The Thugs & a Courtesan
Title: The Thugs & a Courtesan
Author: Mukta Singh-Zocchi
Publisher: Srishti Publishers Distributors
Number of Pages: 190
Price [INR] : 198
Meander through 1819 India with Firangia as he covers villages, jungles and small towns while on a journey of romance, devotion, crime and deception. But there is someone always watching over. This is pre-railways India, when merchants travel in caravans, noblemen with escorts and no road is secure.
On his way home after a trade expedition, Firangia’s path is crossed by the beautiful Chanda Bai, traveling with a small party of guards. Though a warrior, she wishes to travel under his protection. Should he decline?
Read about grandiose ambitions pitted against petty schemes, love and deceit and what in our modern times is termed evil. You will find in this intellectually ambitious, meticulously researched, action-packed historical fiction a broader, age-independent significance.
The Thugs & a Courtesan is a story which is set in the 18th century during the British rule in India. It charts the journey of a young man Firangia who along with a band of fellow traders and thugs travel across villages and jungles. It also traces his journey from the untruth to truth, from the darkness to light and from death to immorality.
What I liked about this book.
- A novel story and a unique plot giving a peek into the life and culture during the 18th century India under the British rule.
- The meticulous research done by the author takes the reader in you into a time travel along with a few lessons in history of the period then.
- Sub plots in the story are short and some of them make for a very interesting read.
What didnt work for me with this book…
- The language. It is prolix and wordy and too artificial (know what I mean!) And that was a big dampener.
- Poorly etched out characters and they are quite a lot, leave the reader a bit puzzled, even the lead character fails to grab attention.
- Many sub plots were not linked to the main story and were left hanging like extra threads at the end of the book.
The Thugs & a Courtesan could have been a promising read but it missed the bus, somehow.
Rating : [usr 2 text=”false” size=20]
June 27, 2014 8:04 pm|
I love the theme, but it maybe difficult to write convincingly, especially if one wants to weave many complex subplots. I want to read more historical fiction along with literary fiction nowadays 🙂
July 2, 2014 4:47 pm|
Try it out, Rajesh. You may like it!
June 27, 2014 8:59 pm|
Sounds like this book was kind of a disappointment. Thank you for a brilliantly written review and the heads up on this book!
July 2, 2014 4:48 pm|
Yeah, left me sort of disenchanted! 😐
June 27, 2014 9:18 pm|
The two reviews that I have read this far have not been encouraging. Nice review though, Shilpa!
July 2, 2014 4:49 pm|
It could have been a good book if the language was not all that forced and artificial! Thks Rachna!
June 28, 2014 6:46 am|
Shilpa,you have specialised in reviewing books.I admire your expertise and patience in reading so many books. Simply wonderful !!
July 2, 2014 4:49 pm|
Thank you Ma’am. You are too generous!
June 28, 2014 8:26 am|
How disappointing. I was hoping, from the title, that it would have been more interesting. I guess people think to write a “great book” (whatever that means), they have to use an ‘intellectual’ style of language, and that’s not necessarily the case.
July 2, 2014 4:51 pm|
You are spot on, LuAnn! This ‘intellectual’ style of language actually didn’t work for me in this book!
June 28, 2014 10:45 am|
The first part of your review was slowly making me interested in the book, but the part where you mention about your dislikes made me rethink 🙂 I am not such a fan of “artificial” language either, so better to let this one go too 🙂 But Shilpa, you are quite a master-reviewer now! Way to go!
July 2, 2014 5:43 pm|
As I said earlier, it surely is a novel plot and could have been a great read, somehow, it didnt work for me! 🙁 You are too generous, Beloo, I think I have a long way to go 🙂
June 29, 2014 10:31 am|
Thanks for the nice review. And, thanks also for the warning.
July 2, 2014 5:44 pm|
June 29, 2014 4:17 pm|
I will give this book a miss. But as always your reviews are well written. Wow you are on a reading spree.
July 2, 2014 5:44 pm|
Yes, been reading a lot! 🙂
June 29, 2014 8:08 pm|
I like historic novels.. but I think I will pass this one on.. because I’m not a huge fan of wordy novels and hanging plots.
Thank you for the great review Shilpa.
July 2, 2014 5:48 pm|
Me too! 🙁
June 29, 2014 8:09 pm|
Thanks, Shilpa. It sounded like quite an interesting book until I read your opinion on it. 🙁 Maybe, I’ll pick it up anyway and give it a try.
July 2, 2014 5:49 pm|
Do check it out, Monica, hope it works for you 🙂
June 30, 2014 1:06 am|
Shilpa, I love your book reviews in general – very well written, honest and concrete – and I often agree with u as well:-) This one is unknown to me, and I think I will keep it that way. Love your way with words …. Since it missed the bus so will I:-) He he 🙂
July 2, 2014 5:50 pm|
Thank you Eli, for your kind words! 🙂
June 30, 2014 6:56 am|
I haven’t read the book but as a reviewer you have done your devoir quite well bringing out crisply the good and not so good points.
July 2, 2014 5:50 pm|
Thanks KP 🙂
June 30, 2014 9:31 pm|
Thank you shilpa for the review ..
seems to be a ok book
July 2, 2014 5:51 pm|
Thanks for reading this review, Bikram 🙂
July 1, 2014 9:05 am|
Read two reviews of this book so far and neither make me want to pick it up.. would love to know what the artificial language bit means though.. for that might browse through the book if I come across it
July 2, 2014 5:53 pm|
Do have a look at it, would love to know your feedback too 🙂
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