For the Joy of Reading: River of Ink


The first thing that has to be said is that I know next to nothing about Sri Lankan history, and the little that I do know is mainly derived from the reading of novels such as Gillian Slovo’s “Black Orchid”.   This ignorance, however, is no barrier to the enjoyment of this book.   Paul M. M. Cooper has produced a book that is, on so many levels, just beautiful.

The story begins with the invasion of Sri Lanka by Kalinga Magha and his armies in the 13th century (Common Era).   This makes him a contemporary of King John, and the events take place at the same time as the massacres of the Cathars by King Louis VIII of France.   I mention this so that the story can be placed in its historical context, and I admit that I had to resort to an online encyclopaedia to check…

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