A Singular Hostage

A Singular Hostage Cover

A Singular Hostage

By Thalassa Ali

Bantam, Paperback, 9780553381764, 368pp.

Publication Date: November 26, 2002

In a land of exotic splendor, a young Englishwoman finds herself guardian of an orphan child believed by a dying maharajah to be endowed with magical gifts. It is a role that will take her on a perilous journey into a kingdom's walled city to protect a child she doesn t know from a culture she doesn t understand...
A Singular Hostage
The year is 1838. Mariana Givens, a spirited young woman of twenty, has been sent to India to find a suitable husband. Traveling as a translator, she joins the entourage of Lord Auckland, the British Governor-General, as he journeys across India with an army ten thousand strong to meet the fabled Ranjit Singh, Maharajah of the Punjab.
Eager young officers compete for Mariana's favor, but it is with India that she falls in love: the baggage elephants tramping through country vast and wild; the scent of exotic foods at remote campsites; the enigmatic tutor who is her guide to native languages and ways. Lord Auckland must forge an alliance with Ranjit Singh that will deliver Afghanistan into British control, but as he negotiates his crucial treaty, Mariana is drawn into a perilous conspiracy surrounding the one-eyed Maharajah's baby hostage--a child of mystical repute named Saboor.

About the Author
Thalassa Ali was born in Massachusetts. Raised as an Episcopalian, she fell in love with mystical Islam while studying Sufi poetry at Harvard University.

After finishing college, she married a Pakistani, and lived in Karachi until his sudden death. Ten years after her return to the US, she embraced Islam at the hands of a Sufi Shaikh.

Although she now lives in Boston, Massachusetts, she has never lost her deep connection to Pakistan.

Praise For A Singular Hostage

"Sometimes lyrical and zippy ... this richly populated novel is notable for an odd combination of strengths: a compelling mysticism, a convincing historicity and a flare for slapstick comedy sending up both the Indian and British patriarchies."
Publisher's Weekly