Epic Entendre • River of Ink by Paul M.M. Cooper • Bloomsbury USA; New York. 304 pages. bloomsburyusa.com paulmmcooper.com. Available as hardcover, digital book, Audible, and MP3 CD.
History tells stories and those stories about change, upheaval, or oppression should be compelling, as should historical fiction. What often makes them compelling are the words used to embellish settings, define crises, embody characters. In Paul M. M. Cooper’s lush debut novel, River of Ink, words are the centerpiece, the place settings, and the utensils of a table fit for a king—and his ultimate destruction.
In 13th century Sri Lanka, Asanka balances life as lover to Sarasi (a servant girl he is teaching to read and write) and being a royal poet in the court of King Parakrama of Polonnaruwa. The story begins with the city falling into the hands of the cruel Magha of Kalinga who conquers the kingdom handily. Impalements and beheadings become commonplace. Citizens live in fear that they will be the next to die. [Read More]