scholarly knowledge. A man who will love without reward and kill without remorse.This exhilarating third book of the Ram Chandra series sheds light on Ravaan, the king of Lanka. And the light shines on darkness of the darkest kind. Is he the greatest villain in history or just a man in a dark place, all the time?Read the epic tale of one of the most complex, violent, passionate and accomplished men of all time.

Raavan (Ram Chandra #3) Details

TitleRaavan (Ram Chandra #3)
Author
LanguageEnglish
ReleaseJul 1st, 2019
PublisherWestland
Rating
GenreFiction, Amish, Fantasy, Mythology

Raavan (Ram Chandra #3) Review

  • Janani(ஜனனி)
    January 1, 1970
    OH MY FUCK? WHY AM I HEARING ABOUT THIS NOW?!
  • Shifad
    January 1, 1970
    Raavan – one of the most debated characters in the history of Indian mythology. Growing up we have often heard conflicting sides of his nature. There are instances where he is kind, generous, compassionate and servile. Then, there are situations where he is shown to be vile, arrogant, cruel, sadistic and selfish. Incorporating such nuances into a story is an arduous task. The Demon King of Lanka has been subjected various interpretations over time. The benevolent egoist, the arrogant devotee….he Raavan – one of the most debated characters in the history of Indian mythology. Growing up we have often heard conflicting sides of his nature. There are instances where he is kind, generous, compassionate and servile. Then, there are situations where he is shown to be vile, arrogant, cruel, sadistic and selfish. Incorporating such nuances into a story is an arduous task. The Demon King of Lanka has been subjected various interpretations over time. The benevolent egoist, the arrogant devotee….he is described by words that are self- conflicting. He is a character whose good deeds are often eclipsed by his selfish and cruel actions. He is intelligent, a great philosopher. His treatise on Ayurveda and philosophy are well known. The 10 heads symbolizes his supreme intelligent in all fields of life. He is a prolific musician, known for his paintings, a great physician, a trader who mints money from thin air, supreme tactician, the lists are endless. Regardless, he has a short fuse. Once he is enraged he forgets the distinction between good and bad. All that remains is the ever consuming rage, like a wild fire that destroys everything in its path. In short he is a persona held in much awe and respect. Sometimes, I think it is these qualities of Raavan which actually propelled Ram to his glory. The greater the difficulty, the greater the reward.Coming to the book, Amish has done a great job in imbibing the Raavana we are familiar with into his words. He has gone a further mile and ensured some surprises are in store for us. The romantic side of Raavana is explored in this book. However this same repetition of worshipping the feminine is recurrent in his earlier tellings of Ram & Sita, then Shiva and Parvathy.But hey, I am not complaining, he has done it wonderfully. We see Raavan grow from a child to the Demon king that he becomes. Another thing that surprised me was the character of Khumbakharna. From the obese, glutton of a man whose major role is often side lined to his appearance in war, Amish has transformed him into a loving, charismatic brother who will do anything for his Dada. This Khumbha is a character that keeps Raavan in check. The brotherly love between these two characters has been portrayed beautifully. Many minor characters also mention appreciation, but suffice to say that the character building was engaging.The world building, description of places and the travels of Raavana were also handled with utmost care. It was a pleasure to read and imagine the world through his words. His approach to the philosophy of life also deserves merit. He has broached these subjects in a simple manner. The plot was engaging. There was no repetition from the previous books. Following a parallel line of story telling, the instances in the previous two books were kind of repetitive. In this book there was no repetition, and beautifully tie in with the thread was left open in the previous books. And what is a climax without a twist. There is a surprise waiting at the end, but the surprise is not in the plot, but rather in the way he handled the characters.The book is not without its negatives. Many people may find the theme of the book repetitive, but I would like to say that he is just building a universe for his books. And then there is Vidur and Buddha. He casually spouted these names in the Ramayan Era. So that is it folks. I highly recommend the book to everyone. This is the best book in the Ram series so far.
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  • Bimit
    January 1, 1970
    It is evident from Amish’s books that he recognizes the issues with extreme liberalism today. Moving on to the story, The book tells Raavan’s tale from when he was born till the time he kidnaps Sita. The story does not portray Raavan as a victim of his circumstances but rather the choice that he makes. The purpose of this book is not to create sympathy for Raavan. It's intended to be a deep character study. A major portion of the book is the adventure of Raavan and Kumbhkaran as sailors/pirates It is evident from Amish’s books that he recognizes the issues with extreme liberalism today. Moving on to the story, The book tells Raavan’s tale from when he was born till the time he kidnaps Sita. The story does not portray Raavan as a victim of his circumstances but rather the choice that he makes. The purpose of this book is not to create sympathy for Raavan. It's intended to be a deep character study. A major portion of the book is the adventure of Raavan and Kumbhkaran as sailors/pirates focusing on the dynamics and contrast between the two brothers. Raavan is a hard-headed lad with an ambition and an ego. He is endowed with talents and also denounced by destiny to be tested to extremes through time. As usual, it is well researched and better than the two previous books of the series. The writing is smooth and aptly paced with some dramatic manoeuvres that align pleasantly with the story. Some least popular characters like Samichi, Mareech and Vedvati also make a significant mark on the plot. The highlight of the tale is the many shades of Raavan wrapped in an unpredictable complex character. A must-have for mythological fiction fans.
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  • Dhruv Sharma
    January 1, 1970
    Disappointed!!There is no methodological references except the same names unlike other books and series. Why people like Amish’s books is because he writes methodological fictions where at the base story is based on ancient scripture with added fiction and exaggerated dramatised details.But in this book nothing is like that, there were strong characters built but then all of sudden vanishes like simachi. The details of Ravan’S childhood, his family etc is purely fiction and the story sounds more Disappointed!!There is no methodological references except the same names unlike other books and series. Why people like Amish’s books is because he writes methodological fictions where at the base story is based on ancient scripture with added fiction and exaggerated dramatised details.But in this book nothing is like that, there were strong characters built but then all of sudden vanishes like simachi. The details of Ravan’S childhood, his family etc is purely fiction and the story sounds more like a B grade Bollywood flop movie.I wonder why Amish did it this way as the original story/believe is way to much better and it did not require this much improvisation.I waited for this book eagerly and am truly disappointed.3 starts to the book as it is part of hyperlink story concept series and good plot and link with previous book saved it a little otherwise this is the worst book of Amish till now.
