River of Ink

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Cooper’s River of Ink is an exquisite offering whose words sing in the blood. This is a tale of ancient Sri Lanka, a tale of conquest, change and forbidden love.

It is the story of Asanka, royal poet to King Parakrama. When an invading army takes over the kingdom, Asanka is commissioned by the new ruler, Kalinga Magha, to translate the epic poem of Shishupal from the Sanskrit into the local Tamil language, so that it might be available to all. In an act of rebellion towards a capricious ruler, Asanka slips allusions into his crafting, hinting at Magha being like Shishupal, another ruthless ruler.

Now, ancient Sri Lanka is not my usual forte for historical fiction, but Cooper does seem to have done an admirable amount of research. The characters are well drawn out. I will admit, there were times when Asanka got on my nerves with his timidity. However, he is a poet, a writer, not a warrior; the type of person whose gentle and empathic nature would be singularly affected by brutality and violence.

River of Ink is Cooper’s debut novel, a marvelous offering from a brilliant young author. I look forward to future works from him.

Author Paul Cooper
Star Count /5
Format Hard
Page Count 304 pages
Publisher Bloomsbury USA
Publish Date January 26th 2016
ISBN 9781632860705
Bookshop.org Buy this Book
Issue April 2016
Category Historical Fiction


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