Thursday 9 December 2010

Book Review : The Slayer of Kamsa, Ashok Banker

After the Ramayana Series, Ashok Banker has turned his attention to the tale of Krishna and the first book in what is to be the Krishna Coriolis series is The Slayer of Kamsa. I had recently finished the seventh book in the Ramayana Series, The Vengeance of Ravana and did not think it measured up to the first six. The writing is as fluent as ever but that particular book was conceptually difficult to grasp and hence a difficult read. Having had the same problem with the Gods of War, I was a little apprehensive about this book too. There was too much stuff about vortals, parallel worlds and a grand design in these books that I found a little difficult to relate to, especially considering the linear, simple (in the best possible way, of course) narrative of the earlier Ramayana books.

Thankfully, my fears were unjustified. In the Slayer of Kamsa, Ashok lays the foundation for the entry of Krishna and provides a good start to the proposed series. The book tells the tale of Prince Kamsa and King Vasudeva until the birth of Krishna. The book dwells on the events that lead to the point where Kamsa is driven to try and prevent the birth of his nemesis and the meat of it has to do with the conflict between good and evil as represented by Vasudeva and Kamsa.

A good book but I do not rate it as highly as the Ramayana series in terms of sheer readability. Having said that, it still got over far too quickly for my liking and here I sit, waiting for the next installment or Sons of Sita, whichever is first.

Endnote : I had to look up Coriolis and here is what it means for the uninitiated (taken from Wiki).

In physics, the Coriolis effect is an apparent deflection of moving objects when they are viewed from a rotating reference frame. In a reference frame with clockwise rotation, the deflection is to the left of the motion of the object; in one with anti-clockwise rotation, the deflection is to the right.

Heavy stuff, this; and an apt word when applied to the concept of Dharma.