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Flood of Fire by Amitav Ghosh

Flood of Fire (2015)

by Amitav Ghosh

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361946,947 (4.15)67
"The stunningly vibrant final novel in the bestselling Ibis Trilogy 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. Along the way, many characters from the Ibis Trilogy come aboard, including Zachary Reid, a young American speculator in opium futures, and Shireen, the widow of an opium merchant whose mysterious death in China has compelled her to seek out his lost son. The Hind docks in Hong Kong just as war breaks out and opium "pours into the market like monsoon flood." From Bombay to Calcutta, from naval engagements to the decks of a hospital ship, among embezzlement, profiteering, and espionage, Amitav Ghosh charts a breathless course through the culminating moment of the British opium trade and vexed colonial history. 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"--… (more)



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The third and final volume of this tale of India, the East India Company and the Opium Wars in China. At his best, the author is a master story teller, weaving slightly larger than life characters into the authentic background of actual events. But, at times, the need to paint in the background history gets slightly in the way of the story telling. ( )
  mbmackay | Apr 28, 2018 |
A great ending to the Ibis Trilogy. In my opinion, one of the best Indian novels, as well. ( )
  jklavanian | Jan 26, 2018 |
If you haven’t read the first two books in the Ibis trilogy you need to understand the history of the British trade in opium. In particular, you need to read it if you blame the Chinese for the Chinese opium problem. Although the battle scenes were too detailed for me, they are a very necessary part of the British conquest of Hong Kong. By created a detailed story involving Chinese, British and Indians, this important period of British, Indian and Chinese history comes alive. ( )
  brangwinn | Apr 16, 2017 |
Enthralling historical fiction. The politics and power of the first Opium War is set in context and examined through the lenses of the lives and passions of individuals across the nations and classes touched by the events. Ghosh brings his trilogy to a conclusion in a way that resolved a lot of the various plot lines, although I felt that it was at the expense of the characterisation, some of which seemed left hanging. This trilogy is not one where the three books stand alone in their own right and I was constantly frustrated by my lack of detailed recollection of the first two books, read some time ago. So if I go back and read the whole thing, I might well change some of my views. 25 September 2016 ( )
  alanca | Oct 5, 2016 |
This was my least favorite of the three although it is still very good. Overall, it felt unedited and a bit bloated in certain areas. The author's hand to get everyone from India to China felt heavy at times. But the characters are incredibly drawn and it's still very entertaining. I also finally really understand what the Opium Wars were about, so an added bonus! ( )
  ltfitch1 | Jun 5, 2016 |
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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.
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