Prince Of Ayodhya
- Publisher: Penguin
- ISBN-13: 9780143033332
- Pages: 552
- Binding: Paperback
- Year of Pub / Reprint Year: 2005
About The Book
This is the first book in a series that retells the ancient Hindu epic Ramayana, a series that fits into the genre of fantasy fiction.
The book is loosely based on the events that happen in the beginning of the epic, Ramayana. This book covers the events from the time Rama is announced as the heir to the throne till the time he is on his way to Mithila, to attend Sita’s swayamvara. The setting is the city of Ayodhya, the impregnable city, the capital of the kingdom of Kosala, currently ruled by Dasaratha, who is Rama’s father.
Demonic forces, led by the Rakshasa king Ravana, are planning a massive attack on the city of Ayodhya. Sage Vishwamitra knows of this and is on his way to Ayodhya to warn the king and to seek his help in battling the demons of the forest where he is conducting a powerful two century long yagna.
The book begins with Prince Rama having a dream in which he sees Ravana and his forces utterly destroying Ayodhya. He wakes still continuing his battle with the demons in his dream.
Dasaratha goes to see his First Queen, Kausalya, who is the mother of Rama, and informs her that her son Rama is about to be crowned as the heir. Dasaratha also informs her that he himself is terminally ill.
The people of Ayodhya are overjoyed to hear that their beloved Prince Rama is to be crowned as the heir to the throne. The third queen, Kaikeyi, is enraged to hear this news and threatens to kill Kausalya.
Meanwhile, Vishwamitra is on his way to Ayodhya in the guise of a low born hunter, to escape harassment from evil forces. In the palace he finds that the king and Sage Vashishta are already welcoming and honoring Sage Vishwamitra, an impostor. Vishwamitra himself enters the palace and exposes the impostor to be a demon named Kalanemi, Ravana’s uncle.
Vishwamitra asks Dasaratha to send Prince Rama with him to battle the hordes of demons in Bhayanakvan where he is performing his two century long sacrifice. Dasaratha refuses at first, as he fears for his young son, a boy who is not even sixteen years old yet. But he is eventually persuaded by Sage Vashishta to agree to Vishwamitra’s request. Lakshmana, Rama’s younger brother, who is very close to him also accompanies Rama on his journey.
The book then details the fight at Bhayanakvan, and the incidents that take place there.
About The Author
Ashok K. Banker is a former journalist and literary critic turned author. His novels are spread across many genres, from crime fiction, and later, stories based on Indian mythology.
Ashok Banker is now identified with his retelling of the ancient Indian epics, especially the Ramayana. Other books by him include Amazing Adventure at Chotta Sheher, The Missing Parents Mystery, Siege of Mithila, Armies of Hanuman, Bridge of Rama, King of Ayodhya, Vertigo, Byculla Boy, Beautiful Ugly, and Sons of Sita.
Banker has written many works of fiction spanning different genres. Three of his first books were crime fiction stories. He also wrote three semi-autobiographical novels based loosely on his on life.
Ashok Banker was born in 1964 in Mumbai, to an Anglo-Indian mother and a Gujarati Hindu father. He was brought up by his mother and grandmother. His mother had converted to Islam to secure a divorce. He had a multi-religious background. When he was given the freedom to choose his religion, he opted to choose none. He grew up in a Christian household and was educated in a Jewish school. He worked as a freelance journalist, contributing columns and cover stories to mainstream publications like The Times of India and Outlook Magazine. He also worked as a literary critic, reviewing contemporary Indian literature.