As the old slave ship comes into port at the cocoa plant near Calcutta, the ship is being revamped, so that it may be able to avoid the disruptions in the cocoa distribution and the war with China trying to stop shipments.
The crew, strangers composed of sailors, coolies, convicts, people running from their past and demons make it quite the eclectic group of people.
The bankrupt raja who has been found guilty of forgery – his boss is the master of the ship
The french runaway – running from the family that has raised her when her own parents died
The widowed opium farmer – who was raped on her wedding night by her brother-in-law because her husband was unable to because of his addiction to opium, she eventually gave birth to a daughter.
Amongst all of the crew, there is one reason or another why they are all there – to start a new life in a new place. It gives you the sad circumstances of where these people are here and why they want a new life for themselves whether it be the caste system that is in effect, or acts that made them on the ship to begin with makes for an interesting and scary place to be.
I was engrossed into the whole of the novel with the richness of the land and place of characters, the historical setting of the late 1880’s in the midst of the Opium trade, how it was affecting the people who worked in the middle of it, as well as, the people who benefitted from it. The intracity of the language that is used ( it does take a bit to understand what is being said, and there is a dictionary in the back of the book) how authentic it is with all of the research incorporated make it a great book to read.
I have tried to see when the 2nd book would be published, and no luck so far. I really want to finish the trilogy.