||The long-awaited finale of Amitav Ghosh's stunning Ibis Trilogy will be published this May and we are delighted to welcome the man himself to Bath on publication day to introduce "Flood of Fire" - the final chapter in this epic exploration of 19th Century Asia and the opium trade.
The saga began with Sea of Poppies - which sets the scene aboard the vast Ibis, a ship on a tumultuous voyage across the Indian Ocean, destined to fight in China's vicious Opium Wars. On board are a motley crew of sailors, stowaways, coolies and convicts, thrown together by a period of Colonial upheaval who soon come to regard one another as unlikely "ship brothers". "Sea of Poppies" was shortlisted for the Man Booker Prize in 2008, and won itself a firm place on Mr B's favourites list too. Whilst "Sea of Poppies" travels along the Ganges and to Calcutta, where the poppies are grown and the opium processed, its sequel "River of Smoke" (which was nominated for the Man Asian Literary Prize) takes the story to Canton in China where the opium is sold and we delve deeper into the individual histories of the diverse range of characters aboard the boat. "Flood of Fire" is the exciting climax of the Ibis' voyage, written in Amitav's mesmerising style. As the mounting tension between China and British India comes to a head, the ship-brothers find themselves in the midst of the First Opium War.