After a long time I had a chance to review a book in my blog, thanks to blogadda for providing the opportunity. When I saw that the book Ramayana Game of Life Book 2: Shattered Dreams was available for review I grabbed it. Still I honestly have to admit that I haven’t read the first book and asked a friend of mine who is an avid reader whether to continue or not with the second book as I haven’t read the previous one. The reply was positive and I went on to read the book. Beyond that every child must have heard at least one or another version Ramayana so deciphering what took place till the starting of the second part will not be a problem for any reader.
What intrigued me to read the book written by Subha Vilas is that what new thing the author going to offer to me from the n times told story. The new generation writers seem to have an obsession in retelling the mythological stories and epics. Some of them are pretty good too so I decided to read it and when I first saw the book the title Game of Life written exactly in the font and style of Game of Thrones. I literally read it as Game of Thrones (Has anybody did the same?). Then I had an impression that this might follow the narration of Song of Ice and Fire but thankfully the narration was simple enough to constitute a good retelling of the story.
The author has thanked all the versions of Ramayana and he clearly defines the differentiation factor of each book which brought me hope that this is not another retelling but should be a honest attempt and thus my journey begun. There is not much to say about the story which everybody knows. This book covers the period between the Dasaratha’s wish to bring Rama to the throne and start of Rama’s Vanvas(Exile) of fourteen years. The narration was smooth and stayed true to the crux of the tale Ramayana everybody knows partially. The highlight of this version is the addition of the footnotes to define some terminologies. The decision to make it as a footnote helps a new reader to skip the part and intrigue reader to explore the part. The Author clearly has idea to capture both the new readers and highly intrigued avid readers. I also liked the design of using the Pathuka symbol near the footnotes as an implication of footnotes. The flow is smooth and you won’t be disturbed by the footnotes if you want it to be a page turner. That was the biggest strength of the book. You can either view it as a page turner or a philosophical treasure up for new interpretations. Yes it gives you new viewpoint that is the story that held yugas ago still holds true. If you are much intrigued by now then you are the person to read those footnotes and give some work to the grey matter.
On the concluding note I wish to say that this book for the people who haven’t read the Ramayana and want to experience the reading of the epic in a simple manner. It is clearly evident that the author is more inclined towards the religious aesthetics and relevance of religion today. This is clearly seen in the book. I would suggest my readers to read from book 1. Last but not least after reading this I still felt that the title Game of Throne might have been well suited for this book.