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The King of the Mountain
Date: 28th January, 2022
Publisher: HARPERCOLLINS INDIA
Mahisautha. A kingdom nestled at the foot of the Himalayas, the land known today as Madhubani. King Somdev's boon of a son, Jaybhardan, bears the weight of expectations of valour and glory. The prince is prophecy incarnate: destined to be the hero of an epic, with poets singing of his magic, of warring cousins, battles of conquest, and pillage. But Jaybhardan turns away. He attends to a different calling. He believes in the unity of all beings, willing and able to dedicate his entire existence to an aspiration to enlightenment. He questions quiet assumptions-how are some people high, others low. As the gods look on in awe, he leads a motley band of rejected souls to create a new society, where each life and leaf is cherished. Heralding heaven at every threshold, he becomes Salhesh, the King of the Mountain. Passed down orally since the eighth century by the Dalit community of Dusadhs, the story of Raja Salhesh inverts every convention of the epic genre.