Saturday, August 27, 2011

186. Sita: Daughter of the Earth Graphic Novel

Sita: Daughter of the Earth by Saraswati Nagpal. Illustrated by Manikandan (Canada) - (US)
Campfire Mythology

Pages: 95
Ages: 10+
Finished: Aug. 21, 2011
First Published: July 26, 2011
Publisher: Campfire Graphic Novels
Genre: children, adventure, Hindu myth, India
Rating: 4/5

First sentence:
Thousands of years ago, in the time cycle called Treta Yuga, gods and demons walked the earth alongside mortals.

Acquired: Received a review copy from Steerforth Press.

Reason for Reading: I love mythology and I love graphic novels.  Hindu mythology is new to me.

This is a graphic retelling of the "Ramayana", which from my best research I gather is an epic poetic text that is vital to Hinduism.  Thus being epic, it is very detailed and a complicated story involving all sorts of adventures and crises, telling the story of the life of Rama, part god, part human and heir of the kingdom and that of his wife Sita, adopted daughter of a king but real daughter of a goddess.  The story involves all the classic elements of mythology.  Gods interfering with mortal life, a quest, a promise to keep, heroes fighting demons but most of all this myth is a romance, a love story above all else.  This is also unique in that it is probably one of the most early feminist stories, where a woman gives her undying gratitude to the man she loves and who loves her back but as she realizes only second to his kingdom and she finally decides that is just not good enough, when only one of them is willing to give their life for the other.

I really enjoyed the tale.  It is a great example of human virtues and gives an example of a character who manages to reach perfection in each virtue.  Thus giving the religion's followers both people and ideals to live up to in real life.  As Hindu mythology is new to me I did find it a bit confusing at first, figuring out who was battling who, and of course the strange, hard to pronounce names were unfamiliar to a first timer.  I believe there is a final moral to the tale and that would be for men to trust and respect their wives or they may no longer have them around to distrust anymore.  On the other hand, the myth is certainly a romance, something not found much in the type of mythology I myself am attracted to the most.  A decent, unique read, especially for those fans of fantasy romance.

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