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Flood of fire written by Amitav Ghosh

Jun 8, 2015 16:30 IST

Flood of fire: Amitav Ghosh

Booker Prize awardee Amitav Ghosh on 7 June 2015 released his new novel Flood of fire. With the novel, he has concluded the Ibis trilogy, his fictional recreation of the events leading up to the first opium war of 1839-42.

The Ibis trilogy is a work of historical fiction by Amitav Ghosh. It comprises Sea of Poppies (2008), River of Smoke (2011), and Flood of Fire (2015). The story is set in the first half of the 19th century. It deals with the trade of opium between India and China run by the East India Company and the trafficking of coolies to Mauritius.

It is 1839 and China has embargoed the trade of opium, yet too much is at stake in the lucrative business and the British Foreign Secretary has ordered the colonial government in India to assemble an expeditionary force for an attack to reinstate the trade. Among those consigned is Kesri Singh, a soldier in the army of the East India Company. He makes his way eastward on the Hind, a transport ship that will carry him from Bengal to Hong Kong.

With all the verve of the first two novels in the trilogy, Flood of Fire completes Ghosh's unprecedented reenvisioning of the nineteenth-century war on drugs. With remarkable historic vision and a vibrant cast of characters, Ghosh brings the Opium Wars to bear on the contemporary moment with the storytelling that has charmed readers around the world.

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