I thought the book started slow but to my delight, it picked up pace as it progressed, so much so that towards the end, I began to wonder how the author will finish the story when just a few pages are left.
The book covers the journey of Ram & Lakshman along with Sage Vishwamitra towards Mithila. And what happens during this journey? They meet Sita travelling incognito with her companion through her kingdom in search of asuras preparing to attack Mithila. Does love at first sight happen?
The author beautifully puts through the fact that Rama can reach out to people independent of gender/ position bias therefore he finds it so easy to simply follow Vishwamitra's instructions- no questions asked. Whereas, on introspection, Lakshman realizes why exactly he questions every instruction or decision of the sage.
The book is a medely of divine and dark arts, fantastic characters, events that defy logic yet keeps the interest and curiosity alive. In no case it is a replica of the clean Ramayan that we are used to but a total cocktail of fantasy fiction.
Kaikeyi/Manthara are not just wicked but pure evil.
Sita is not at all demure- she is a tomboy warrior.
So what exactly is the Siege of Mithila? How does it happen? Go on, read it and find out.
And yes- I read the chapter on Sita Svayamvar with bated breath. Even though I know the outcome already.