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the forest of stories ashok k banker by Ashok K. Banker

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The Forest of Stories: Book 1 (Mahabharata Series) is the first in a series of eighteen books planned by Ashok Banker. These books cover intricately each phase of the Indian epic Mahabharata and the story is taken ahead by the books that follow: The Seeds of War and The Children of Midnight. The forests of Naimisha are the settings for this part of the great epic.

The story begins with the unexpected arrival of a tired and weary traveler in the ashram of Kulapati Shaunaka. The traveler is none other than Ugrasrava Lomarsana, who is a Suta Pauranika or the storyteller. Sauti, as he is fondly called, is a disciple of the great Sage Vyas. Sauti brings the terrible news of Sage Vyass death. The members of the ashram offer him shelter and food and time to rest his tired body.

They request him to recite one of Vyass epics and Sauti agrees and this marks the beginning of the story. Quite similar to the great epic, the beginnings of the story are markedly disconnected from the crux of the story in the great epic and its pivotal characters. Sauti introduces everyone to the main characters and the story branches out into the creation of the various races. The story of Parashurama is told in vivid detail. It speaks about the vengeance that Parashurama vows and also takes us through the Sarpa Yoga conducted by Parikshit's son Janamejaya to avenge his father's death. As predicted the Sarpa Yoga is unsuccessful. In the final part, the book speaks of Shakuntala and Dushyant, who started the Bharata clan.

Vivid and enthralling in equal measure, The Forest of Stories: Book 1 (Mahabharata Series) sets the tone for discovering the regal splendor of the Mahabharata. The book was published by Westland in 2012 and is available in paperback.


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