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  • Gaurav Andhansare
    January 1, 1970
    The third installment of Amish's Ram Chandra Series establishes the life and journey of Raavan upto the great battle.As with all great multilinear stories, there are many plots happening simultaneously, all the while converging into a single big narrative.Amish's writing as always is crisp and to the point with almost no drags in the plot or unnecessary diversions.The emotions and the inner monologues are crucially placed to have readers peep into the making of each character.If you have read th The third installment of Amish's Ram Chandra Series establishes the life and journey of Raavan upto the great battle.As with all great multilinear stories, there are many plots happening simultaneously, all the while converging into a single big narrative.Amish's writing as always is crisp and to the point with almost no drags in the plot or unnecessary diversions.The emotions and the inner monologues are crucially placed to have readers peep into the making of each character.If you have read the first two of the series, you're bound to read this one anyway with the same expectations and Mr. Tripathi doesn't disappoint.
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  • Preetam Kajal
    January 1, 1970
    As usual Amish has done good job putting out the elaborate storyline for the villain. Story of Raavan is so much more relatable than Ram or Sita during the initial stage of his life. Strong headed boy with desire to establish himself against the odds of the world. The beauty is you see him becoming the villain step by step. You care for the character even though he has turned a rakshas/monster because you still remember the little boy who wanted to defy the authorities and odds.Excited for the n As usual Amish has done good job putting out the elaborate storyline for the villain. Story of Raavan is so much more relatable than Ram or Sita during the initial stage of his life. Strong headed boy with desire to establish himself against the odds of the world. The beauty is you see him becoming the villain step by step. You care for the character even though he has turned a rakshas/monster because you still remember the little boy who wanted to defy the authorities and odds.Excited for the next one in the series and I love the way these books happen at same timeline with different perspective. I hope we could get a fifth book covering Hanuman and Jatayu as a bonus read.
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  • Kanchan
    January 1, 1970
    Jilted lover... Gripping..Raavan, eversince I heard the name it was associated with the term Rakshasa.. whenever anything evil happened it has to like 'Raavan' the monster.. and all along i wondered if there is another side of his story? Why the person with ten heads is so less intelligent? Why he hasn't he put his power to good cause?.. thanks Amish putting his side in such great manner.. Eagerly waiting for next book in the series..
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  • Harsh
    January 1, 1970
    Amish always keeps you hooked to the book , The immortals of meluha and secret of Nagas ended at a cliff , and since The scion of Ishkwaku and Sita both ended with a lesser climax, I read Raavan also knowing that the end would be Sita’s Kidnapping.But, Ravana did end with a superbly revealing Climax. It was indeed an amazing journey.Must read. As usual hats off to Amish's Researchful brain and his way to entangle the mythology to his fiction. Lesser known characters like vedvati and samichi are Amish always keeps you hooked to the book , The immortals of meluha and secret of Nagas ended at a cliff , and since The scion of Ishkwaku and Sita both ended with a lesser climax, I read Raavan also knowing that the end would be Sita’s Kidnapping.But, Ravana did end with a superbly revealing Climax. It was indeed an amazing journey.Must read. As usual hats off to Amish's Researchful brain and his way to entangle the mythology to his fiction. Lesser known characters like vedvati and samichi are very well placed. Ravanas love life and his reasons for whatever he does leaves you with goosebumps. The brotherly love bond between Ravana and Kumbhakarna is so full of emotions.Lots of happy ,sad, proud and cry moments . I would say 4.5/5.
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  • Amit verma
    January 1, 1970
    Not able to put it down, brilliantly penned down. Another masterpiece by Amish. The story is poignant yet coherent, that the reader is submerged completely in the book. Liked some philosophic wordings a lot. Definitely recommend that read the work of author. Splendid. Yet will have to wait for some time for next one....
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  • Radha Kannan
    January 1, 1970
    Awesome... Very nice.... I liked it very much.. But one thing... Sits is also going to be a Vishnu... But in the Shiva trilogy they only give all the importance to Ram and not to Sita also... Why is that?
  • Lakshmi
    January 1, 1970
    Repetitions. Horrible style of writing. I floated through the book. I lost it at the reference of Sabarimala. Was deliberately trying to bring in Sabarimala? Is the author trying to whitewash the issue? Not a good job.
  • Sai Giridhar
    January 1, 1970
    The book is a interesting view on Ravan and makes for good reading. Characters are well explained and plot moves fast and smooth. There is little mention of other characters... Overall a decent read
  • Siddharth Shah
    January 1, 1970
    Poised to be a great seriesEveryone knows the story, still retelling is so griping and well writting that I completed the book in a day...
  • Vallabh Kandalla
    January 1, 1970
    As good as any from Amish.
