Manuscript help, book reviews and author interviews
In his books Sea of Poppies and River of Smoke,Amitav Ghosh weaves an interconnecting, intricate tale of three ships and their passengers. In September 1838, a storm blows up on the Indian Ocean and the Ibis, a ship carrying a consignment of convicts and indentured labourers from Calcutta to Mauritius, is caught up in the whirlwind. When the storm blows over, five people go missing.
In the second book of the Ibis trilogy, River of Smoke, Ghosh reintroduces us to Ibis and the survivors on reaching Mauritius. He also introduces the Anahita, with it’s consignment of opium, bound for China and the Redruth, traversing the seas in search of the mysterious botanical treasures of the far east.
Set in the 1800s in India, Mauritius and China, the books centre around the profitable opium trade and the emerging British Empire.
Ghosh’s research is impeccable as always and through the characters depicted, he presents the idiosyncrasies and the motivations behind the events of the 19th century, that wrote the fate of the three great empires.
Amitav Ghosh’s excellent prose makes these books truly classic. Watch out for Flood of Fire which is due to release in 2015.
The Ibis Trilogy
Sea of Poppies 528 pages; River of Smoke 560 pages