Amitav Ghosh recently published "River of Smoke," the second book in a planned trilogy. In the first novel, "Sea of Poppies," Ghosh transported readers back to 18th Century India. He introduced a number of characters who we meet again in the second book.
India was a British colony then and fortunes were being made via the opium trade. British, American, and Indian merchants were shipping massive quantities of opium from India into China. In "Field of Smoke" we travel along on one of these ships to the Chinese port of Canton where we experience the drama that unfolds when the Chinese government takes steps to curtail the opium trade.
Ghosh has imagined colorful landscapes and compelling characters. The language he uses is exotic. The impact of his prose is intoxicating.