Book Cover

When Colonel Firebrand, a freedom fighter in the People’s Resistance Committee Guerrilla Army of a fictionalized future India, hears the voice of a scarecrow while out for a cigarette, he thinks he’s being pranked by one of his soldiers. But the voice is no trick—it’s the ghost of General Konstantin Rokossovsky, a long-dead Soviet officer, come to warn Firebrand of an impending shift in the war the PRC is engaged in. Firebrand and the PRC are fighting on behalf of the Sands region, which declared itself an independent nation following an aggressive land acquisition attempt by the republic and its president, Nida Dodi. Dodi, a “far-right religious-party leader,” needs Sands’ resources to maintain power, and the republic’s attempts to take over the land lead to a full-blown civil war. But the pace of the war has changed as of late: An attempt by one of Dodi’s allies to detonate a neutron bomb in Calcutta is foiled by PRC forces, and soon Firebrand and his allies find themselves visited, quite strangely, by all manner of historical ghosts and prophetic animals, who warn of an impending attack by the republic. The clairvoyant creatures carry instructions to ensure Sands’ survival in the coming escalation, and in the course of heeding their advice, Firebrand is brought face to face with the family he thought he’d lost. Bhattacharya’s debut leaps wildly among perspectives and introduces a staggering array of secondary characters, many of whom play no significant part in the action; the novel also leans heavily on extended sections detailing military activity at the expense of developing characters.

Original Source Link

Related Articles

Back to top button