River of Ink (Hardback)
  • River of Ink (Hardback)
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River of Ink (Hardback)

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£14.99
Hardback 304 Pages / Published: 28/01/2016
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All Asanka knows is poetry. From his humble village beginnings in the great island kingdom of Lanka, he has risen to the prestigious position of court poet and now delights in his life of ease: composing romantic verses for love-struck courtiers, enjoying the confidence of his king and covertly teaching Sarasi, a beautiful and beguiling palace maid, the secrets of his art. But when Kalinga Magha, a ruthless prince with a formidable army, arrives upon Lanka's shores, Asanka's world is changed beyond imagining. Violent, hubristic and unpredictable, Magha usurps the throne, laying waste to all who stand in his way. Under his terrifying rule, nothing in the city is left untouched and, like many of his fellow citizens, Asanka retreats into the shadows, hoping to pass unnoticed by the tyrant. But it seems his new master is a lover of poetry... To Asanka's horror, Magha tasks him with the translation of an epic Sanskrit poem, a tale of Gods and nobles, love and revenge, which the king believes will have a civilising effect on his subjects, soothing their discontent and snuffing out the fires of rebellion he suspects are igniting across the island. Asanka has always believed that poetry makes nothing happen, but as each new chapter he writes is disseminated through the land and lines on the page become cries in the street, his belief and his loyalties are challenged. And, as Magha circles ever closer to the things Asanka treasures most, the poet will discover that true power lies not at the point of a sword, but in the tip of a pen.

Publisher: Bloomsbury Publishing PLC
ISBN: 9781408862186
Number of pages: 304
Weight: 586 g
Dimensions: 234 x 153 mm


MEDIA REVIEWS
An extraordinary debut ... Paul M.M. Cooper is writer of real talent ... River of Ink is what historical fiction should be: immersive, illuminating and captivating * The Times *
Potent, beautiful and wholly absorbing, Cooper's portrait of a reluctant revolutionary had me in thrall from its first chapter. A wonderful, memorable debut * Madeline Miller, author of the Orange Prize-winning The Song of Achilles *
Cooper endows his work with persuasive historical accuracy and detail, but the "juice" of his own work is the intensely poetic quality of his prose ... There is enough astonishing quality in this first novel for us to hope that Cooper will soon produce another * Independent *
It isn't easy to write about the past with both a hesitant watchfulness and a calm assurance, to make it vivid and strange and yet also, in a fundamental way, ours, but that's exactly what Paul Cooper has achieved - with considerable aplomb - in River of Ink * Amit Chaudhuri, author of Odysseus Abroad *
Masterly ... A powerful and timely fable about freedom, resistance and the secret might of the weak * Financial Times *
A striking first novel from an author with a rare skill for deploying heavy research with a light touch, for revelling in the seductive possibilities of style without losing sight of narrative drive, and for making profound points while also delivering first-rate entertainment. Paul M.M Cooper's own pen is certainly a formidable weapon, and it will be exciting to see him wield it again in years to come * Asian Review *
In his first novel, Cooper vividly reconstructs a long-buried society and, creates in Asanka - a coward reluctantly forced into acts of courage - a likeable, multifaceted narrator * Sunday Times *
A highly accomplished debut: Cooper's writing glides from moments of grace and beauty to pure horror in this enthralling novel * Mahesh Rao, author of The Smoke is Rising *
River of Ink is an outstanding novel from a very talented debut author ... Cooper's name has the potential to become synonymous with historical literature ... He has done something which all good authors must do: he has written a novel that transcends the page and continues to exist in mind of the reader * New Welsh Review *

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“A Love Letter from the Past!”

‘River of Ink’ is without a doubt one of the cleverest books I have ever read. Not in a showy or flashy way, but through its simplicity which speaks volumes.

I was drawn into Asanka’s story straight away. Although... More

Hardback edition
1 similar book recommended
Helpful? Upvote 32

“Beautiful stories to be read”

I have read a number of books based in Ceylon, though this one is set much further back in history, to a simpler time. Simpler village life, yes, but a time of kings and conquerors and epic poetry.

The story... More

Hardback edition
Helpful? Upvote 7

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