Flood of Fire by Amitav Ghosh
- 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 travelers, 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.
- Flood of Fire is a thrillingly realized and richly populated novel, imbued with a wealth of historical detail, suffused with the magic of the place, and plotted with verve. It is a beautiful novel in its own right, and a compelling conclusion to an epic and sweeping story - it is nothing short of a masterpiece
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