The Ram Chandra Series by Amish was started off with Scion Of Ikshvaku which is about Ram’s journey from his childhood to the kidnapping of his wife, Sita. The book is followed by Sita- Warrior Of Mithila, which projects Sita as a very fierce character who is a great warrior and a great leader.And in this blog, I am going to review Sita- Warrior Of Mithila.
Let’s start with the story of the book:
While coming back to Mithila from a trip, king Janak and queen Sunaina find a child, in the woods, in a furrow protected by a vulture. They both decide to adopt the child and gave her the name, Sita. She is later sent to Rishi Shvetaketu’s ashram to learn martial arts and gain knowledge of different subjects. There she befriends Radhika and her cousin Hanuman, a Naga and a Vayuputra.
Maharishi Vishwamitra, head of the Malayaputra tribe who has the duty of serving the next Vishnu, visits Shvetaketu’s ashram when Sita was 14 years old. Sita’s knowledge and skills impresses Vishwamitra and he elects her as the seventh Vishnu but asks her to keep it a secret until she is completely ready to take over the duties of the Vishnu. She also gains trust of Jatayu, a Naga member of the Malayaputra tribe.
After Sita’s return to Mithila, she is bereaved by her mother Sunaina’s death. She has to take care of her sister, Urmila, who is not as strong as she is. King Janak is already engrossed in a lot of spiritual activities, and hence, Sita has to take the place of the Prime Minister which was earlier occupied by her mother. She is able to gain people’s trust and is able to execute reforms with the help of her close friend and chief of the police force, Samichi.
After stabilising Mithila’s financial conditions Sita went to Agastyakootam, the capital city of the Malayaputra to continue her training for becoming the next Vishnu. However, she starts suspecting Vishwamitra’s reasoning for choosing her over Ram, prince of Ayodhya and son of king Dashrath the supreme leader of India. Through Radhika she gets to know that Ram is also being considered as the next Vishnu by his mentor, Rishi Vashishtha, an old friend of Vishwamitra.
Sita plans to marry him through a swayamvar, but is enraged to learn that the demon king of Lanka, Raavan and his brother, Kumbhakarna are also there. She manipulates the situation with Vishwamitra so that Ram’s name is announced as the first suitor. Ram wins the swayamvar and marries Sita, while his brother Lakshman marries Sita’s sister, Urmila. Next day Raavan attacks Mithila with his troop of 10,000 men, and Ram is forced to use the biological weapon Asurastra, by Maharishi Vishwamitra, even though it’s usage is forbidden by Lord Rudra. Hence they are able to defeat the Lankan army but Raavan along with his brother Kumbhakarna is able to escape in his legendary helicopter, Pushpak Viman.
After Ram returns to Ayodhya he decides to take a 14 year exile as a punishment for breaking Lord Rudra’s law, Lakshman and Sita also join him on the exile. She asks Jatayu and his men to join them, to protect them from their enemies.
Thirteen years pass by and a numerous incidents happen. One day their camp is attacked while Ram and Lakshman were out for hunt. Sita is abducted and carried unconscious into the Pushpak Viman. Once she regains conscious she attempts killing Raavan in the vehicle but is stopped by a woman drawing a blade to her throat. With Raavan being alerted, Sita turns back and is startled to see the woman.
The storyline of the book is quite solid, a lot of twists and turns happen all throughout the plot and some which you never really expected. There are some scenes which are shown in bits, which sometimes makes the book look like a thriller.
The characters in the book are very nicely crafted, especially Sita‘s character because she is shown in a completely different light, not something which Indians are known to. She is a leader, she is a warrior and she is aggressive but at the same time practical as well. It was exciting to read this book even because we don’t really know much about Sita because anyone who listens to the Ramayana from their elders, the introduction of Sita usually comes at the time of swayamvar.
Sita’s husband, Ram, appears only in 1/3rd part of the book and we are able to learn how Sita feels about Ram.
Ram’s brother, Lakshman is also a aggressive person but is caring as well, as he didn’t allow Urmila to join them on the exile as she was too delicate to survive the jungle.
There are some other characters as well like, Samichi, the chief of police in Mithila, King Janak, his wife Sunaina, Maharishi Vishwamitra, and they all are also crafted perfectly and lend good support to the main characters.
The narrative style that Amish has adopted for this series is called the multilinear narrative, in which there are many characters- in this case, Ram, Sita, and Raavan- and they all have their life experiences, and a common connection brings them all together.
The major low point about this book was that there was a lot of repetition, this can be both good and bad, like for a person who read Scion Of Ikshvaku when it first released in 2015, it is good because that person will be able to recall all the events from this book. But for the person who recently read Scion Of Ikshvaku or recently re- read Scion Of Ikshvaku to recall everything might be annoyed by the copy-paste work.
And honestly, everyday since I had completed this book I felt like it was not over yet, I wanted to read Raavan- Orphan Of Aryavarta(not released yet). The point is that this book leaves you in the need of more, and in search of answers to all the questions left unaddressed in the second book of the series.
So all in all it is a wonderful book to read, you‘ll be able to look at the Ramayana with a completely different perspective. Young readers, especially girls would love to see this kind of portrayal of Sita. I’m going with 4 out of 5 for this book, it’s a book which readers of every age group will like and enjoy. Happy reading!
Check out my review of Scion Of Ikshvaku here.