Cover image for Prince of Ayodhya
Prince of Ayodhya
Banker, Ashok.
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Publication Information:
New York : Aspect : Warner Books, [2003]

Physical Description:
387 pages ; 24 cm.
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* Ever since the publication of J.R.R. Tolkien's The Lord of the Rings, the fantasy genre has drawn almost entirely on the Celtic/Norse/Greco-Roman mythos. Here at last is a fantasy series every bit as satisfying in terms of magic and adventure, but drawn from India--one of history's most fascinating and oldest civilizations.
* In the SF/Fantasy genre, the most popular books are the epic fantasy titles. George R. R. Martin's A Storm of Swords (Spectra, 5/02) debuted at #12 on the New York Times bestseller list, and Terry Goodkind's Faith of the Fallen (Tor, 2001) debuted at #2.
* Although he is regarded as a pioneer among Indian writers, Ashok K. Banker's epic fantasy A Prince of Ayodhya will be his first book published in the U.S. He has written 11 novels and his SF and fantasy fiction has begun appearing in magazines worldwide, including Altair, Artemis, Interzone, and Weird Tales.

Reviews 2

Publisher's Weekly Review

This retelling of the ancient Hindu classic, The Ramayana, marking Indian author Banker's U.S. debut, makes an odd but compelling book. Many untranslated words and phrases mix with occasional modern terms, but Banker usually just lushly embellishes the classic tale of a war between absolute Good and Evil. Teenaged prince Rama is everything a culture hero should be, incredibly fit, skilled and pious. He's given the responsibility of saving not just his native city, glorious Ayodhya, but the whole of humanity from the schemes of an army of demons and their allies. And so, with the mighty seer-mage Vishwamitra and his only relatively less heroic half-brother, Laskshman, Rama sets out on a heroic journey. At first, readers will notice the intensity of every scene and the absence of any inner life for characters who, whether gloriously wonderful or noxiously monstrous, don't so much converse as make melodramatic speeches at each other. But then you realize how easy it is to turn the pages. It's a ripping good yarn, though Banker lacks Tolkien's knack for varying tone to avoid monotony. Nor is he interested in rationalizing myth into subtle, ironic SF, as Roger Zelazny did in Lord of Light. In its approach to storytelling, this novel resembles E.E. "Doc" Smith's clumsy but rousing Lensmen saga, showing how gusto and a vivid imagination can spruce up very old themes. (Aug. 27) Forecast: Though a successful writer in his own country-the publicity notes that Banker wrote the first Indian crime novels in English, the first Indian television series in English, the first Indian e-novel-it remains to be seen whether this series will rival the fantasy epics of George R.R. Martin or Robert Jordan. Blurbs from Dave Duncan and Kate Elliott can't hurt. (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved

Library Journal Review

The peace of the great city of Ayodhya is threatened by a seer's warning, foretelling the attack of the great demon lord Ravana and his army. Only Prince Rama, heir to the throne of Ayodhya, has the purity of heart and determination of will to save the city and the mortal world. Drawing upon The Ramayana, one of the classic works of Vedic literature, Indian author Banker brings the mythology and religion of ancient India vividly to life, capturing the ritual, the drama, and the passion of India's culture and heritage. Jeweled prose adds detail and lushness to a tale filled with magical creatures, royal battles, and human emotions. This series opener is highly recommended for most fantasy collections. (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.