  • Aniruddha Rege
    January 1, 1970
    Writing mythology is a double-edged sword, and it takes an author of no little skill to choose the right edge to employ at the right time. Done wrong, the book could feel like nothing but a mundane re-telling of an extremely well-known story. Done right, however, and you have a chance to delve into some of the deepest and most complex characters ever put on paper.Thankfully, Amish is an author who errs on the side of the latter. The Shiva Trilogy was one of the best pieces of work by an Indian a Writing mythology is a double-edged sword, and it takes an author of no little skill to choose the right edge to employ at the right time. Done wrong, the book could feel like nothing but a mundane re-telling of an extremely well-known story. Done right, however, and you have a chance to delve into some of the deepest and most complex characters ever put on paper.Thankfully, Amish is an author who errs on the side of the latter. The Shiva Trilogy was one of the best pieces of work by an Indian author I have come across. This was not because of the language was beautiful or the story went flawlessly. Both these factors left something to be desired, accustomed as we are to the fluency of British and American authors. However, both language and plot being adequate, Amish truly excelled at his characters. Through the Shiva Trilogy, the characters really stood out in their complexity, actions and motives. It is exactly what made the Mahabharat – in my opinion, the greatest epic of them all – stand out and endure across ages and generations. It stands the test of time because each character in the Mahabharat is a shade of human nature, and human nature is eternal. The Shiva Trilogy was great because of these precise reasons. The reader remains engaged in the characters, even when the plot went on a different, sometimes unrequired tangent or dragged for some reason or another.Amish added humanity and complexity to characters who were, till now, considered Gods. He managed to create a world where all the divinity of our mythology was grounded in science and logic, and this is what helped the man penetrate a generation that hardly reads and craves, above all, logic. He managed to get an entire generation in India started on good books, and for that alone, I cannot grudge him anything.The Ramayana, however, poses an entirely different set of challenges. Where Shankar was always known to us as a God (and an exceptionally powerful one at that), Ram was always known to us a human being, virtuous and flawed at the same time. There has been no shortage of literature and fiction published in his name, all telling the same famous tale from different perspectives. For Amish to add a new dimension to a character so well explored was never a simple task. I would not say he succeeded at it completely, though the attempt is pretty good. The first book in the series, Scion Of Ikshvaku, was more or less a direct retelling of the Ramayana, though Amish did connect it to the larger universe he is building through elements such the Nagas, Somras, the tribes of Vishnu and Mahadev etc. However, the plot and the characters themselves were nothing new, and I found myself reading yet another version of a story India knows in its very genes.The second book, for me, fell completely flat. While Sita is a character who often takes a backseat in the original epic, Amish had the chance to really dive into her character and decode her. However, given that he was using a multi-linear style of storytelling, I felt that Ram and Sita ended up meeting too soon, and the story from then on, became a repetition of the first book. Barring a few plot twists scattered here and there, Amish did not really offer anything new. Which is why I was, despite fears that this is a story beyond the skill of the author to add depth to, was excited for Raavan.Raavan is a character who, for most of the epic, operates independently of Ram and Sita. He is always present on the periphery as a monster, but does not interfere in their affairs till that fateful day where their destinies finally meet. This gave Amish a chance to tell the story from a rare perspective, and give voice to a character who is possibly one of the complex beings in Indian mythology. So complex, in fact, that he would fit perfectly into the Mahabharat, which I always find to be a much more complex and grey tale as compared to the relatively black and white Ramayana. Raavan, the great king and the monster, the devil who desired to be God, the impulsive romantic who was cold and calculating, hoarder of wealth and yet generous, presented Amish with the chance to revive the series and for the first time, add a fresh perspective and substantial depth to it. Amish succeeds in this. And he succeeds beautifully.Raavan is not a perfect book. Not by miles. There are too many points in the book which feel like a Bollywood movie or an Ekta Kapoor soap, replete with melodrama, a tragic love story and even a semblance of rebirth which would make any director worth his salt proud. These elements feel somewhat out of place in a world which is so grounded in politics, economics and all the manipulations therein. The narrative drags in some parts and the book could definitely have been 50 pages tighter. But all of this does not stop Raavan from being an engrossing and captivating read, and once again, Amish achieves this primarily through characterization.Right till the end, it is the characters which keep you, the reader, hooked to the plot. The paradoxical Raavan, the conflicted Kumbhakaran and even minor characters with a lot of more depth than you would have suspected them of having if you’ve read the Ramayana are what keep the book going. Having a complex anti-hero like Raavan definitely makes the book more interesting than both the previous ones in the series, and pays off in unexpected ways which lend emotional and philosophical weight to the book. Speaking of philosophy, the book has chapters which delve into discussions around Dharma. The book could have done without these discourses, but Amish has plotted them well and weaved them into the overarching story subtly enough that these exchanges act to drive the plot and even develop the characters. For a book rooted in Indian mythology, this is crucial, since so much of the morality we associate with actions come from our interpretation of what dharma is. And, fortunately or unfortunately, our dharma is much more flexible than a character like Ram would make it out to be.Raavan – Enemy of Aryavarta is ultimately one of the better books you’ll read coming from Indian authors and one of the best ones around Indian mythology. It takes a well-known epic and builds it into a world where it feels at home and grounded in logic. It takes familiar ground and attempts to pave new roads into it. It takes effort to give complexity and weight to a character who could have easily become a generic villain, but instead acts to give him motive and shades of grey. Amish could definitely improve further with respect to fluency of plot and pacing, but he has already come a long way since his first book. Raavan is definitely worth a read, even as a stand-alone book given the character and the themes it potentially discusses.
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  • Vikalp Trivedi
    January 1, 1970
