Oct 16, 2015

Flood of Fire by Amitav Ghosh: Book Beginning

The Friday 56: *Grab a book, turn to page 56 or 56% in your eReader. Find any sentence, (or few, just don't spoil it) that grabs you. Post it. Add your (url) post in Linky at Freda's Voice.
Also, visit Book Beginning at Rose City Reader.

Am in the middle of reading this one and learning a lot, plus enjoying the rich cast of characters, the setting, and historical plot. 
Flood of Fire (Ibis Trilogy #3) by Amitav Ghosh, published August 4th, 2015 by Farrar, Straus and Giroux (U.S.edition)
Genre: historical novel, literary fiction
Source: library 

The third in the Ibis Trilogy by Amitav Ghosh. A richly detailed historical novel about the British in India and China during the time of the Opium War in the nineteenth century, told primarily from the point of view of Indians and Chinese. The first in the trilogy, Sea of Poppies, was short-listed for the Man Booker Prize. Ghosh was a finalist for the 2015 Man Booker International Prize. 

Book beginning: 
Havildar Kesri Singh was the kind of soldier who liked to take the lead, particularly on days like this one, when his battalion was marching through a territory that had already been subdued and the advance-guard's job was only to fly the paltan's colours and put on their best parade-faces for the benefit of the crowds that had gathered by the roadside.
 The villagers who lined the way were simple people and Kesri didn't need to look into their eyes to know that they were staring at him in wide-eyed wonder. East India Company sepoys were an unusual sight in this remote part of Assam: to have a full paltan of the Bengal Native Infantry's 25th Regiment - the famous 'Pacheesi' - marching through the rice-fields was probably as great a tamasha as most of them would witness in a year or even a decade. 
Page 56:  
While everyone 's attention was focused on Bhim, Kesri was busy ploughing the poppy fields. Try as he might, he could not stop thinking of his brother's forthcoming journey to Delhi, mounted on a horse, with his weapons slung behind him and a fine new turban on his head. 
Book description: It is 1839 and tension has been rapidly mounting between China and British India following the crackdown on opium smuggling by Beijing. With no resolution in sight, the colonial government declares war.

One of the vessels requisitioned for the attack, the Hind, travels eastwards from Bengal to China, sailing into the midst of the First Opium War. The turbulent voyage brings together a diverse group of travellers, each with their own agenda to pursue. Among them is Kesri Singh, a sepoy in the East India Company who leads a company of Indian sepoys; Zachary Reid, an impoverished young sailor searching for his lost love, and Shireen Modi, a determined widow en route to China to reclaim her opium-trader husband's wealth and reputation. 

Flood of Fire follows a varied cast of characters from India to China, through the outbreak of the First Opium War and China's devastating defeat, to Britain's seizure of Hong Kong. (publisher)

 What book are you showcasing this Friday? 


  1. Sounds like I'll have to read this some day!

    Check out my Friday 56 (With Book Beginnings).

  2. This sounds like interesting historical fiction. I like that the viewpoint characters aren't from my culture. This week I am spotlighting Binding the Shadows by Jenn Bennett. Happy reading!

  3. Fascinating story! I don't read much historical fiction anymore, but this one looks like it would be worth it. Thanks for sharing, and here's mine: “WHO DO YOU LOVE?”

  4. I like the sound of this book - interesting time period
    Here's My Book Beginning & Friday 56

  5. This sounds like fascinating historical fiction. I like the description in the opening and can imagine the villagers' awe. I know almost nothing about the Opium Wars, and it would be fun to learn more by way of this book. I think my husband would enjoy it too.
    My Friday post features The Beach Walkers.

    1. You might start with the first in the series, Sandra - Sea of Poppies.

  6. I don't see a 56... lol... I must be blind.

    1. Forgot to put iti n! Remedying that right now, Freda!

  7. A sailor searching for his young love...Isn't that romantic?


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