A latest trend in the Indian book industry is the publication of books based on Indian mythologies. This clearly reflects the contemporary popularisation of such books. This also shows that these ancient stories are still compelling. However, most of the times, readers do not find anything new or different. What they generally find is the same old tale with slight modification here and there and this really disappoints them. There is no doubt that people love reading such books but they also expect something that can be called innovative or something with a fresh approach.
And, therefore, The Great War of Hind (The Legend of Ramm #1) by Vaibhav Anand gives you a pleasant surprise. Based on the grand old epic Ramayana, this book is not really a reinterpretation of any myth or legend, and it is neither a paraphrase of the stories found in Ramayana. In fact, I would even say that there is nothing that we find in Ramayana at all. Of course, there are characters that are well-known to us but that is the only thing we can relate to. The story is completely new, coming out directly from the author’s heart. There is an unmistakable freshness of approach and insight in the presentation of the story. On top of that, the story is woven in such a way that it engages the attention of the readers constantly.
As the title of the book suggests, the story in this book revolves around the legend of Ramm. The plot of the novel untangles the threads of a military general called Ramm who is residing in the kingdom of Ayodh. He is not a God but an ordinary person like us. However, there is something mysterious about him. This mystery deepens as the story moves forward. Well! I am not going to act as a spoilsport. You have to read the book to know more….
The characters in the book are depicted brilliantly. These characters are presented by using a subtle approach. You not only make your acquaintance with them very fast but also fall in love with them. While these characters are presented from the outside, you come to know about their inner conflicts also. What is admirable about the characterisation is the justice and penetration with which the author brings them to life. Ramm, in particular, is placed carefully in the book. His character has been painted through a series of symbols. The author has been successful in creating a different aura around him.
A large part of the book has been devoted to describe the battle scenes. And, these battle scenes have been described so vividly that readers find themselves in the middle of the action with all the great accompanying visuals. This makes the book very readable and entertaining. I certainly kept turning the pages. The author, of course, is a skilled storyteller, and he makes this story pretty easy to get through.
The only drawback that I found in this book is the rushing of some events in the main plot. Some more ink could have been used to elaborate those scenes.
This legend of Ramm gives us an opportunity to revisit Ramayana from a completely different point of view. This freshness in approach will certainly be liked by the readers. I thoroughly enjoyed reading this book. And, you will enjoy it too.
Now, I will eagerly await for the next installment of this series.