By Thalassa Ali
In a land of unique beauty, a tender Englishwoman reveals herself mother or father of an orphan baby believed through a loss of life maharajah to be endowed with magical presents. it's a position that would take her on a dangerous trip right into a kingdom’s walled urban to guard a toddler she doesn’t understand from a tradition she doesn’t understand...
The 12 months is 1838. Mariana Givens, a lively younger girl of twenty, has been despatched to India to discover an appropriate husband. touring as a translator, she joins the entourage of Lord Auckland, the British Governor-General, as he trips throughout India with a military 10000 robust to satisfy the fabled Ranjit Singh, Maharajah of the Punjab.
Eager younger officials compete for Mariana’s want, however it is with India that she falls in love: the luggage elephants tramping via kingdom mammoth and wild; the odor of unique meals at distant campsites; the enigmatic educate who's her consultant to local languages and methods. Lord Auckland needs to forge an alliance with Ranjit Singh that may carry Afghanistan into British keep watch over, yet as he negotiates his an important treaty, Mariana is drawn right into a perilous conspiracy surrounding the one-eyed Maharajah’s child hostage—a baby of mystical reputation named Saboor.
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Extra resources for A Singular Hostage
The East. Until that moment, for all Aunt Rachel's advice, Mariana had never pictured herself actually sailing to India to marry someone there, perhaps never to return. But now that it was to happen, India beckoned her. There she would start her life anew, her slate wiped clean, free of the troubles of her past, and of the restrictions of English village life. During the following six months, while they awaited Aunt Claire and Uncle Adrian's response to her father's letter, Mariana, already missing her family, showered sudden kisses on Mama, Charlotte, and little Freddie.
She glanced at the silent child. It could not be possible. Saboor Baba, after all, was only one and a half years old. As a watery light filtered into her tent, Mariana Givens awoke with a start. Overhead, rain whispered against canvas. She sat up and pushed her hair from her face. Why had she awakened so suddenly? Had an unusual sound, a voice, come from outside? As she reached for her boots, a familiar scuffiing at her doorway signaled the arrival of Dittoo with her coffee. She dropped the boots, fiung herself down impatiently, and dragged the covers to her chin.
A string of camels blocked Mariana's way, padding along the avenue, their brass ankle bells chinking. She tapped a fretful foot, eager to get across the avenue and inside the guarded entrance before she was seen again. Since her arrival from England, India, not marriage, had absorbed Mariana's attention. Now that her year was nearly over, she must find a husband. Lest she forget, letters warning of approaching doom arrived every third day in the mail pouch from her aunt Claire in Calcutta. Mariana was only too aware of the progress of the other potential brides who had arrived last winter with her.
A Singular Hostage by Thalassa Ali