Tag Archives: ramayan series

Book: Sons of Sita by Ashok Banker (Ramayan series book-8)

“… he (Luv) let fly. The first arrow hit its mark and the second was flying even before the wagon had rolled fully into view. A man shouted with pain and tumbled off the wagon, with two arrows sprouting, one from each shoulder…”

— Chapter 4, Kaand 1, Sons of Sita

That was an attack by the twins, Luv-Kush on an Ayodhyan caravan (carrying funding for an Ashwamedha Yagna).

Sons of Sita

Title Sons of Sita
Series Volume-8 of the 8 volume Ramayana series
Author Ashok Banker
Available at Amazon.in, Amazon.com and Flipkart.

NOTE: Please read the reviewer’s opinions on the whole series here.

The Story in Book-8 (last of the series)

Sita and her twins (Luv-Kush) live in a forest hermitage run by rishi Valmiki (credited as the original author of the Ramayana). While Luv-Kush are tutored along with other acolytes of the hermitage in the Vedas, Sita and her ex-bodyguard Nakhudi train the twins as warriors.

In the meanwhile, in Ayodhya, Rama now styles himself as an “emperor” (Samrat). He is manipulated by his new ministers, and justifies all his inconsiderate actions as an extremely distorted form of dharma (his ruthless soldiers are sarcastically called ‘dharmanators’). His mothers Kaushlya and Sumitra are unable to influence him. When his brothers (Bharat and Shatrughan) try to provide moderating advise, they are branded as traitors. Lakshmana and Hanuman continue to be unquestioning side-kicks.
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Book: Vengeance of Ravana by Ashok Banker (Ramayan series book-7)

“The rishi rose, spinning, as perfectly straight as a pillar – a few scant inches to any side would mean terrible wounds… He seemed to hover in mid-air for a brief fraction, like a hummingbird working at its nest, then….shot out like the yawning pincers of  stone crab Bharat had once seen at the moment it closed on its prey.”

— Chapter 3, Kaand 1, Vengeance of Ravana

That was rishi Valmiki on a visit to Ayodhya, showing his prowess when challenged by the gatekeepers/ security

Vengeance of Ravana

Title Vengeance of Ravana
Series Volume-7 of the 8 volume Ramayana series
Author Ashok Banker
Available at Amazon.in, Amazon.com and Flipkart.

NOTE: Please read the reviewer’s opinions on the whole series here.

The Story in Book-7

The story is set in that period after decimation of Lanka and Rama’s return from his exile, but before Sita is banished. (I am not sure whether this part of the story is based on older versions of the Ramayana or it is a mainly a creation of Banker’s fertile imagination.)

In a dream/ nightmare Rama sees that Ravana is back. Rishi Valmiki (who is acknowledged as the original author of the Ramayana) visits Ayodhya with news of impending bad times. The city is attacked by rakshasa Kala-Nemi who was interned in the dungeons of the city. Soon after, Ayodhya is attacked by the armies and nobles of other Aryan kingdoms, led by Atikya (a son of Ravana) and Mandodari (Ravana’s wife).

At the gates of Ayodhya, there is a lot of drama, with many people getting into a ‘stasis’/ ‘freeze-frame’/ ‘statue’ mode so that a few others can take the centre-stage and show their moves, or make their speech. During one such exchange between Atikya/ Mandodari and Sita, Atikya puts a new spin to Sita’s parentage (you will have to read the book to know the new spin).
Continue reading Book: Vengeance of Ravana by Ashok Banker (Ramayan series book-7)


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Book: King of Ayodhya by Ashok Banker (Ramayan series book-6)

“… When he had the rakshasha’s feet at his own waist level, Hanuman shoved them upwards with all his might; then, when Kumbhakarna was fully inverted and thrashing about desperately, he pushed downwards, literally shoving the rakshasha’s head down towards the bottom of the ocean.”

— Chapter 16, Kaand 4, King of Ayodhya

That was an excerpt from the fight scene between Hanuman and Kumbhakarna.

Cover King of Ayodhya

Title King of Ayodhya
Series Volume-6 of the 8 volume Ramayana series
Author Ashok Banker
Available at Amazon.in, Amazon.com and Flipkart.

NOTE: Please read the comments on the whole series here , as the reviewer’s opinions on the series are expressed there.

The Story in Book-6

The high-level storyline in this book:

Hanuman returns to join Rama’s army at the site of the bridge construction (after inflicting huge damage to Lanka). Just when the army is about to cross the sea over the bridge, Varuna, the lord of the ocean, is beckoned by Ravana to unleash a storm and a tsunami. The storm-cum-tsunami destroys the bridge and kills and injures many of vanars and bears, even before they begin the journey to Lanka. They eventually do cross the sea (in an interesting way)  to reach Lanka.

