April 21, 2019
If I had to use a single word to describe Sea of Poppies, I would choose 'alive'. Amitav Ghosh explores a period in history that is not touched on too often in mainstream contemporary fiction and yet, you feel at home in the first five pages. He uses a myriad of characters to give us a visceral picture of India during the onset of the opium war while effectively fleshing them out, which is what, in my opinion, makes it the masterpiece that it truly is.
I would say that this is one of the best books I've read this year in terms of how far it pushes its characters. What a reader would consider unbelievable at the start of the story is flipped on its head by the end with seamless ease.
If I had one qualm with the book, I would say it's the note it ended on. Being the first in a series, it's understandable that there is no clear resolution, but the abrupt and underplayed wrap up, in my eyes, wasn't befitting of the rich and colourful journey that Sea of Poppies took me on. Nevertheless, I am definitely picking up River of Smoke, which is the second book in the series. I am too invested in the characters and the opium war to simply let it go!
Rating: ️️️.75 / ️️️️️ QOTD: What's your favourite thing about yourself?
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