11 July 2021 | By: Writing Buddha

Ashwatthama's Redemption: The Bow of Rama by Gunjan Porwal (Book Review: 4.5*/5) !!!

1944th BLOG POST

25th Book of 2021


There are very few duologies or trilogies which keeps you interested with its sequels in the series. Some where down the line, we observe that the essence of the 1st part has been lost because either the author ends up overdoing or writes it just for the sake of completing the sequel because of the publisher’s deadline. This has NOT been the case with Gunjan Porwal’s 2nd and final part of the “Ashwatthama’s Redemption” series named “The Bow of Rama”. The 1st part is named “The Rise of Dandak” which released 3 years back and the final part has taken a good amount of time to be in our hands. I can proudly say that Gunjan impresses you with his craft again and every sentence that he writes screams of how he deserves to be one of the popular Indian mythological and historical fantasy writers.


His writing style is so apt that I couldn’t find any flaw anywhere. The way he takes the story ahead from where the 1st book ends is done very seamlessly. I keep suggesting authors to give a small recap of their earlier books in case of sequels so that people can revise it before proceeding ahead with the new part but not many implement this – may be because they believe the sale of previous books will decrease. Porwal has done it by himself, and it has been blended so beautifully in very few words that even if you haven’t read the 1st part, you will not find it difficult to understand the 2nd part. My recommendation would be to read the 1st part as it has many great concepts and philosophies discussed in detail such as karma, life, death, guilt, ego, mind games etc.


The narration of “The Bow of Rama” is quite relaxed despite several things happening at different places with different characters at the same time. You will feel the excitement and there will be the curiosity about what would happen next, but author keeps everything quite calm for the reader to not find anything clustered or pacy. Most of the characters are from the 1st book itself hence they don’t need much introduction but here, we start getting to know about their power with which they can win against the Dandak and Asuras. I liked how the bow of Rama on which even the title of the book is based is given importance and thrilling aspect right from the initial chapters itself. You will just want to know how the weapon which is associated with Lord Vishnu will be regained by this team of righteous people.


I liked the whole section which leads Ashwatthama to go to Ayodhya – the chapters where he ends up meeting Hanuman and the little tale of Lord Ram that is being discussed. Something similar happens in the 1st book too which brings back the nostalgic effect. I liked some great philosophies that is discussed in this same segment such as where Hanuman tells how he got a chance to redeem his Karma and end the cycle of Birth-Death otherwise God can do everything by himself, but he gives an opportunity to human beings to better their karma. Amazing! Similarly, the book also talks about some ancient powers and miracles such as shahtra-bhautik-vigyaan, parmanu-bahutiki, atomic physics, dark magic and other scientific factors which has been part of our culture since long back.


The great USP of this book has been that more than the action scenes the book here talks about the strategy that both the end choses to get onto the fight. The very first scene where one of the main character loses life and the love relationship of a couple gets affected speaks about the intense planning with which it happens. After that, the way author has used many intellectual elements to plan the last big war is a treat for readers. You need to be very calm and patient throughout the whole 2nd half because somewhere you want the War to begin and bow to come into the picture but that’s what the narration of this book is all about – wait and watch! I also liked Ashwatthama’s dilemma on what to choose – mortality or immortality. Every time he gets into that situation, as a human being, you get a lot to question yourself about what you would have done in that situation and it tells us, how hard one’s life can be.


The conversations between all the characters just win your heart time and again. The most magical part about the book is that author has written fighting, action, battle, and war sequences not only for you to feel the adrenaline rush but to ensure that you keep on imagining the whole scenario and build it in your world of Visualization. This makes the book very impactful and memorable. By the end, I wanted it to have another part in the series too which I rarely wish for any duology or trilogy. Haha!


Lastly, talking about the drawbacks- I must say that there aren’t many but still I think the book could have been 70-80 pages less. I feel few parts are given too much description which doesn’t elevate the scene but become stretchy and boring after a time. Because the book’s title has the name Rama, you want to read more about him, but it ends very soon, and you are taken ahead in the story immediately. Otherwise, this book has no issues at all and is a superb read. I give it 4.5 stars out of 5 and recommend it to all the fantasy, Indian mythology, ancient history, philosophical lovers to get it soon along with its 1st part.






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