This book is a marvelous piece by Anita Nair - definitely one of her best! Its a book that one wishes to finish in one sitting. Anita's words have a warm visual quality and at times sensual. And thus it takes one back in time, which feels like a seance. The tremendous amount of research she has done in every aspect(including Astronomy) makes the book a very realistic experience. A story, beautifully told of love, family, travel, trade, customs, relationships, set in historical, medieval Kerala, grips the reader's interest from the first chapter itself. Only Anita Nair could write a book like this! Now, I'm eagerly awaiting the next novel, which will be the second in this trilogy --Leela Kalyanaraman Feb 7, 2014
It is 1659. The place, Malabar. He is Idris, Idris Maymoon Samataar Guleed. Previously of Dikhil, Now an eternal traveller seeking the measure of earth and man , a man who is more at home among the heavenly bodies than the earth he walks. Idris is expected to prevent his son from following the Chavers who have traditionally sworn to kill the Zamorin. Idris and his son Kandavar, who he hadn t previously suspected existed, go on a voyage. Anita Nair makes the voyage is as real as it is metaphorical. They travel from place to place, his good eye as unwinking as his enamel one, even at night, when his only true companions are the stars of the night sky. He moves from relationship to relationship, searching, searching... Perhaps Kandavar learns more than he bargained for, merely being with Idris. Anita Nair paints an exotic yet fully believable picture of 17th century Malabar. Pearl diving at Thoothukkudi, trading at Serendip, diamond prospecting at Golconda... the story moves on, always keeping the reader interested. the amount of research the author has put in, not in recording imperial and noble lives, but in figuring out how the average man-on-the street must have lived, is truly impressive. We are left with a sense of completion with respect to Idris, who has muscled his way into the book and dominated it, but questions remain of Kandavar. How much has he changed? What are these strange premonitions he has had leading up to? does he still dream of assassinating the Zamorin? --Kalyanaraman Durgadas Feb 3, 2014
Love all of Anita Nair's books so far and was wondering how a historical novel would fare. Like all history books, thought this would be boring, but it had me glued from the word Idris! A very well researched book, that throws light on southern India in the later part of the 1600's. The bonus, it is weaved into a well written tale. If all history books were written like Idris, it would have made many of us want to take up history studies in college. The names of the characters: Idris, SalaPokar, Kandavar, Kuttimala, Musa the cat and Maccanto the Dog lend an exotic flavour to the proceedings. Only felt the ending rather abrupt, maybe theres a sequel to the novel: Kandavar the giver of light! --Louvina Andrade Aug 28, 2014
About the Author
Anita Nair is the best-selling author of five novels, The Better Man, Ladies CoupÃ©, Mistress, Lessons in Forgetting and Cut Like Wound. Mistress was long listed for the 2008 Orange Prize in the UK. Her books have been translated into thirty languages around the world. Anita lives in Bangalore with her husband and son.