    After a good first book and a brilliant second one in the Ramchandra Series, Amish is back with the third angle of the quintet- 'Raavan : Enemy of Aryavarta'. For me it was one of the most anticipated book of this year. I mean what can be better than Amish telling the story of one of the greatest villians in Indian mythology. So the question here is does 'Raavan : Enemy of Aryavarta' delivers what it was expected to be delivered? The answer is - not completely. I think what would have been the s After a good first book and a brilliant second one in the Ramchandra Series, Amish is back with the third angle of the quintet- 'Raavan : Enemy of Aryavarta'. For me it was one of the most anticipated book of this year. I mean what can be better than Amish telling the story of one of the greatest villians in Indian mythology. So the question here is does 'Raavan : Enemy of Aryavarta' delivers what it was expected to be delivered? The answer is - not completely. I think what would have been the strongest book in the series turns out to be the weakest not only in this series but also amongst all the books of Amish till now.The book starts with Sita's kidnap and then goes back in time to tell the story of Raavan, his journey from the ashram of his father to becoming the richest trader-king (or the term he prefers in the book - Emperor of Emperors). The parts which I liked in the book were obviously the trademark Amish style of interpreting and explaining  philosophy. Amish never disappoints in that area. But unfortunately in this book this trait of Amish's writing gets only a small space. The other things which make this book worth reading was the beautiful portrayal of relationship between Raavan and Kumbhakarna. The other relation which was beautifully portrayed was that of Raavan and Vedvati. The way Raavan worshipped her throughout and the way Vedvati helps him to find God within him was wonderfully narrated. In fact the conversation between Raavan and Vedvati in the book is the most enriching and the best part of the book. Though the book hits some chords right on the place there are many which it fails to hit right. The first and one of the pivotal problems of The book was the development of Raavan's character. He is the most multi-dimensional​ personality in Indian mythology, a personality which contradicts itself by being ruthless and cruel warrior and by being a maestro of different arts at the same time. Even when the book was promoted, the promotions heavily teased coverage of different dimensions of Raavan's personality. But more than 90% book covers only one trait- the ruthless businessman. The book dedicated all the space and time to adamant Raavan's character as a capitalist businessman who later builts an army of his own which is capable to raze not only kings but entire kingdoms (a very clear East India Company undertone). Alright accepted that Raavan was a ruthless businessman but he was also a great musician, a great dancer and above all a man of great knowledge. The first two traits gets some nods but the third one,I don't know why, was omitted completely. In many parts of the book it seemed like Kumbhakarna was more wise than Raavan. Other than Kumbhakarna no other supporting characters gets a good development. The book also suffers one of the worst character transformation I have ever read and that is of Kekasi, Raavan's mother. First of all she becomes unapologetically bitter and ungrateful to her son who saved her life, and secondly for no reason at all she accepts her step children and love them more dearly then her own son. The queen of Lanka and Raavan's wife Mandodari gets mention only of a few lines, and the sole reason of that was to tell the reader that she bore a son to Raavan.The book is also highly repetitive, almost on every second page we get a reminder that the Vayputras were the tribe left behind by Lord Rudra and Malayputras were the tribe left behind by Lord Parshuram. I don't know what obsession Amish has with the bee quarters of Mithila that we get the full detail discription of those quarters in all three books. Also I have learnt very well that Sita was with Makrant looking for food when Raavan attacked Pnchvati because it is also discribed in all three books. The mention of Pushpak Vimaan is also monotonous and repetitive. If I'm not wrong the Vayputras are the tribe associated with raising of next Mahadev and Malayputras are the ones associated with raising of next Vishnu. So how in the first place Vashishta- the head of Vayputras wants to make Ram the Vishnu? During the start of the book a four year old Raavan is shown with the traits of inherent evil and later in some parts of the book he is shown struggling with is inner darkness. Here Raavan's character looked liked an struggler and the character was looking a great character in development. But what ruins Raavan's character completely was Vishwamitra's logic of "MAKING" Raavan a villian, so that he can raise the next Vishnu. Vishwamitra needed a villian to raise Vishnu when there are a lot of disruptive forces in the Sapt Sindhu itself. And here I thought that karma makes a person hero or villian. 2 Stars.
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  • Tulika Singh
    January 1, 1970
    The book traces the life of Ravan, son of Rishi Vishrava and Kaikesi. Disliked by his father and not particularly fond of his mother Ravan, is a lonely child. He has a streak of cruelty that makes him torture small animals and watch them die.If he has one tender place in his heart, it is for his baby brother Kumbhakaran. Ravan leaves his father’s ashram with his mother, his uncle Mareech and Kumbha to protect his (Kumbha’s) life.He knows he is made for great things and he sets out to achieve wha The book traces the life of Ravan, son of Rishi Vishrava and Kaikesi. Disliked by his father and not particularly fond of his mother Ravan, is a lonely child. He has a streak of cruelty that makes him torture small animals and watch them die.If he has one tender place in his heart, it is for his baby brother Kumbhakaran. Ravan leaves his father’s ashram with his mother, his uncle Mareech and Kumbha to protect his (Kumbha’s) life.He knows he is made for great things and he sets out to achieve what is rightfully his, Kumbha and Mareech by his side. From a small-time smuggler he turns into a pirate and powerful trader. Unfettered by the values and principles that hamper others he forges ahead.However, there is one pure, unsullied memory from his childhood that refuses to leave him – a face, a voice that could potentially steer him away from his reckless path. He seeks out that face but on the verge of turning over a new leaf it is snatched away from him. Filled with rage, he unleashes it on the Sapt Sindhu. Ravan thus emerges as the quintessential villain. He challenges the authority of Kubaera the businessman ruler of Lanka and displaces him to become king.As he notches up victory after victory he is unaware that he is part of a larger plan, a cog in the wheel rolling towards a greater goal, orchestrated by the great rishi Vishwamitra. Ravan was a disappointmentFirst there’s the voice of Amish. He speaks the language of the millennials and that gets jarring, specially in a mythological setting (Remember Hanu Bhaiya in Sita?). I get that it’s his style and I did love Meluha though it had the same voice. Perhaps it might have something to do with the fact that I’ve grown up listening to the Ramayan and so find it tough to adjust to this pop-version.My biggest complaint however is that the book turns plain boring in bits. There were too many and too detailed explanations and descriptions – of the Sapt Sindhu, the caste dynamics, the trading system, of traditions and palaces. There are too few dialogues, slackening the pace of the story.Then there’s the story itself. Amish is known to give his own twist to every tale. I’ve liked his twists, I’ve liked how they tie in neatly with the original familiar story. However here, without giving out spoilers, all I’ll say is that Ravan as an angry lover-boy didn’t seem believable at all, more fantasy than mythology.Then there’s the reference to Sabarimala. In his previous books he brought in references to a gory rape and then Jallikattu, this time it was Sabarimala. Perhaps that’s an attempt to weave in current events but it seems like a forced addition to the narrative.The saving grace was the portrayal of Kumbhkaram – the endearing, good-natured giant. He is Ravan’s conscience and emerges (almost) as the hero of the book.Also, I’m a little curious how Amish will take the story forward now that Ravan knows who Sita is. I’m hoping with all the war-action the next one won’t be a disappointment.Perhaps the author should stick with lesser-known mythological re-tellings. He certainly has the knack for bringing alive mythological settings, of building up strong characters and of springing surprises.Last thought: Read it only if, like me, you’ve committed yourself to the series. You might find yourself skipping pages though.
