RAVANA - ROAR OF THE DEMON KING

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TITLE: Ravana – Roar of the Demon King

GENRE: – Graphic Novel

PUBLICATION:  – Random House

AUTHOR:  – Abhimanyu Singh Sisodiya

ART:  – Sachin Nagar

SYNOPSIS:  - The demon-king Ravana, born of a union between the holiest of mortals and a demon princess, has risen from an obscure beginning at a hermitage to conquer not just hell but heaven too. No less than a god to his own people, he is the sheer embodiment of evil to his enemies. This arrogant demon brooks no hindrance to snatching his heart’s desire, and his terror seems unstoppable to gods and humans alike. But he makes a mistake when he abducts the wife of Lord Rama, the exiled divine ruler of Ayodhya. 

Ravana is a story of a demon who dared to challenge the gods, and almost got away with it. Ravana’s tale is one that will incite awe and fear simultaneously. Whose side was this enigma on, good or evil? The obvious answer seems to be but one: his own. Or was he really? This graphic novel seeks to explore that question, and others.

WRITING REVIEW: - One recent trend that really excites me is the interest that is being generated amongst the present generation for our mythologies. And I believe the whole credit for this must go to Amish Tripathy, as The Immortals of Meluha was the harbinger of this new genre of re-inventing our myths.
Indian myths and mythical characters have always intrigued me. In fact that applies to all mythologies. And I enjoy mythologies mainly because I’m agnostic, and hence have a neutral view towards them. Reading Mahabharata would bring the same effect to me as reading LOTR would.
Abhimanyu Singh has done an immensely good job with his research. The story of Ravana in this book is extremely detailed. The characterization is also done well, and good justice has been done to all the characters.
A unique approach in this book is that it is narrated from Ravana’s point of view. However, this acts to be as much of a con for the author as a pro. This is because at a few places I felt that the author is trying to divulge all the data he has about Ravana. And though this would have seemed fine had the narration been third person, in first person you tend to feel Ravana is talking too much about himself. The author, maintaining the first person narration, could have used better ways to give out certain information, rather than just having Ravana talk about himself.
Story wise, it is pretty much the retelling of a known mythology, with a few parts that would not be known to all. But the flow of the book is decent.
I haven’t yet read the Ravanayana, which is another series of graphic novels on Ravana, so I am unable to put a comparative review here. But if I have to compare this with the Sandman series of Graphic novels by Neil Gaiman, then I can say that the author has a lot of scope to mature his script.

ART REVIEW: The art by Sachin Nagar is mesmerizing enough to make you keep going back to the book only for its graphics. Some images make you stop and keep staring at them. If this book is to be adopted into a movie by keeping the look same, a la 300 of Frank Miller, then it would truly be kick-ass.
Sachin Nagar quite easily transports you into his imagination, which indeed is quite unique from the regular Ram Ravana images we have in our mind (think Arun Govil)
Each and every character and each and every expression has been sketched with masterful detail. Hanuman, Ravana and Indra’s portrayals are truly eye catching because of their uniqueness. Even Shiva in his special appearance has been sketched beautifully. Ram and Laxman, being the most boring characters of Ramayana (no offense), are their usual cliched self. Sachin could have experimented with their looks and appearance.
Kudos to Sachin.

RATING: 3 / 5 for Writing. 4.5 / 5 for Graphics.

PRICE ON FLIPKART: 146 INR.

TIP FOR ALL ONLINE BOOK SHOPPERS: There is a new website called thisyathat.com which is dedicated to online book shoppers in India. It gives you the price of a book across all the sites where it is available, like indiatimes, flipkart, landmark, homeshop18, etc. I cheated on flipkart and bought this book from HomeShop18, because it was for 117 INR over there. Check it out.

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  1. i have one word for this- W.O.W.!!!

    ReplyDelete
  2. The book sounds good, yes, but that bit about thisyathat.com was extremely helpful information. Thanks!

    ReplyDelete

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