Ramayana: The Game of Life - Shattered Dreams - Book Review

Title: Ramayana: The Game of Life 

          - Shattered Dreams 
Author: Shubha Vilas
Publisher: Jaico Publishing House
ISBN: 978-81-8495-531-6
Number of Pages: 387
Price: 350 [INR]
Genre: Mythology

Blurb on the Cover:

Shattered Dreams is the sequel to the National bestseller, Rise of the Sun Prince, in the new spiritual and motivational series Ramayana - The Game of Life. Twelve joyful years have passed in Ayodhya since the wedding of Rama and Sita at the end of Book 1.

Now, in Shattered Dreams, Shubha Vilas narrates the riverting drama of Rama's exile. Through tales of Rama's unwavering and enigmatic persona, the book teaches us how to handle reversals positively; through Bharata's actions, it teaches us to handle temptation; and through Sita'a courage, to explore beyond our comfort zone. This complicated family drama provides deep insights on how human relationships work and how they fail.

With Valmiki's Ramayana as its guiding light, Shattered Dreams deftly entwines poetic beauty from the Kamba Ramayana and Ramacharitamanas, as well as folk philosophy from the Loka Pramana tales, to demonstrate how the ancient epic holds immediate relevance to modern life. Experience the ancient saga of the Ramayana like never before!

My Review:

After reading the first book, Ramayana: The Game of Life - Rise of Sun Prince, I was waiting eagerly for the next book in the series to be released and no sooner did I get my hands on this book, I started devouring it right away. And I must say, the book lived up to my expectations.

In this second book, the main focus is laid on the events revolving around Rama's coronation; the turn of events that leads to Dasaratha's decision, Manthara's scheming, Kaikeyi's wishes and the agony that follows Rama's exile. There is also a brief introduction about Ravana, whose role is important in the coming book.

Continuing the tradition set in the first book, the author has given emphasis on each character, giving enough spotlight to each of them, to describe in detail their side of the story. Major part of the first half describes Dasaratha's turmoil and the second half describes Bharata's agony upon discovering the truth of what transpired in his absence. The emotions of the citizens, their love and devotion towards Rama and their devastation when he leaves for exile are all expressed well with giving importance to minute details.

There are many things to learn from the book. Sita's love for Rama which sees no material comforts, Lakshmana's absolute conviction with which he serves Rama, Bharata's humility and the determination with which Rama stands by his principles of truth. Urmila's sacrifice which, though spoken less of, commands respect in the hearts of readers. The description of hell, through Ravana's visit there, manages to send a chill down your spine.

And of course, foot notes! I had these little pieces of information which offered details and knowledge through out the first book. It has been continued in the second book too. The author has so much wisdom to offer to the readers and these foot notes are like tit bits of this wisdom. I absolutely loved them. I found many favorite lines in these. Few of them are:

The language is eloquent and the narration crisp. I loved the flow of the story. There were a few typos this time but they were few and far stretched to spoil the bliss of reading. There are a few books which can be read multiple times and every time you read it, you get to learn something new. For me, this is one such book. I said in the review of the first book that a series can be considered effective when the readers are enthusiastic and look forward to reading the next book. Well, I am definitely looking forward for the third book in the series.

I recommend this book to all mythology readers. Go for it. It is definitely one of the best Ramayana books I have read. And I have a piece of advice - Don't rush reading this book. Go slowly and you will discover various facets of the story and every facet has something to offer to you.

My Rating: 4/5 Stars.

PS: This review is a part of the biggest Book Review Program for Indian Bloggers. Participate now to get free books.

Until the next post,
Keep Smiling :)

Swathi :)

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