Book of the Week

Flood Of Fire by Amitav Ghosh. Photo: PA Photo/John Murray

Flood Of Fire by Amitav Ghosh. Photo: PA Photo/John Murray

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Flood Of Fire by Amitav Ghosh.

Flood Of Fire sweeps Amitav Ghosh majestically to the pinnacle of historical fiction writers and fittingly completes his Ibis Trilogy. Ghosh brings together the stories of three disparate characters and combines their fates with one of the defining times of the British Empire.

As the futures of three great countries - China, India and Great Britain - clashed in the events which led to the capture of Hong Kong by the latter, so Ghosh’s three main characters find themselves drawn into the line of fire. Thrown together on one of the vessels sailing in the attack which sets out from Bengal to China, their stories reflect one of history’s more turbulent times.

Ghosh has long set a standard for the kind of fine historical fiction-writing which paints perfect pictures of what life was like for ordinary people as the world changed around them at breakneck pace. With British India fighting the first Opium War with China, there is plenty for Ghosh to get his creative teeth into.

What sets him apart from other writers in this genre is his knowledge of the subject and his detailed descriptions and minute detail which speak of the time directly from the page. Ghosh has been richly praised for Sea Of Poppies, and Field Of Fire is a fitting conclusion to his epic trilogy.