The Sri Lankan throne is usurped by a cruel, mainland prince who commissions court poet, Asanka, to translate an epic Indian poem. Fearing for his slave-girl lover, Asanka tries to be loyal, but inadvertently inspires insurgence in a population that the poem was designed to win round.
An unputdownable novel about love, brutality, survival and the power of words.
“Vivid and compelling” (The Mail on Sunday).
Paul Cooper “…transports us to 13th-century Sri Lanka in this stunning debut.
The cowardly Asanka spends his days writing love poetry and his nights with Sarasi, a beautiful maid, before the ruthless conquering of his homeland by the benign prince Kalinga Magha.
Magha instructs Asanka to translate an ancient epic from Sanskrit to Tamil so that he can understand it. Asanka, spurred on by his mistress, slips in mistranslations, ones that subtly mock the tyrant – a small rebellion that carries the unlikely poet-revolutionary into great danger.” (The Times)
The Times chose the novel as one of their Books of the Year 2016.
“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, Orange-prize winning author of The Song of Achilles.)
Published by Bloomsbury UK and USA in January 2016
Find River of Ink at Amazon.