Jul 9, 2013

A Woman of Angkor by John Burgess

Teaser Tuesdays  is hosted by MizB; choose sentences from your current read and identify author and title for readers.  First Chapter, First Paragraph is hosted by Bibliophile by the Sea.



I: The Brahmin
Brahmin priests chart the turnings of the cosmic engine. They counsel princes and craft judgments of holy law. But concerning simpler things, such as getting where they want to go? They often need some help.
Perhaps that is why I felt no apprehension when I first caught sight of the priest that rainy season afternoon. All I saw was a man who looked to be lost, and my sympathy went to him. With two soldier-guards, he had arrived on foot at the tiny settlement in the Capital's eastern reaches that was home to my family at the time. Then he began a search for someone or something that wasn't being found.

A Woman of Angkor by John Burgess
Published 2013  by River Books Press
Genre: historical fiction

Goodreads description:
"12th Century Cambodia, birthplace of the lost Angkor civilisation.
In a village behind a towering stone temple lives a young woman named Sray, whom neighbors liken to the heroine of a Hindu epic. Hiding a dangerous secret, she is content with quiet obscurity, but one rainy afternoon is called to a life in the royal court. Her faith and loyalties are tested by attentions from the great king Suryavarman II. She struggles to keep her devotion to her husband Nol, s palace confidante and master of the silk parasols, symbols of the monarch's rank.

This novel revives the rites and rhythms of the culture that built the temples of Angkor, then abandoned them to the jungle. Sray witnesses the construction of the largest temple, Angkor Wat, and offers an explanation for its greatest mystery - why it broke with centuries of tradition to face west instead of east."

Based on the opening chapter, would you keep reading?

17 comments:

  1. That cover and the intro are good...I would love to pick it up..

    Here is my post

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    1. Sounds atmospheric. I enjoy historical fiction too.

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    2. Not sure about this one -- I'd read more though -- enjoy

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  2. I would totally keep reading this one. Sounds intriguing and wise...

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  3. Ooh, what an interesting sounding book.

    http://carabosseslibrary.blogspot.com/2013/07/teaser-tuesdays_9.html

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  4. When I first read the opening, it sounded like sci fi to me, and then I read the blurb you provided, and it made sense.

    Based on the context, I liked the opening more knowing what the book was going to be about.

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    1. An historical novel without any magical elements, I think.

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  5. Honestly, I'm not sure that I would, and I don't know why. It could just be the mood I'm in today with my mind completely drained by work!

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    1. This is very specific to Southeast Asia and Angkor Wat and to the 12th Century. Definitely not for everyone unless you are interested in the area.

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  6. I'd read this, to learn more about this lost civilization as well as the more personal story.

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    1. I think the author tried to stick to historical facts as much as he could overall.

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  7. Great start. This looks to be a very interesting book. I wish that I knew more about the Angkor civilization. Just the fact that this novel takes place there is intriguing.

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I love getting comments and your thoughts...