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  • Sahitya
    January 1, 1970
    I had completely forgotten this book was releasing last week until someone mentioned on a group chat, and I knew I had to read it immediately. I actually didn’t have a lot of expectations, just wanted it to be an engaging read, but this one turned out to be surprisingly very good.It wasn’t until the second book of this series Sita did I realize it was going to be a multilinear narrative with the first three books following three different characters but merging at the same point towards the end. I had completely forgotten this book was releasing last week until someone mentioned on a group chat, and I knew I had to read it immediately. I actually didn’t have a lot of expectations, just wanted it to be an engaging read, but this one turned out to be surprisingly very good.It wasn’t until the second book of this series Sita did I realize it was going to be a multilinear narrative with the first three books following three different characters but merging at the same point towards the end. This made the experience of reading Sita a bit boring because the last third of the book felt very repetitive. I guess I went into this book feeling similarly, but Amish definitely did a great job of dispelling all my misconceptions. The writing is very engaging right from the get go, fast paced and entertaining while also not shying away from the philosophical and dharmic discussions that I’ve come to associate with Amish’s books. The entire reinterpretation of Raavan’s backstory, which we generally don’t know much about is done masterfully and I loved how much of emotion the author was able to evoke in us. I also really loved the whole theme of every hero needing a strong villain in their life to have a large scale impact on the minds of the people. I guess my only gripe was that because the book was covering a very long timeline, there were huge time jumps and we are only told about major events rather than showing them happen.Raavan’s character is really a study in contrasts. He is knowledgeable, accomplished, intelligent and ruthless but on the other hand loves his brother Kumbhakarna to no end. He has his moments of humanity and just when you think he is capable of change, something happens that completely changes the trajectory of his life. The depiction of unrequited love and absolute grief is so utterly raw and gritty in this book that it really shook me. Kumbhakarna is a character whom we don’t much about at all in the original epic but he completely fascinated me here and I really liked him a lot. At his core, he is a kind and compassionate person who wants to be more dharmic, but his devotion to his brother is also complete which leads him onto paths he doesn’t necessarily want to embark on. I adored the interactions between the brothers - how they were able to show their vulnerabilities to each other made me very emotional and connected to their relationship, but also seeing it change gradually pained me. It’s definitely this relationship that carries the emotional weight of the story and is what made it such a wonderful read.To finish, I just wanna say that if you are fan of Amish’s earlier works, you should definitely read this one because I thought it had a great balance of mythology, political machinations, mystery and emotion. It also ends on a very epic note and I’m already very excited to see how Amish is gonna interpret the rest of the epic. However, if you haven’t read any of the author’s books before, I would highly recommend to start with the Immortals of Meluha. While this Ram Chandra series is not exactly a spin-off of the Meluha trilogy, there are many interconnecting elements between the two that I feel can be enjoyed better if you have start at the beginning.
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  • Siddhant
    January 1, 1970
    The long-awaited book in the Ramchandra Series, Ravana-Enemy of Aryavarta is the third book in the Ramchandra Series.To give you context of the plot, the Ramchandra Series is based on a multilinear narrative that explores the paths of the 3 main characters-Ram, Sita & Ravana in three separate books that culminate at one common point, which in this case is the abduction of Sita. The previous two books, Ram-Scion of Ikshvaku & Sita-Warrior of Mithila set the characters of Sita and Ram into The long-awaited book in the Ramchandra Series, Ravana-Enemy of Aryavarta is the third book in the Ramchandra Series.To give you context of the plot, the Ramchandra Series is based on a multilinear narrative that explores the paths of the 3 main characters-Ram, Sita & Ravana in three separate books that culminate at one common point, which in this case is the abduction of Sita. The previous two books, Ram-Scion of Ikshvaku & Sita-Warrior of Mithila set the characters of Sita and Ram into the plot devised by Amish. Ravana-Enemy of Aryavarta begins way before Ram & Sita were born. Starting with the childhood, we are introduced to the life of Ravana in the Ashram of Vishrava, his father. Being born a Naga, he faces constant ridicule of his father and starts to despise him. Things take a turn when Vishrava’s wife, Kaikesi delivers Kumbhakarna, another Naga. Facing ridicule from his clan, he had ordered them to kill Kaikesi and the child if he was a Naga. Saved by her brother, Mareech, they run to save their lives. What happens next, continues to mould Ravana’s life and his actions as we see them.The book skips to specific instances in Ravana’s life. We see Ravana dissecting a live hare when he was barely a child, we see a brilliant strategist when he negotiates with Akampana for his ship and the way he deals with Kubaer in Lanka. We see an Artist who creates wonderful melodies with his Rudraveena. We also see an unrequited lover, paining to see the woman he fell in love with, A Kanyakumari he met in Vishrava’s Ashram when he was a kid. He continues to paint her portrait, imagining her age in his mind. We see Ravana as a devoted brother, who would do anything for Kumbhakarna.Another point that Amish makes in the story is how Ravana was used as a pawn by Vishwamitra to catalyse the chain of events leading to Sita’s Kidnapping. Even though the actions of Ravana were truly his own, his being played by Vishwamitra turned things for the worse. The highlight of the book was the point where Ravana breaks and takes a severe vow that starts the domino effect.Compared to other works by Amish, this one was not that exciting. Creating a character as complex as Ravana is difficult but the plots in Ram-Scion of Ikshvaku and Sita-Warrior of Mithila were better executed than Ravana-Enemy of Aryavarta. Jumping years at a time, each incident is wrapped up quickly, thus giving no time for the connection to sink in. The reference to Sabarimala was not required and it added no real material for the main plot. The change of name of the book is quite justified as we see how each incident turned him against his motherland. The characters are built properly with Kumbhakarna serving the voice of reason for Ravana. His contempt for his half siblings-Vibhishana & Surpanakha is shown though not much is dealt on it. Cunningness of Vishwamitra and the Malayaputras is depicted well.Is he the greatest villain in history or just a man in a dark place, all the time?Read Ravana-Enemy of Aryavarta by Amish to find out.I would rate the book 3.5/5.
