Here we have a remarkable tale of a superman, his super elephant, and even a super snake—the hamadryad or famed elephant-killer snake, known to pursue and drag them down before swallowing them whole.
There\'s a girl, too, but she doesn\'t quite make it into the super category, frequently needing to be rescued.
The goddess Kali is introduced as if the British know nothing about her, despite Calcutta being named after her, and the notorious Thugs being her devotees. Strange.
All in all a remarkable willingness to suspend disbelief is required to enjoy this tale. The author is particularly unrealistic in describing romance, though his magical elephants run a close second.
The writing in the opening of this historical novel is so ornate that I almost put it down. Overall, in fact, it takes a bit of effort but proves worth it.
Besides fulsome descriptions and involved dialog, the author apparently assumed his readers would be educated folk, so if you've a friend who knows Gaelic, Lowland dialect, French and a bit of Latin, put him/her on speed dial.
Otherwise simply guess your way through as I did.
It's a pleasant tale with references to incidents and politics of the uprising of 1745, covering some of the same events as Stevenson's Kidnapped and Catriona.
[I leave all ratings at 3]
A goodly bit of droll writing but the reader need not fear being too often disturbed by involuntary episodes of riotous chortling.
Some good essays, some weak, a few excellent as I see it.
Quite a good boy's tale of conflict between two worthy houses, taking place during a time little-favored by history novelists. Strikes me as more realistic than the average of its type.
Worth bringing to the attention of younger teens though possibly insufficiently sophisticated for older one.