The Far Pavilions
by M.M. Kaye
Originally published in 1978, I owned a print copy for decades. Probably purchased in the late 1970’s via a Book Club I joined for a few years.
The book was always imposing. At 1,000 pages and almost half a million words it just sat on a shelf mocking me. So finally, forty years after publication and with the benefit of an e-reader (my smartphone) I have started.
Separated into eight ‘Books’, it is easier to handle. So here goes:
Book 1 The Twig is Bent
Set in India at the time of mutiny, circa 1850. This is the story of Ashton Pelham-Martyn, born to English parents in India and although raised in the local culture.
The prose immediately engulfs the reader in the environment. The descriptions are sparse but enough and the characters engaging. This first book is his story, being raised by a foster mother and working among the royalty. It ends with him a young man, about 17 years old.