Reviews of Prince Rama Son of the Solar Dynasty

Reviewed by: Dr. Kenneth R. Valpey PhD

The Ramayana has been one of the most widely spread and popular works of literature in the world. Its translation into numerous languages both within and beyond India and its adaptation to different cultures has endeared it to countless people, young and old. Prince Rama, Son of the Solar Dynasty, as a modern adaptation for young people, is lovingly written by Vrinda Devi Sheth and illustrated by her mother, Anna, in a way that invites all to enter deeply into the spirit of the drama that propels the story forward and makes it part of our collective memory.
 
Even those familiar with the Ramayana will experience it in a new light, as Vrinda offers plausible details to enhance the ancient narrative and Anna’s illustrations bring to new life the characters of  Rama and his associates. While reading it, I wished that such a book had been available to me when growing up, and now that Prince Rama is available, I can enthusiastically recommend it to all Ramayana enthusiasts, either existing or in the making (this book will certainly make one a Ramayana enthusiast if not so already).
 
-Dr. Kenneth R. Valpey [D.Phil. (Ph.D.), University of Oxford] 
Professor of Indian Studies, the Chinese University of Hong Kong Fellow
And Oxford Centre for Hindu Studies, Oxford, U.K.

Reviewed by: Susan Pattinson

Vrinda Devi Sheth, writes, “My main aim has been to make the Ramayana more accessible to young readers for whom older versions have lost relevance, may seem too dry, or are otherwise too challenging.”
 
Ms. Seth delivered on her promise when she eloquently penned her unique version of this timeless treasure adapted from the scriptural teachings of ancient India. She brings all of  the glorious personalities of  this story to life in a way that is sure to keep youngsters reading this captivating classic again and again. The author’s words are only enhanced by the enchanting artwork of her mother, Anna Johansson. I highly recommend this book as a part of every family’s home library.
 
 
-Susan Pattinson, RN, Certified Hospice and Palliative Nurse
Author of The Final Journey--Complete Hospice Care for Departing Vaisnavas

Reviewed by: Joshua M. Greene

For young readers, here is an ideal introduction to Valmiki’s classic tale of good and evil. There are dozens of Ramayanas, but the graphic narrative and engaging illustrations lift this edition of India’s beloved epic to the top of the pile. Highly recommended.
 
-Joshua M. Greene - Religions Department, Hofstra University
Author of Gita Wisdom: An Introduction to India’s Essential Yoga Text
And Hanuman: The Heroic Monkey God

Reviewed by: Philip Lutgendorf

Vrinda Devi Sheth’s Prince Rama is a welcome addition to the Ramayana storytelling corpus. Inspired by the ancient Sanskrit epic of Valmiki and the ca. 12th century Tamil poem by Kampan, she has retold the story in simple yet lovely prose, showing remarkable insight into characters and events that have fascinated tellers and audiences for millennia. In crafting a Ramayana especially for young readers, she has not oversimplified the story, and her telling should appeal to people of all ages. Further enhanced with charming illustrations by the author’s mother, this labor of love and intercultural discovery is (in keeping with the spirit of the tale) truly a family affair.
 
-Philip Lutgendorf Professor of Hindi and Modern Indian Studies
University of Iowa Author of Hanuman’s Tale
Oxford University Press, 2007

Reviewed by: Howard Resnick,PhD

For  those  of  us  who  have  seen  innumerable  translations,  adaptations,  epitomes and interpretations of India’s Ramayana, the great story of Rama, it is no less than astonishing to find that a very young author has suddenly risen to the summit of the millennial Ramayana tradition with her fantastic new rendition of the story.
 
With riveting language, dramatic flair, and deep psychological insight, Vrinda weaves her splendid tale, which is beautifully illustrated by the able artistic hand of her devoted mother, who inspired her daughter’s work. Veteran Ramayana readers, curious neophytes and everyone inbetween will be delighted and thrilled by this amazing work, supposedly written for the young, yet captivating for readers of all ages.
 
-Howard Resnick, PhD Religious Studies, Harvard University