By Thalassa Ali
In a land of unique beauty, a tender Englishwoman reveals herself dad or mum of an orphan baby believed via a death maharajah to be endowed with magical presents. it's a function that may take her on a dangerous trip right into a kingdom’s walled urban to guard a baby she doesn’t recognize from a tradition she doesn’t understand...
The yr is 1838. Mariana Givens, a lively younger girl of twenty, has been despatched to India to discover an appropriate husband. touring as a translator, she joins the entourage of Lord Auckland, the British Governor-General, as he trips throughout India with a military 10000 powerful to fulfill the fabled Ranjit Singh, Maharajah of the Punjab.
Eager younger officials compete for Mariana’s prefer, however it is with India that she falls in love: the bags elephants tramping via kingdom sizeable and wild; the odor of unique meals at distant campsites; the enigmatic train who's her consultant to local languages and methods. Lord Auckland needs to forge an alliance with Ranjit Singh that may convey Afghanistan into British keep an eye on, yet as he negotiates his the most important treaty, Mariana is drawn right into a perilous conspiracy surrounding the one-eyed Maharajah’s child hostage—a baby of mystical reputation named Saboor.
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Additional info for A Singular Hostage
Before today, save for the old Maharajah with his constant demands, Saboor's sole companion had been his lonely young mother. Alone and friendless now, how would he survive? Reshma closed her eyes against her tears, but they seeped from beneath her lids and trickled down her cheeks. Why had she, who had never deliberately caused harm, consented to be the bearer of the poisoned cup? Was it her terror of the young Queen's rages? Had her own deprivation, her bondage, made her hard? “Forgive me, Saboor,” she whispered.
It had been the silence outside her tent. Where were the coolies who daily dismantled the red canvas boundary wall in her corner of the state residence compound? Where were the shouts of the men, the grunts of their pack animals? Her tent fioor was wet, the air damp and cool. She remembered the sound of rain pounding on the roof in the night. That was it, the rain! ” He swung back, beaming. “That is what I wanted to tell you, Memsahib. They do not know as yet. Everything depends upon the big elephant.
Hopping first on one foot and then the other, she fought her way into her boots, shrieking at the cold water that squirted up through the holes in the striped cotton rug under her feet. After fiinging off her nightdress and grappling with her stays, she buttoned herself into her favorite tartan gown, pushed a handful of brown curls inside her matching tartan bonnet, and tied its ribbons carelessly under her chin. She ignored the ewer and basin waiting on their stand. There was no time to wash her face: she had an elephant to visit.
A Singular Hostage by Thalassa Ali