A wealthy rajah chooses Raka to be his newest bride. Though she does not wish to go, her father arranges the marriage and sends his daughter off to the rajah’s palatial estate. Despite numerous escape attempts, she remains imprisoned within his walls. Lalit, a young man who works for the rajah, asks Raka why she tries to escape and she tells him it is because she is not a virgin, and she knows the rajah will have her killed when he discovers this.
While Raka waits for her imminent death, she tells Lalit the story of a thief named Farhad, who is chosen by the god Krishna to save his daughter from the clutches of a demon king. Farhad, with the help of his magical white tiger, travels across the desert and slowly evolves from a self-serving thief into a compassionate and brave hero. As the end of Farhad’s story approaches, so does the end of Raka’s–until the transcendent power of her magical tale takes over.
This masterfully-written novel, translated beautifully from German by Anthea Bell, utterly captivated me. I felt transported to India, spellbound by the story, sometimes surprised to return to reality when I looked away from the pages. Readers who enjoy sweeping fantasy or fairy tale-inspired novels will love this book.
–Amanda Coppedge Bosky