Ravana, using sorcery once again, creates a huge earthquake to inflict further damages and also instill a sense of utter fear in Rama’s army.

The physical fighting starts and there are many evolving strategies, changing tactics, small battles won and lost, many vanars, bears and rakshashas killed. Eventually, Rama’s army wins, Ravana and his main generals are killed. Vibhisena is crowned the king of Lanka.
Continue reading Book: King of Ayodhya by Ashok Banker (Ramayan series book-6)


I'm Rajesh Naik, and this is my personal website If you are interested in contacting me professionally, I am available on LinkedIn and I will be glad to accept your invite. You may also check out my professional website, Alignmentor.com.

Book: Bridge of Rama by Ashok Banker (Ramayan series book-5)

“Hanuman’s last jump took him so high, nobody could see where he went. He rose up into the air, passed through the now shredded cloudbank, and rose still higher, higher until he could not longer be seen. Several moments passed………

And then, with one final mighty burst of strength, he leaped again….”

— Chapter 12, Kaand 2, Bridge of Rama

That is Hanuman, making his leap to Lanka, and to wreak havoc there.

Cover Bridge of Rama

Title Bridge of Rama
Series Volume-5 of the 8 volume Ramayana series
Author Ashok Banker
Available at Amazon.in, Amazon.com and Flipkart.

NOTE: Please read the comments on the whole series here , as the reviewer’s opinions on the series are expressed there.

The Story in Book-5

The high-level storyline in this part of the series:

Sita is held captive and as a hostage by Ravana in Lanka. Rama and Lakshman are planning to cross over to Lanka (from the mainland) to rescue Sita. Hanuman collects a huge army of vanars (from different tribes and sub-species), along with groups of sloth bears (rksas) for the conquest.

To the cross the sea, the army of vanars and bears start building a bridge using stones, wood, mud, and sand. All this while Ravana is also making preparations to face Rama and his army, and Sita is tormented by various rakshashis.

Hanuman discovers that he has super-powers bestowed to him as a result of the unique circumstances of his birth. Rama sends Hanuman to Lanka, as a last ditch effort at retriving Sita without having to wage a war and avoid death and destruction that would come in its wake.
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Book: Armies of Hanuman by Ashok Banker (Ramayan series book-4)

“The mortal (Rama) stood on the sloping mound, unmindful of the rain and damp, his two constant companions standing to either side. Bow lowered but strung and ready, arrows fitted to the cord. Even the relentless rain had not unravelled his matted locks, bound tightly above his head in the spiralling bun of a forest exile.”

— Chapter 1, Kaand 1, Armies of Hanuman

That is the start of this book, where Rama, Sita and Lakshman wait to battle the last bunch of rakshasas in the Jansthana forest.

Cover Armies of Hanuman

Title Armies of Hanuman
Series Volume-4 of the 8 volume Ramayana series
Author Ashok Banker
Available at Amazon.in, Amazon.com and Flipkart.

NOTE: Please read the comments on the whole series here , as the reviewer’s opinions on the series are expressed there.

The Story in Book-4

The high-level storyline in this part of the series:

Rama, Sita, and Lakshmana are towards the tail-end of their thirteen year exile. Together with a rag-tag bunch of ex-outlaws and other exiles, they wage a final battale and manage to get the forest of Janasthana rid of all remaining rakshasas. They return to Chitrakut to spend the rest of the days of their exile and start preparing for their return to Ayodhya.

In Lanka, Mandodari, as a caretaker ruler, manages to get some order. However, with Suphanaka’s help, Ravana is liberated from limbo and takes charge of rebuilding Lanka according to his own vision. Towards the later part of the book, Ravana abducts Sita on his Pushpak vimana, using trickery, asura sorcery and brute force.
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I'm Rajesh Naik, and this is my personal website If you are interested in contacting me professionally, I am available on LinkedIn and I will be glad to accept your invite. You may also check out my professional website, Alignmentor.com.

Book: Demons of Chitrakut by Ashok Banker (Ramayan series book-3)

“She slapped him.

She put all her strength behind the blow. His face was flung sharply to the right, his vision blurring out of focus before the world swam back into view, accompanied by several motes of swirling light, and he found himself facing the wall. ……

‘Stop it,’ she said….”
— Chapter 22, Kaand 1, Demons of Chitrakut   

The above is an interaction between Sita and Rama, when he tells her that he has to go on a long exile, alone

Cover Demons of Chitrakut

Title Demons of Chitrakut
Series Volume-3 of the 8 volume Ramayana series
Author Ashok Banker
Available at Amazon.in, Amazon.com and Flipkart

NOTE: Please read the comments on the whole series here , as the reviewer’s opinions on the series are expressed there.

