Flood of Fire

Flood of Fire

Book - 2015
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It is 1839 and tension has been rapidly mounting between China and British India following the crackdown on opium smuggling by Beijing. With no resolution in sight, the colonial government declares war. One of the vessels requisitioned for the attack, the Hind, travels eastwards from Bengal to China, sailing into the midst of the First Opium War. The turbulent voyage brings together a diverse group of travellers, each with their own agenda to pursue. Among them is Kesri Singh, a sepoy in the East India Company who leads a company of Indian sepoys; Zachary Reid, an impoverished young sailor searching for his lost love, and Shireen Modi, a determined widow en route to China to reclaim her opium-trader husband's wealth and reputation. Flood of Fire follows a varied cast of characters from India to China, through the outbreak of the First Opium War and China's devastating defeat, to Britain's seizure of Hong Kong. Flood of Fire is a thrillingly realised and richly populated novel, imbued with a wealth of historical detail, suffused with the magic of place and plotted with verve. It is a beautiful novel in its own right, and a compelling conclusion to an epic and sweeping story - it is nothing short of a masterpiece.
Publisher: Toronto : Viking, c2015.
ISBN: 9780670066667
Branch Call Number: FICTION GHO
Characteristics: 614 p. : maps ; 24 cm.

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brangwinn
Apr 16, 2017

If you haven’t read the first two books in the Ibis trilogy you need to understand the history of the British trade in opium. In particular, you need to read it if you blame the Chinese for the Chinese opium problem. Although the battle scenes were too detailed for me, they are a very necessary part of the British conquest of Hong Kong. By created a detailed story involving Chinese, British and Indians, this important period of British, Indian and Chinese history comes alive.

k
KneadRead
Jun 24, 2016

There are few characters to admire in this book and lots of turmoil and strange words. I liked Shireen and was happy she broke out of her cage that Indian society imposed on her. I thought I liked Zachary but he was a bully in the end. I wanted the best for Raju but maybe that's because I didn't remember what happened to him in Book 1.
A challenging trilogy but sure made me read up on the First Opium War!

j
jr3083
Dec 30, 2015

You really do need to have read the other two books if you're tackling this one. There's much detail about the military execution of the First Opium War. If you've read all three, you're left with an overwhelming respect for the research and detail in this series.

s
singasong70
Oct 29, 2015

A book about opium is bound to be read let alone a series! No heroes in these stories which I naively expected with the first book. Everybody has feet of clay, however, and either succumbs to adultery, murder, opium (selling, smoking), etc. In other words, nothing new r/t to drug trade, what has been will always be. Still, I enjoyed the series in that I learned, finally, what the opium wars were really all about.

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Harriet_the_Spy Dec 16, 2016

Harriet_the_Spy thinks this title is suitable for 14 years and over

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