A Singular Hostage (Paperback)
Bantam, 9780553381764, 368pp.
Publication Date: November 26, 2002
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.
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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."