In Defense of the Realm

Overview

In an ancient age, when the pyramids were being built in Egypt, and Mesopotamia was rising under the rule of the Akkadians, the Indus Valley Civilisation grew in the plains of western India...

Four times the size of its more famous contemporaries, the Indus Valley Civilisation grew around a network of five great cities where peace and prosperity reigned. Prince Meluha, the young crown prince of Dholavira, enjoyed a life of pleasure until Sargon, the ambitious ruler of the ...

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Overview

In an ancient age, when the pyramids were being built in Egypt, and Mesopotamia was rising under the rule of the Akkadians, the Indus Valley Civilisation grew in the plains of western India...

Four times the size of its more famous contemporaries, the Indus Valley Civilisation grew around a network of five great cities where peace and prosperity reigned. Prince Meluha, the young crown prince of Dholavira, enjoyed a life of pleasure until Sargon, the ambitious ruler of the Mesopotamian city of Akkad, turned his eye towards the east and sent his army to take these lands.

Will Prince Meluha be able to save his kingdom? Or will the powerful Akkadians and their fearsome weapons of mass destruction destroy all before help is at hand?

Read on to join Prince Meluha in his adventure to reclaim the sovereignty of his lands in what is truly a brilliant and insightful recreation of the times of the Indus Valley Civilization.

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Editorial Reviews

School Library Journal
Gr 4–8—The Akkadians of Central Iraq, hungry for new lands to conquer, have set sail for the great cities of Sind, in what is now southern Pakistan. Prince Meluha and his teacher Chandrayaan are out hunting when the invaders launch their assault upon Meluha's city, and so it becomes the prince's responsibility to rally the other Indus Valley cities to stand together against them. There's a treasonous minister, a poison ring, a beautiful princess, ambush, and even a dance number, all drawn in a heroic comic realist style, using glowing, brilliant colors-golds, olives, rich purples. Exotically costumed royals and courtiers are distinguished visually by their headgear, hairstyles, jewelry, and facial hair as well as their features and build, giving readers a fighting chance at keeping all the Rajas straight. The smartly paced story takes an occasional breather so that the travelers have a chance to check out their magnificent surroundings, including the gigantic public baths in Mohenjo Daro and a royal funeral in Harappa. Chandrayaan explains some of the region's impressive administrative accomplishments to his princely student, injecting this fun story with a little educational content. An introduction and brief appendix make clear that while much is known about the Indus Valley civilization, much also remains tantalizingly undeciphered. In Defense of the Realm has all the drama and excitement of a Bollywood action film in graphic-novel form.—Paula Willey, Baltimore County Public Library, Towson, MD
From the Publisher
"The smartly paced story takes an occasional breather so that the travelers have a chance to check out their magnificent surroundings, including the gigantic public baths in Mohenjo Daro and a royal funeral in Harappa. Chandrayaan explains some of the region’s impressive administrative accomplishments to his princely student, injecting this fun story with a little educational content...In Defense of the Realm has all the drama and excitement of a Bollywood action film in graphic-novel form."

–Paula Willey, Baltimore County Public Library, Towson, MD

"I highly recommend Campfire’s comics. They do what they are intended to do and do it in  a way that excites kids about classic literature."

— Chris Wilson, The Graphic Classroom (a resource for teachers and librarians)

School Library Journal
Gr 4–8—The Akkadians of Central Iraq, hungry for new lands to conquer, have set sail for the great cities of Sind, in what is now southern Pakistan. Prince Meluha and his teacher Chandrayaan are out hunting when the invaders launch their assault upon Meluha's city, and so it becomes the prince's responsibility to rally the other Indus Valley cities to stand together against them. There's a treasonous minister, a poison ring, a beautiful princess, ambush, and even a dance number, all drawn in a heroic comic realist style, using glowing, brilliant colors-golds, olives, rich purples. Exotically costumed royals and courtiers are distinguished visually by their headgear, hairstyles, jewelry, and facial hair as well as their features and build, giving readers a fighting chance at keeping all the Rajas straight. The smartly paced story takes an occasional breather so that the travelers have a chance to check out their magnificent surroundings, including the gigantic public baths in Mohenjo Daro and a royal funeral in Harappa. Chandrayaan explains some of the region's impressive administrative accomplishments to his princely student, injecting this fun story with a little educational content. An introduction and brief appendix make clear that while much is known about the Indus Valley civilization, much also remains tantalizingly undeciphered. In Defense of the Realm has all the drama and excitement of a Bollywood action film in graphic-novel form.—Paula Willey, Baltimore County Public Library, Towson, MD
Kirkus Reviews

An info-comic wrapped in a sketchy, overloaded plotline, this historical tale chronicles a fictional clash between the ancient Indus Valley kingdoms and an invading army of Akkadians.

Pausing for frequent but largely speculative infodumps about a civilization that remains almost entirely unknown, the author, an archeologist, sends the modern-sounding prince ("Oh! I so wish I was down there") of a besieged city and his pedantic mentor on a tour. They go to neighboring Mohenjo-Daro and then Harappa, both to gather an army of allies and to marvel at the "very efficient system of regulations," the public hot baths ("Another miracle of systematic construction") and civic organization ("I have heard it is divided into three parts—a citadel and two large population centers"). Sharma leaves plenty of skin exposed as the buff, shirtless prince battles a leering traitor and then, with help from a bangle-laden dancing girl (who happens to resemble the prince's lissome but warlike betrothed), contrives to ambush the Akkadian general. Still, readers are unlikely to care much about the characters, the setting or the clumsily expressed theme that "tact can win kingdoms without much loss of blood." A closing spread of information about the mysterious Indus Valley ancients veers off into a discussion of the Rosetta Stone.

Despite occasional action sequences and all the skin, readers will be yawning. (Graphic info-novel. 11-13)

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9789380028644
  • Publisher: Steerforth Press
  • Publication date: 6/14/2011
  • Series: Campfire Graphic Novels Series
  • Pages: 104
  • Sales rank: 1,008,826
  • Product dimensions: 6.30 (w) x 10.20 (h) x 0.30 (d)

Meet the Author

The author, an archaeologist and heritage consultant, was born in 1965 in Nagpur, India. He grew up in Mumbai (Bombay) but spent his formative years in the Philippines and then the USA. He later went to the Universities of Toronto and Texas. In 1992, he was offered the opportunity to excavate as part of the Archaeological Survey of India's excavation at the 5000-year-old Harappan Civilization city of Dholavira.
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