Tuesday, May 29, 2012


This is the first of the 8-book Krishna Coriolis Series by Ashok K Banker, who is also the author of the 7-part Ramayana Series. I had been wanting to read Mr. Banker’s books since a long time and finally managed to order Slayer of Kamsa and Prince of Ayodhya (Book 1 of Ramayana Series) from Flipkart. That’s been a while and it took me more than a month to complete Slayer of Kamsa since the day I began to read it. Read on to find out why…...

Being fonder of Lord Krishna and his miracles than of Lord Rama and his tough life in the forest, I started with Slayer of Kamsa. The book has been written after a lot of research and the author obviously has visualized the scenes of yore extremely well. The narration is excellent and the language is superb.

I have heard of lot of stories of Lord Krishna as a baby, as a young man, as an adult, as a king and even of his death from my grandfather and my mother. I have read a lot of stories about Him too. I was very keen to read Mr. Banker’s works as I kept reading about them on the internet.

Once I began reading Slayer of Kamsa, I found it mighty heavy going. What I had expected was – I don’t know by what right, but then I did have expectations – to read a lot about Lord Krishna, the slayer of Kamsa. About 9/10 of the book is about Kamsa. It’s fair enough that the author was keen to set the right background about the kind of villain and rakshasa Kamsa was and why it was necessary for Lord Vishnu Himself to incarnate on this earth to do away with the demon. But reading pages and pages; chapters and more chapters of Kamsa running amok – killing, pilfering, ravaging, torturing and more was enough to shake up my very soul.

I am a determined reader and was totally bent on completing the book. But I felt my interest slipping as I could not absorb so much horror at one go. A book of this size – 300+ pages would have taken me – at the max – two days to read, if it had been absorbing. But I could read only a few pages of Slayer of Kamsa at one time. I also made it a point not to read it before going to sleep – my favourite reading time, actually – as I did not want to get nightmares.

Now, having done away with what irked me about the book, I need to mention here that there were at least three highlights about the greatness of Vasudeva, Lord Krishna’s biological father. While I have been aware that Devaki and Vasudeva were Lord Krishna’s parents, I have but heard of them in passing – how they get married, are kept in jail by the evil Kamsa, give birth to seven children who are killed by the rakshasa until finally Vasudeva manages to move Baby Krishna to Nandagopan’s home.

Ashok K Banker has described a few scenes about Vasudeva that bring to light the greatness of the man who was deemed fit to father the 9th avatar of Lord Vishnu. It made for a brief but interesting read.

Another interesting description was the way Kamsa transforms from a human being into a full-blown rakshasa. While the character is totally revolting, the author has written the chapter in great detail, offering a visual that is so real to one’s mind.

Considering that the book is part of the Krishna Coriolis Series and is about Lord Krishna – the slayer of Kamsa, I wish there had been more about Krishna Himself. The scenes portraying the arrival of the baby and His being shifted to his foster home move in brief flashes. I was quite disappointed with that.

The author’s writing style and narrative is simply superb. I still have a lot of hope that Book 2 of the Krishna Coriolis Series – Dance of Govinda – will be more positive and will have a lot to say about Krishna. I plan to buy that one after reading Prince of Ayodhya. I sincerely hope that these live up to my expectations.


  1. I doubt I will read it. RK Narayan's Ramayana was beautiful & as a teenager I lapped it up. Havent been close to mythological reads ever. Will have to get close, for story-telling my 1 year kiddo soon I guess.

    1. Amar Chitra Kathas are ideal for small kids. Go for it :)