A classical Indian literature scholar offers a brief and engaging version of the ancient and beloved epic Hindu poem Ramayana.
Based on oral tradition, the book narrates with poetic language the journey of the divine Rama as he rescues his beloved wife, Sita, after she was abducted by the evil, 10-headed demon king Ravana. In this retelling, the spotlight is fixed firmly on Rama; his loyal brother Lakshmana and courageous disciple Hanuman come a distant second. However, the author does an impressive job of portraying Lord Rama, a revered Hindu god, as a well-rounded figure with all the doubts, faults, and fallibility of a mortal, as when he tests Sita’s loyalty and chastity on three different occasions. Golden-skinned Sita is mentioned the least of the protagonists, and we get to know very little of her thoughts and feelings, depriving the reader of an important perspective. Vibrant, detailed, and mystical illustrations showing ferocious rakshasas (demons) and graceful heroes enhance the text. Pen-and-ink spot art serves to mark scene changes. The fluid and evocative prose and nonstop action are sure to draw in those who already know and love this classic as well as providing an accessible introduction to readers unfamiliar with the story.
Striking illustrations and a compelling narrative bring an important Indian tale of good and evil to young readers. (author’s note) (Classic. 10-15)