The Story in Book-3

The high-level storyline in this part of the series:

Rama and Lakshman, under the guidance of Vishwamitra, have decimated the host of asuras moving towards  Mithila and Ayodhya. Rama weds Sita and Lakshman weds Urmila (Sita’s sister). The other brothers of Rama marry Sita’s cousins.

The wedding party on its way back to Ayodhya is challenged by the axe welding sage Parashurama – the confrontation between Rama and Parashurama is captivating. Back in Ayodhya, the duo of Manthara-Kaikeyi manipulate Dasharath to exile Rama. Sita and Lakshman accompany him voluntarily.
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Book: Siege of Mithila by Ashok Banker (Ramayan series book-2)

“… saw the deep blue wave of brahman ripple outward from the tower itself, rolling harmlessly over humans and their animal friends and the city and its structures. But when it reached the Asura armies massed on the south bank of the Sarayu, the effect was numbing.

The dense black hordes of Asuras disintegrated as the wave touched them, turning them to powder…”

— Chapter 13, Kaand 3, Siege of Mithla

The above passage is towards the end of the book.

Prince of Ayodhya Cover

Title Siege of Mithila
Series Volume-2 of the 8 volume Ramayana series
Author Ashok Banker
Available at Amazon.in, Amazon.com and Flipkart

NOTE: Please read the comments on the whole series here , as the reviewer’s opinions on the series are expressed there.

The Story in Book-2

In this part of the series, Rama and Lakshman, having completed the task of cleaning up Bhayanak-van of the hordes of asuras start their journey back home to Ayodhya, along with sage Vishwamitra.

Vishwamitra decides that they need to make their way via Mathila, the city where princess Sita lives, because Ravana has amassed an army of asuras to invade Ayodhya and this army is about to trample Mithila on its way.
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Book: Prince of Ayodhya by Ashok Banker (Ramayan series book-1)

“…  three breathtakingly graceful leaps, it took him to the veranda that ringed one side of the circular chamber. Sword slashing through the gossamer folds of the translucent drapes that could conceal an assassin. Turn, turn, breathe, slice, follow-through, recover, resume stance. Guru Vashishta had trained him superbly…”

— Chapter 1, Prince of Ayodhya

The above passage is not about Bruce Lee in the movie Enter the Dragon, but about Rama in Ashok Banker’s first book of his Ramayan series.

Prince of Ayodhya Cover

Title Prince of Ayodhya
Series Volume-1 of the 8 volume Ramayana series
Author Ashok Banker
Available at Amazon.in, Amazon.com and Flipkart

NOTE: Please read the comments on the whole series here , as the reviewer’s opinions on the series are expressed there.

The Story in Book-1

At the start of this series, young princes Rama, Lakshmana, Shatrughan, and Bharat are back in the capital city of Ayodhya after a long training program at sage Vashishta’s ashram (sage Vashishta is also king Dashratha’s counselor).

Rama is often plagued by nightmares of attacks and destruction of his beloved city (Ayodhya) and kingdom (Kosala).
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I'm Rajesh Naik, and this is my personal website If you are interested in contacting me professionally, I am available on LinkedIn and I will be glad to accept your invite. You may also check out my professional website, Alignmentor.com.

Book Series: Ramayan Series by Ashok Banker: Mythological epic retold as an amazing and imaginative fantasy

This is an eight-book series where Ashok Banker retells the Ramayan in the style of the modern “fantasy” novel, like the Lord of the Rings series by JRR Tolkien.

The first of the series was written in 2003 and series was completed in 2012 with the eighth book.

Here are the images of the covers of these books:Ramayan Series Cover Images

I had heard the Ramayan in bits and pieces in my early childhood. Later, I read abridged YA versions and graphic art forms (called comics then) from Amar Chitra Katha. Somewhere along the way I consumed the English versions by Rajaji (C Rajagopalachari) and R K Narayan. I was eventually put off this epic by Ramanand Sagar’s teleserial in the 1980s, where it became morlistic, dull, and full of cardboard charaters.

Anyway, a few years ago, my wife (Swapna) had purchased the first of the series, and I picked it up just after she finished it. Once I started reading it, I just could not put it down. I gobbled-up the first six of the series as and when they were released. I was under the impression that the series was over with the six books (maybe there was a gap between the publishing of the sixth and the seventh book, or something in the sixth book gave me that impression). However, I recently discovered that Banker has added two more volumes to the series, making it a total of 8 books.
Continue reading Book Series: Ramayan Series by Ashok Banker: Mythological epic retold as an amazing and imaginative fantasy


I'm Rajesh Naik, and this is my personal website If you are interested in contacting me professionally, I am available on LinkedIn and I will be glad to accept your invite. You may also check out my professional website, Alignmentor.com.