SITA'S RAMAYANA by Samhita Arni


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Age Range: 12 & up
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A vibrantly illustrated graphic-novel retelling of an ancient Indian legend.

Written in 300 B.C.E., the Ramayana is one of the great epics of India. In a world where demons and monkeys mingle freely with humans, Queen Sita has been living peacefully with her husband, King Rama, and his brother, Lakshmana. A treacherous demon tries to trick Rama, and an impulsive act of violence on Rama's part begins a years-long war that begets nothing but violence and heartbreak for the queen. Through her husband's impetuous deed, Sita becomes part of a vengeful plot and is abducted by a fierce, evil demon king. Rama wages a bloody war to win back his queen, though once rescued, Sita’s tale really only just begins. It's not quite a traditional graphic novel: Chitrakar’s art is in the style of Patua scrolls, a long Indian narrative form. In a stark departure from Western styles of illustration, the characters are each depicted in a similar way and can be difficult to tell apart at times. Also somewhat jarring is the type—a hard, modern-looking one that strangely alternates all caps and regular text—that seems anachronistic against the very traditional-looking backdrop. These idiosyncrasies aside however, Sita’s tale is absolutely compelling and exciting.

A valuable piece of historical literature brought to the forefront for thoughtful new readers. (Graphic novel. 12 & up)

Pub Date: Oct. 1st, 2011
ISBN: 978-1-55498-145-8
Page count: 152pp
Publisher: Groundwood
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: Sept. 15th, 2011


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