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  • Sohini Banerjee
    January 1, 1970
    It was a whoosh and the book was over! So technically I cannot dare say that I din't enjoy reading the book or that it was not worth it. Truth be said, my initial expectations of Amish's writing and storytelling style was not very high, so what was delivered, was rather expected. My curiosity in the book was only because of the portrayal of the protagonist, Raavan, and knowing his story. And in that, Amish didn't do much justice.So here's my two cents on Raavan: Enemy of AryavartaUnputdownable s It was a whoosh and the book was over! So technically I cannot dare say that I din't enjoy reading the book or that it was not worth it. Truth be said, my initial expectations of Amish's writing and storytelling style was not very high, so what was delivered, was rather expected. My curiosity in the book was only because of the portrayal of the protagonist, Raavan, and knowing his story. And in that, Amish didn't do much justice.So here's my two cents on Raavan: Enemy of AryavartaUnputdownable storytelling. I'll give Amish that. He is a wonderful storyteller. I did have my reservations on the Shiva Trilogy and the first two books on the Ram Chandra series in terms of writing style, narrative and representation, but I will have to credit Amish as a wonderful storyteller. I read Raavan with the same mindset. Characterization: Except the protagonist, there is only one other character that has been given enough page presence, and that's his younger brother, the almost devoted-to-Raavan, Kumbhakarna. The relationship between the two brothers is the real showstopper of the book. I don't think I have come by any other representation of the epic where the relationship between the siblings has been presented so wholeheartedly. But what has been really disappointing has been the representation of the protagonist - Raavan. Yes, his hubris, anger, arrogance, shrewdness, ruthlessness, despair, pain, all is a part of the book. There is also enough pages dedicated to show the softer, more romantic side of Raavan . But where's the story of Dashanaan? The story of how Raavan came by his enormous knowledge, how he became a devotee of Shiva, how he became the epitome of the asura way? The only angle that was highlighted was how he amassed his wealth and power. Disappointing that has been. I expected Raavan to tell me more about Raavan, but it didn't.The one thing that however has piqued my interest is, how Raavan is being turned into the quintessential villain. I guess the next books will talk about it, but it appears that there's going to be a lot of things taking place that will turn him into the perfect villain.P.S. I am not going to spend another dime on Amish's writing style. It can be a lot better, but at least he is getting better at storytelling, and Raavan is way better than its prequel, Sita.
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  • Sankalpita (bookGeeks India)
    January 1, 1970
    Well, what to say. The wait is finally over and I am so happy that I finally have the copy in my hand. Not getting into the usual characters, plot, climax, writing style, and entertainment quotient, I will quickly give you 7 reasons why I think this book is an absolute must-read for every lover of mythological fantasy fiction out there.1. It is an action-packed adventure packed 5-star entertainer. Technically, I gave it 4.5 stars but you get the drift.2. The character of Raavan is something to l Well, what to say. The wait is finally over and I am so happy that I finally have the copy in my hand. Not getting into the usual characters, plot, climax, writing style, and entertainment quotient, I will quickly give you 7 reasons why I think this book is an absolute must-read for every lover of mythological fantasy fiction out there.1. It is an action-packed adventure packed 5-star entertainer. Technically, I gave it 4.5 stars but you get the drift.2. The character of Raavan is something to look forward to. There are many shades to Raavan and the entire character arc is done very well. You will admire him, maybe love him, detest him, pity him and would want to hate him to no end but there is no way you can deny the charisma of the man. Right till the end of the book, you never really get to know him completely. There is certainly a different kind of an enigma in the character.3. The character of Kumbhkaran - he is yet another character whom you should look forward to, whose usual treatment in other fictions and popular culture has been quite caricaturish. But, Amish surprises you with Kumbhkaran. He is humble, polite, grounded and dharmic. His selfless devotion to his brother is the stuff dreams are made of.4. The vivid descriptions of the cities and the palaces, the battle scenes and the people, the social fabric and the economic system - there is a lot of description in the narrative that adds to the beauty of the book. In addition to that, there is a good dose of knowledge to be gained from the book.5. It's a racy read with simple language. The book makes use of a language that will appeal as much to a beginner as it will to a regular reader. Amish does well when he leaves out the irrelevant years of Raavan's life while focusing only on the important events which matter.6. While we do get the answers to all the questions that were left unanswered in the previous books, Raavan creates some more mysteries on the way that will leave you on a cliffhanger once again. This makes sure that you are as excited about the next book as you were about this one.7. It is just so different from any other fiction that has been written on and about Ram, Sita, Raavan, and Ramayana.In the end, the book is totally worth the wait and I am excitedly looking forward to the next in the series.
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  • Sumaiya
    January 1, 1970
    Wow!! What an incredibly fast paced engaging book... not a single dull moment.. each chapter was super high on drama and action packed.. and the twist at the end was mind blowing.. ** Everyone knows the general gist of the story of Raavan .. " a power hungry mad man who is the main villain in the epic Ramayana.. "But this book provided much more information about his life.. what transpired him into being this evil notorious person? In a way, this book became highly informative for me as I had no Wow!! What an incredibly fast paced engaging book... not a single dull moment.. each chapter was super high on drama and action packed.. and the twist at the end was mind blowing.. ** Everyone knows the general gist of the story of Raavan .. " a power hungry mad man who is the main villain in the epic Ramayana.. "But this book provided much more information about his life.. what transpired him into being this evil notorious person? In a way, this book became highly informative for me as I had no idea about raavan's backstory. His story brought within me all the colours of emotions - at times I even felt empathetic and sympathetic to this so called monster ( I am however not sure if what I read was entirely author's imaginative fiction or his interpretation of mythological facts) .** Also I loved the characterisation of kumbhakarna . his brotherly dynamic with raavan was to die for.. their interactions, conversations and every scene featuring these two were highly entertaining to read.. reading their constant to and fro banter bought a smile to my face.. ** the best thing about this book was its fast paced writing style. I was able to finish it in no time. The chapters were short and each ended with a bang prompting me to crave for more.. ** I think I liked this one better than the author's previous two books in the Ramachandra series .. those two were incredible but had some dull moments and felt a bit dragged,this one however was crisp and entertaining from start to finish. I simply couldn't put it down. ** the only issue that people may have with this book is that some of the events were simply told to us by taking huge time gaps without enough descriptions and background.. I didn't have a problem with that because I am a plot driven reader and I get easily bored reading pages and pages describing an event or a scene which may not be that significant to the overall plot.. ** overall , I loved it and can't wait for the final book.. really excited and looking forward to see how the author brings all these three incredible stories and characters together...
