Author: Amish Tripathi
Total approximate words: 104,000
RAAVAN is the third book of the RAM CHANDRA SERIES. RAM and SITA are the protagonists of the first two books. As the name suggests Raavan is the protagonist in the third one. Amish uses a multi linear narrative to connect all the three books to the fourth book (yet to be launched).
Contrary to what I have known and learnt about Raavan through all kinds of television soaps, story books and the school book version of the Ramayana, this book tells a very different tale about Raavan, which is both refreshing and surprising, to say the least. Having born with a physical deformity, Raavan wasn’t exactly the apple of his parent’s eyes. His natural instinct to always win, and be at the top of the game by hook or crook was something that he nurtured from a very young age. When his father abandons him and his baby brother (also born with physical deformities) along with his mother, it was Raavan who realized that he was the eldest man in the family and was responsible for their protection. And all that at the tender age of nine. His circumstances made him ambitious to the brim and he almost always achieved what he wanted. He became a ruthless trader, smuggler and warrior before even reaching his twenties and becoming the wealthiest king of the Indian subcontinent. The entire book is an amalgamation of numerous such incidents from his childhood until he reaches to his sixties and kidnaps Sita to avenge his goddess, in his despise for India.
Raavan is almost twice the age of Ram and Sita. The narration has the details of the entire sixty years of Raavan’s life. The details however are narrated in a witty and engaging way. At no point did the descriptions felt like a drag. The book has shown Raavan as an extremely intelligent man from a humble background who went on to become the richest king of the world. The fantastic part about the narration is that despite showing Raavan’s larger than life story, the story at no point glorifies the villain in him. Amish perfectly portrays Raavan’s monstrosity by throwing ample light at other important characters, like the calm and a more sensible Kumbhakarna, and the Kanyakumari that Raavan falls in love with, and her husband who was an honest and respectful trader, very unlike Raavan. Also, despite portraying Raavan as a villain, the author also shows how independent Raavan’s character was, not only in terms of finance but also in terms of emotions. The book is a roller coaster ride as the story unfolds in layers and connects the many dots from the previous two parts of the RAM CHANDRA SERIES. It is gripping, extremely interesting, and does justice to the title of the book RAAVAN.
I would definitely give it an 8.5 stars out of ten.
Disclaimer: This review is based on my personal reading and understanding of the book with my own limited experiences and knowledge. It doesn’t guarantee the same level of satisfaction/ dissatisfaction to other readers and the reviews could vary from individual to individual.
Nevertheless, happy reading!