Thursday, May 26, 2016

Flood of Fire by Amitav Ghosh

Image from Amazon UK

Amitav Ghosh's 19th century historical novel Flood of Fire is now an audiobook. I was delighted to have this wonderful tale along on a recent road trip. Want to learn about the history of the sepoys before the Indian mutiny, or how the opium trade enriched the British East India Company and foreign merchants as it was moved by the shipload between Calcutta and Canton? Unsure how Hong Kong came into British hands? Read or listen to the Ibis Trilogy, and learn.

The major unresolved dramatic questions from the previous two novels also come to a head in this third volume. Will Pauline and Zachary get together? As he dallies with his brutal employer's wife, this possibility appears remote.

Will Raja Neel finally be reunited with his young son? This too, seems unlikely, after the boy wheedles himself aboard the Ibis, Hong Kong bound, and ends up as a piper in a military regiment.

Ghosh's earlier volumes, Sea of Poppies and River of Smoke were impressive creations. This final volume is just as richly rewarding.

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