The grand finale of the IBIS trilogy - the year''s most anticipated novel. One of the masterpieces of twenty-first-century fiction'' - Literary review / It is 1839. The British, whose opium exports to China have been blockaded by Beijing, are planning an invasion to force China''s hand. Their demands - an island base on the Chinese coast from which to continue their trade and a princely sum in compensation for their losses.
In Calcutta, Zachary Reid, an impoverished young sailor, dreams of his lost love and of a way to make his fortunes. His chance comes when the wealthy opium merchant Mr. Burnham gives him a job of a lifetime even as his wife provides Zachary with other allures.
Heading towards Calcutta is Havildar Kesri with his captain, Neville Mee, to lead a regiment of Indian volunteers in the upcoming war. Alert, battle-hardened, Kesri must turn his ragged, ill-equipped band of men, who know nothing about either China or sailing, into an efficient machine if they are to emerge out of this doomed expedition.
In Mumbai, Shireen Modi waits anxiously for news of her opium trader