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  • Shalini
    January 1, 1970
    I had loved the Meluha series and to an extend the Ramchandra series. But when I began reading Raavan, I was lost. I couldn't connect the dots because it had been two years since Sita. While I understand the author was going through a hard time in life(as explained in the beginning of the book), this is what happens when a book in the series is delayed for so long. ..Throughout Raavan, I was trying to remember the many references in previous books which I may have missed. Here's what I didn't li I had loved the Meluha series and to an extend the Ramchandra series. But when I began reading Raavan, I was lost. I couldn't connect the dots because it had been two years since Sita. While I understand the author was going through a hard time in life(as explained in the beginning of the book), this is what happens when a book in the series is delayed for so long. ..Throughout Raavan, I was trying to remember the many references in previous books which I may have missed. Here's what I didn't like:.a. Raavan being portrayed as an angry lover boy didn't work for me. It was a bit too much..b. Sabarimala reference felt deliberate as if the author HAD to have some mention of it in his book..c. Sita's swayamvar: While I was reading this part, I was shocked at how Sita's swayamvar was written. Did the author confuse between Sita's and Draupadi's swayamvar? While the former required lifting Shiva's bow, it was in Draupadi's swayamvar that one had to shoot an arrow at the eye of a rotating fish looking at the reflection from the water placed below. I was alarmed at this mix up, I had to go back and check the book - Sita, Warrior of Mithila. This mix up is present in Sita as well. As I said, it was a long time ago that I had read Sita and I don't remember reading any justification as to this. So, I'm not sure if I'm at the wrong here. Correct me, if I am. I'm okay with fiction writers meddling with history, because they are doing just that- writing a fiction book! But this was, well! Uhm...To conclude, Raavan is a good book with interesting characterization(I loved how Kumbhakarna is portrayed) and smooth writing. But it would be better if you wait to read it because the series isn't complete yet. There will also be a fourth book. To make any sense of this multi linear narrative, read all the books in one go!
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  • Ananya Layek
    January 1, 1970
    "Raavan - Enemy of Aryavarta" by Amish Tripathi is the third book of the Ramayana series. Earlier two books of the series are "Ram - Scion of Ikshvaku", the story of Ramachandra and "Sita - Warrior of Mithila", the story of Sita. As the previous books of this series, Raavan also lives up to expectation of the readers.We all know the character of Raavan as the villain of Ramayana, the ruthless ruler of Lanka, the destroyer of Dharma. But this book reveals the emotional side of Raavan, the pain an "Raavan - Enemy of Aryavarta" by Amish Tripathi is the third book of the Ramayana series. Earlier two books of the series are "Ram - Scion of Ikshvaku", the story of Ramachandra and "Sita - Warrior of Mithila", the story of Sita. As the previous books of this series, Raavan also lives up to expectation of the readers.We all know the character of Raavan as the villain of Ramayana, the ruthless ruler of Lanka, the destroyer of Dharma. But this book reveals the emotional side of Raavan, the pain and agony that lead him to destruction. With every unfair treatment by society, and with every choice Raavan made to heal his broken heart, he turned into a ruthless dynast, a propagator of Adharma. The way his unfortunate childhood, his love for Kanyakumari, and his loss of love is narrated, is sure to grow sympathy in the reader's heart for this dictator.This book is not just the story of Raavan's, but also Kumbhakarna's, the ever adorable, the ever misunderstood character! Born with deformity, he was always mistreated by the society. Unlike Raavan, he had a very clear judgement of Dharma and Adharma, and tried his best to keep his brother on track. But the love he received from Raavan, kept him loyal to his brother till the very end. Strong on the outside and soft to the core, Kumbhakarna's character is a gem in this book!Apart from the mythological story, this book also touches some serious societal issues as part of the narration. The temple of Sabarimala and it's history, society's attitude towards people with deformity and similar things are highlighted in the flow of the tale.An enjoyable read overall, fast paced and gripping. Highly recommended along with two other books of the same series.
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  • Dixit Nagpal
    January 1, 1970
    Once again a great write up By AT , however I was expecting of better behavior inspection of The GREAT Raavan, the most misunderstood person in the world. He possessed such great talents but people over the years without even knowing just gather together to burn a merly statue of this person without even knowing whether its justified or what it signifies. Chantings of "good wins over bad " by burning 1000 kgs of firecrackers and adding to pollution just give few idiots a good sight of watch and Once again a great write up By AT , however I was expecting of better behavior inspection of The GREAT Raavan, the most misunderstood person in the world. He possessed such great talents but people over the years without even knowing just gather together to burn a merly statue of this person without even knowing whether its justified or what it signifies. Chantings of "good wins over bad " by burning 1000 kgs of firecrackers and adding to pollution just give few idiots a good sight of watch and for some it's an excuse for family outing. However hardly anyone thinks that We are having more adharmic people in our world than it was ever on this planet ( Assuming that if Ram or Ravan did exist ). But people just carry on with some activities without even questioning the underlying assumptions and truly if somebody start saying good things about Raavan they would take a minute to burn him into ashes without realizing that they r becoming the one they r defending against. Raavan name has become such a bad word for normal hindu household just because of how the politics around its played. Anyways I guess this is books summary and I shoudlnt get into explaining Raavans character which is somewhat been depicted in this bookHowever I'm sure the final book would reveal alot of conundrum stances of Ram vs Raavan conflict and AT will provoke readers thinking to good extent. This book was delayed so much so I'm sure it will be 2022 bu the time 4th book will come and cant even wait to see how ATs Ram series will end Good luck reading....
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  • Chandra Kanth
    January 1, 1970
    4 starsIt usually takes someone to complete Amish's book not more than one day that too one sitting, so gripping are his stories. But not this one, there are some parts of the book that definitely shouldn't have made to the final copy.All the characters are beautifully revealed. Though I felt Raavan character needed more unleashing, because we want to know why is he wrong despite being following his "dharma". The philosophical discussion about dharma should have been more emphasized.Why 4 and no 4 starsIt usually takes someone to complete Amish's book not more than one day that too one sitting, so gripping are his stories. But not this one, there are some parts of the book that definitely shouldn't have made to the final copy.All the characters are beautifully revealed. Though I felt Raavan character needed more unleashing, because we want to know why is he wrong despite being following his "dharma". The philosophical discussion about dharma should have been more emphasized.Why 4 and not 5 star?To be honest, after that stint author played in Chapter 25, I lost complete interest in the book, as he touches upon Sabarimala issue. Just because you're writing books on Hindu mythology, doesn't mean you have to justify current controversies on religion. I particularly didnt like that conversation between Raavan and Kumbh. But the intense plot and the same War of Mithila portrayed from Raavan's angle in the upcoming chapters raised my interest and the book ends with a BANG, the usual PLOT-TWIST he expounds at the end of his every book.The content on the trading structure in Lanka, and some other un-necessary parts(only very few) should have been edited out.Overall its a good read and Raavan, the villian has been established. But more was expected of the book as it came after a long break.
