A Singular Hostage by Thalassa Ali

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In a land of exotic splendor, a young Englishwoman finds herself guardian of an orphan child believed by a dying maharajah to be endowed with magical gifts. It is a role that will take her on a perilous journey into a kingdom’s walled city to protect a child she doesn’t know from a culture she doesn’t understand...

A Singular Hostage

The year is 1838. Mariana Givens, a spirited young woman of twenty, has been sent to India to find a suitable husband. Traveling as a translator, she joins the entourage of Lord Auckland, the British Governor-General, as he journeys across India with an army ten thousand strong to meet the fabled Ranjit Singh, Maharajah of the Punjab.

Eager young officers compete for Mariana’s favor, but it is with India that she falls in love: the baggage elephants tramping through country vast and wild; the scent of exotic foods at remote campsites; the enigmatic tutor who is her guide to native languages and ways. Lord Auckland must forge an alliance with Ranjit Singh that will deliver Afghanistan into British control, but as he negotiates his crucial treaty, Mariana is drawn into a perilous conspiracy surrounding the one-eyed Maharajah’s baby hostage--a child of mystical repute named Saboor.

From the Trade Paperback edition.

About Thalassa Ali

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Thalassa Ali was born in Massachusetts. Raised as an Episcopalian, she fell in love with mystical Islam while studying Sufi poetry at Harvard University.After finishing college, she married a Pakistani, and lived in Karachi until his sudden death. Ten years after her return to the US, she embraced Islam at the hands of a Sufi Shaikh.Although she now lives in Boston, Massachusetts, she has never lost her deep connection to Pakistan.
Published December 10, 2008 by Bantam. 370 pages
Genres: History, Literature & Fiction. Fiction

Unrated Critic Reviews for A Singular Hostage

Publishers Weekly

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After Saboor's mother is poisoned, Mariana is readily enlisted to return Saboor to his father, Hassan Sahib.

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Large Print Reviews

Mariana Givens was sent to India with the expressed purpose of 'getting' a husband.

Mar 26 2003 | Read Full Review of A Singular Hostage

India Today

She is entrusted with the great task of rescuing the baby Saboor who is being held hostage by Maharajah Ranjit Singh and ultimately with raising the baby.

Oct 28 2002 | Read Full Review of A Singular Hostage

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