Book Review: ‘Rama of the Axe: The Epic Saga of Parashurama’ by Ranjith Radhakrishnan

Excellent re-telling of Ramabhadra's journey of becoming Parashurama

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Book Title: Rama of the Axe: The Epic Saga of Parashurama
Author: Ranjith Radhakrishnan
Publisher: Westland
Number of Pages: 368
ISBN: 978-9357762861
Date Published: May 22, 2023
Price: INR 334

Rama of the Axe by Ranjith Radhakrishnan Book Cover

Book Review

Rama of the Axe: The Epic Saga of Parashurama” is a captivating novel that combines entertainment, intrigue, action, and adventure. It tells the remarkable narrative of Lord Parashurama, Lord Vishnu’s sixth incarnation. The story occurs at Saptarishi Jamadagni’s ashram, where Ramabhadra, the youngest son, bears a monumental prophecy. Ramabhadra, trained in martial arts and guided by seen and unseen powers, sets out on a journey to become Lord Vishnu’s avatar. However, he experiences difficulties, such as the death of his father and the necessity for self-mastery. The novel vividly depicts Ramabhadra’s transition into the great Parashurama.

Rama of the Axe: The Epic Saga of Parashurama” has well-developed characters and riveting confrontations. In the first chapter, we meet Ramabhadra, a young boy whose life takes an unexpected turn when he meets a Barasingha deep in the forest. The setting, mood, and enigmatic presence of the animal create a feeling of curiosity and expectation, hinting at the fantastic adventure behind the pages. This first chapter lays a solid framework for the rest of the novel. As the story progresses, we meet some important individuals who play important parts in Ramabhadra’s journey, including his adored father, Saptarishi Jamadagni, his mother, the famed healer Renuka, and his martial arts guru. The story also includes his loyal companion Akritavrana. Each character profoundly shapes Ramabhadra’s path, influencing his extraordinary tale.

Ramabhadra meets crucial characters that affect his future, including his father, Jamadagni, his mother, Renuka, and his tutor, Veera. The narrative adds tension by introducing Karthavirya Arjuna, a great warrior whose hunger for power jeopardizes dharma. The book covers essential topics like social justice, the varna system, Ahimsa, and intolerance, offering readers valuable insights and perspectives. The author expertly integrates Sanskrit terminology, creating an immersive experience of Bharatiya heritage and culture. The book’s vocabulary is exquisite and sumptuous.

Furthermore, numerous essential ideas in its pages may imply familiarity with Hindu dharma and culture. Author Ranjith Radhakrishnan’s extensive knowledge of Hindu scriptures, his ideology towards Sanatana Dharma, and Dasavaaatar’s issues are stunning. The language, the book cover, and the page setup are nice.

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While the book’s storyline and depth of Hindu philosophy are excellent, there are a few places for refinement. Certain portions’ tempo may be improved to keep readers interested. Simplifying the language would also help the book reach a larger audience. Despite these minor flaws, “Rama of the Axe” is a beautiful mythical fiction work depicting Ramabhadra’s amazing metamorphosis into Lord Parashurama. The novel has the potential for a riveting big-screen adaptation because of its massive scope, imagery, and profound Bharatiya sensitivities. However, recreating specific scenarios depicted would be a creative task. Finally, the novel is an unashamed Hindu fantasy that will capture followers of the genre and substantially contribute to Indian literature.

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