After reading Sea of Poppies, I have picked up the second book in the trilogy, River of Smoke.
I will be reviewing the book by the end of this week so I thought to keep a track of the story line
The introducing character Deeti has escaped from her husband’s death fire with Kalua. She has joined the group of people going to Mauritius and becomes a loved figure; bhauji (sister-in-law in Bhojpuri) of the jahaj bhais (ship mates).
Zachary Reid is trying his best to keep up with the ship crew as the second mate. His secret, of being a black has been disclosed. Paulette Lambert asks him to include her in the crew so that she can escape to Mauritius but he declines. She disguises herself as an Indian women, with Bengali accent, saree, full hand mehendi and aalta in her feet.
She is helped by Baboo Nob Kissin who also has done every effort to get into the ship as super cargo. He remembers the words of Taramony (his spiritual Guru) and is determined to find his God and build a temple. He finds his God in Zachary and keeps on chasing him to find blue skin and a flute as Krishna had. After meeting Zachary, he feels himself becoming one with Taramony and gets the feminine attire and grace. In these emotions, he conceives the notion of being a parent to Neel Ratan Halder of Raskhali.
Neel Rattan Halder has been arrested over a case of forgery and is ready to be taken to the black waters. His head has been tattooed and he is kept with a half Chinese half Indian man named Ah Fatt who is an opium addict. He gets seizure every now and then.
Neel starts manicuring him after which Ah Fatt gets into his senses and starts interacting. He is an illegitimate son of a Parsi Businessman and a Chinese boat woman.
All characters converge towards the end of the book, when all of them come on board Ibis. Deeti realises she is pregnant with Kalua’s child. An incident makes Kallu to kill an official on the ship. Ah Fatt, Serang Ali (a helper on board) , Jodu (son of Paulette’s caretaker) plan and escape on a boat and Kalua joins them.
There is a convergence of all tales told in Sea of poppies. River of smoke starts with that convergence and then diverges to unfold the stories of new characters, some new stories and two new ships, Redruth and Anahita.
It will surely be an interesting read.