One of the first Indian-origin authors that I read as I started branching out, was Amitav Ghosh. I liked his style of narration and the pace of the stories. The characters were usually an additional advantage. When I saw this book available for request on NetGalley I had to jump up and request it.
When I started reading the book, initially, I did not realize that the story had begun. It felt more like the author was talking about his own life. When there seemed to be some discrepancy about the narrator’s background with that of the author’s I realized my mistake. The story is of a ‘Deen’ who works with antique books. He is in India for a yearly holiday and that holiday is coming to an end. He runs into a relative who in turn asks him to visit an older lady with a tale to tell. This story sets him off on an adventure that will span a few years and a lot more countries. At the heart of this story are the emotional status of refugees and the concept of borders. The rest of it is a historical tale with a bit of magic and suspension of normal rationality. This would where Tipu comes in. He is a kid who seems to know too much for his own good.
Dinanth and all the people he encounters help him make his way through the labyrinth of information provided to him. Some of the means that this information gets to him involves visions and help from probably other-worldly sources. The only thing that was off was Piya and their whole interaction seemed rushed, to say the least. The most energetic and informed was Cinta, a Venetian who provides much of the data that the story actually needs to proceed and continues to act as a catalyst at every stage. It reminded me of another of his series’ that I started but never finished. This is like a treasure map without an actual treasure at the end of it, but the journey to the end being the point.
I would recommend this book to those people who like adventures that bring back a story from centuries ago and the retracing involves a lot of research.
I received an ARC thanks to NetGalley and the publishers but the review is completely based on my reading experience.