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  • Anup Lande
    January 1, 1970
    From the time I first saw Ramayan on television, it was clear to me that Raavan was a villain. He was ruthless but rich. He had a golden lanka which was burnt by Hanuman who came in search of Sita since she was kidnapped by him. I never ever learnt more about him. Why he turned into such a negative person. Or may be the plays and tv serials didn’t bother to show it. I haven’t read the actual Ramayana, so I wouldn’t dare to challenge it. But I must say Amish did a great job in bringing the story From the time I first saw Ramayan on television, it was clear to me that Raavan was a villain. He was ruthless but rich. He had a golden lanka which was burnt by Hanuman who came in search of Sita since she was kidnapped by him. I never ever learnt more about him. Why he turned into such a negative person. Or may be the plays and tv serials didn’t bother to show it. I haven’t read the actual Ramayana, so I wouldn’t dare to challenge it. But I must say Amish did a great job in bringing the story of Raavan more to reality, more believable. The book has been a great adventure for me. The journey from Raavan from being a son of a Rishi in a small ashram in India to the king of the richest land on earth. He is a person full of talents. And his dedication to work and achieve his ambitions is commendable. The turn of events in his life which turned him evil and the suspense carried away till the end about.. (I don’t want to give away spoilers). The concept of dharma & adharma, Shabarimala temple and the significance of 10 faces of Raavna were an eye opener for me. Overall it is an amazing book and totally interesting and intriguing read and I’m looking forward for the final book of the series.
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  • Anil Hembrom
    January 1, 1970
    Amish has time and again proved that mythology and history can be put together, beautifully. He has beautifully woven a story on characters from Ramayana, while still retaining the originality of characters. The way he put the details about a situation/person makes the story live in front of your eyes, this is what makes his books interesting. At times, it seems annoying but it's necessary as the story unfolds.Raavan has been portrayed as evil as he could be in the book; just like we have learne Amish has time and again proved that mythology and history can be put together, beautifully. He has beautifully woven a story on characters from Ramayana, while still retaining the originality of characters. The way he put the details about a situation/person makes the story live in front of your eyes, this is what makes his books interesting. At times, it seems annoying but it's necessary as the story unfolds.Raavan has been portrayed as evil as he could be in the book; just like we have learned about him while growing up. A scholar, efficient ruler, veena player, all his good qualities are over-shadowed by his arrogance. If one is aware of Ramayana and its characters, it would make the story easy to grasp. Not that you have to be well-versed with every details about Ramayana, just about the main characters.The twist is predictable, and pleasant, if you have been a little observant.***Spoliers***The book also gives you a glimpse of history and geography of ancient India, which is gratifying. The Sabrimala Temple reference was appeasing. Loved the details on Battle of Karachappa, fought at beach. And the twist (probably the biggest in the series) was pleasant. Wonderfully written.
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  • Aqsa
    January 1, 1970
    Halfway through the novel you almost make up your mind that you have probably grown too old to appreciate the straightforwardness and adventure in Amish's writing and need to find stories with more depth to make do,but then Amish hits you with dialogues that speak the truth of our times in such astounding lucidness and at such unexpected intervals that you can only smile at its opportuneness. While the tale of Ramayana has been told many times over by women and men around the world, its lessons Halfway through the novel you almost make up your mind that you have probably grown too old to appreciate the straightforwardness and adventure in Amish's writing and need to find stories with more depth to make do,but then Amish hits you with dialogues that speak the truth of our times in such astounding lucidness and at such unexpected intervals that you can only smile at its opportuneness. While the tale of Ramayana has been told many times over by women and men around the world, its lessons are amplified in each rereading. Amish's retelling of the tale is no exception. Titled the Ram Chandra series, it narrates the oft-repeated tale of Ram-vs-Raavan from the point of view of the three central characters: Ram, Sita and Raavan. The previous two books, Scion of Ikshvaku and Warrior of Mithila followed Ram and Sita respectively, while Enemy of Aryavarta gives the background of Raavan, with all three of them culminating at the kidnapping of Sita. The next book of the series will what happens post the kidnapping. Amish took his own sweet time to release this installment, which begs the question if it was worth the long two year wait. I may not be able to answer that, but some moments or rather some dialogues definitely made it worth it.
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  • Chhavi
    January 1, 1970
    Amish maintains the pace and story from previous 2 books. There are references to the Shiva triology too and while a reader who has not read those would still not be lost, a reader who has, feels like being privy to some secret info (w.r.t Nagas). Efforts to justify the stand of lone dissenting (female) SC judge on Sabrimala and use of expletive(s), took away 1/2 star. The other 1/2 is for characterisation of Ravaan. If one reveres someone and something goes wrong with that person, one would fol Amish maintains the pace and story from previous 2 books. There are references to the Shiva triology too and while a reader who has not read those would still not be lost, a reader who has, feels like being privy to some secret info (w.r.t Nagas). Efforts to justify the stand of lone dissenting (female) SC judge on Sabrimala and use of expletive(s), took away 1/2 star. The other 1/2 is for characterisation of Ravaan. If one reveres someone and something goes wrong with that person, one would follow the guidance given by that person maybe even more diligently, not do a 180 degree turn and insult everything that person stood for. This 80's hero shade of I will destroy myself if what I revered/ loved is gone somehow does not fit the Ravaan created in the book till that point. It was to happen for books 4 and 5 to happen and for books to reach a conclusion that is foregone, but the sudden way it happened and then persisted throughout is a disappointment. Having said that, the narrative is fast paced and interesting. It took around 4 hours to finish the book and it was unputdownable despite the break inducing sequences that took away 1 star. Looking forward to book 4 and 5.
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