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PRAISE FOR THE NOVELSOF THALASSA ALIA Beggar at the Gate“Beautifully written, this novel transports the reader back to the 19th century, British imperialism and the pull of two cultures in an ever-changing world.”—Lancashire Evening Post (UK)“Set to a backdrop of the Raj in the immediate run-up to the 1838 Afghan War, A Beggar at the Gate details in depth and with intelligent sensitivity the increasing desperation felt by an Englishwoman torn between two cultures. It is a story of love and understanding, of duty and honor, of spirituality and redemption, painted beautifully and vividly with deft soul strokes. The prose is as eloquent as the rounded characterizations, and when a novel can find contemporary relevance despite its historical content, it's marked as a work of some power.”—Big Issue (UK), (4 stars)“Thalassa Ali is uniquely positioned to take us through an honest account of life during the British Raj. From the spectacular Charak Puja to the sati rites at a maharajah's funeral pyre to the descriptions of living quarters and the fashions of the times, Ali creates a believable world with sights and sounds buried in the annals of time.”—Libas (Pakistan)“Ali tantalizes her readers from the first page…. The poisonous political atmosphere of the Punjab after the death of Maharaja Ranjit Singh is captured vividly in this book and Thalassa Ali's eye for fine detail and archaeological insight is unparalleled.”—Dawn (Pakistan)“Ali's portrayal of Islamic society is nuanced and sensitive.”—India Currents“Ali centers her story on Mariana, whose love for Saboor and Hassan tears her apart just as India is torn asunder by the British, Hindu and Muslim factions. The quick pace and rich detail, along with her insightful characters, will have readers eager for more. SWEET.”—Romantic Times Bookclub (4 stars)“A Beggar at the Gate is a pleasing offering Ali writes with moreconfidence and style…. It's a relief to find a novel that portrays the positive elements of Islam—the peace, love, charity and tolerance that are its true tenets, rather than the contentious image of Islam that has emerged in the media today.”—Hindustan Times (Delhi)“A Beggar at the Gate is a terrific insightful historical tale with a touch of romanticism that brings to life mid-eighteenth-century India. The story line moves rather quickly yet not only has full-blooded key characters, but also provides a deep window into two peoples at a point of major strife seemingly ready to turn deadly…. Readers will beg for more sequels, especially what happens to the fascinating Saboor as an adult.”—Midwest Book Review“The journey that Mariana embarks upon here is magical, mystical and almost sensual.”—Pakistan Link“This whole allegory is beautifully done, and one gets the feeling that Ali has hit her stride here. Her prose is simple and elegant… a pleasing offering.”—Bina Shah, Hindustan Times“Thalassa has done well to capture the spirit of the land, its customs, smells and sounds and the enchanting spiritual and mystic culture.”—Nation“A load of historical detail that lifts the story.”—Sunday Express, Indian Express“A Beggar at the Gate is such a blockbuster, literarily speaking Anepic with a splash of East-meets-West romance—albeit more historically accurate and sans heaving bosoms… Ali's propensity for historical detail is a pleasure.”—Herald (Pakistan)“An extra pleasure to read because much of the landscape still exists today… an enjoyable read.”—Books, Etc.“Expertly weaving historical fact with a rich, exotic setting, Thalassa Ali holds her readers captive in this intriguing novel.”—Paperback Shelf, Mid County Post“Full of beautiful historical and visual detail.”—Historical Novels ReviewA Singular Hostage“Lyrical and zippy…this richly populated novel is notable for… compelling mysticism … convincing historicity.”—Publishers Weekly“Colorful.”—Kirkus Reviews“Enlivened by captivating descriptions, Ali's seductive tale is a wonderful blend of adventure, court intrigue, historical fact, and Sufi mysticism, and it will appeal to fans of M. M. Kaye's The Far Pavilions.”—Booklist“Eminently readable.”—M. M. Kaye, author of The Far Pavilions“A sweeping pageant of life in the British Raj, and one woman's attempt to realize her destiny. Mystical and romantic in a way that recalls The Far Pavilions.”—Stephanie Barron“An excellent book, beautifully researched and charmingly written, which does justice to both English and Indian cultures. I was particularly impressed by the matter-of-fact mysticism and spirituality. Lovely.”—Barbara Hambly“A rare book indeed. It combines extraordinary characters, a riveting plot, a rich historical backdrop, Sufi mysticism, and the allure of an exotic oriental court, and is eminently readable…. The reader will be tempted to devour it in one reading…. Outstanding… Thalassa Ali has truly mastered the storyteller's art…. We breathlessly await the sequel.”—She magazine“[A] distinctive setting… [and an] intriguing first novel.”—Washington Post“This mesmerizing tale helps readers better understand a vitally important area of the world.”—School Library Journal
Other Books By This Author
About the Author
Table of ContentsCoverOther Books By This AuthorTitle PageDedicationAcknowledgmentsHistorical NotePrologueChapter 1Chapter 2Chapter 3Chapter 4Chapter 5Chapter 6Chapter 7Chapter 8Chapter 9Chapter 10Chapter 11Chapter 12Chapter 13Chapter 14Chapter 15Chapter 16Chapter 17Chapter 18Chapter 19Chapter 20Chapter 21Chapter 22Chapter 23Chapter 24Chapter 25Chapter 26Chapter 27Chapter 28Chapter 29Chapter 30Chapter 31Chapter 32Chapter 33Chapter 34Chapter 35Chapter 36Chapter 37Chapter 38Chapter 39EpilogueGlossaryAbout the AuthorCopyright