River of Ink All Asanka knows is poetry From his humble village beginnings in the great island kingdom of Lanka he has risen to the prestigious position of court poet and now delights in his life of ease composin

  • Title: River of Ink
  • Author: Paul M.M. Cooper
  • ISBN: 9781408862230
  • Page: 166
  • Format: ebook
  • All Asanka knows is poetry From his humble village beginnings in the great island kingdom of Lanka, he has risen to the prestigious position of court poet and now delights in his life of ease composing romantic verses for love struck courtiers, enjoying the confidence of his king and covertly teaching Sarasi, a beautiful and beguiling palace maid, the secrets of his art.All Asanka knows is poetry From his humble village beginnings in the great island kingdom of Lanka, he has risen to the prestigious position of court poet and now delights in his life of ease composing romantic verses for love struck courtiers, enjoying the confidence of his king and covertly teaching Sarasi, a beautiful and beguiling palace maid, the secrets of his art.But when Kalinga Magha, a ruthless prince with a formidable army, arrives upon Lanka s shores, Asanka s world is changed beyond imagining Violent, hubristic and unpredictable, Magha usurps the throne, laying waste to all who stand in his way Under his terrifying rule, nothing in the city is left untouched and, like many of his fellow citizens, Asanka retreats into the shadows, hoping to pass unnoticed by the tyrant But it seems his new master is a lover of poetryTo Asanka s horror, Magha tasks him with the translation of an epic Sanskrit poem, a tale of Gods and nobles, love and revenge, which the king believes will have a civilising effect on his subjects, soothing their discontent and snuffing out the fires of rebellion he suspects are igniting across the island.Asanka has always believed that poetry makes nothing happen, but as each new chapter he writes is disseminated through the land and lines on the page become cries in the street, his belief and his loyalties are challenged And, as Magha circles ever closer to the things Asanka treasures most, the poet will discover that true power lies not at the point of a sword, but in the tip of a pen.

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      Published :2018-06-09T16:32:15+00:00

    One thought on “River of Ink”

    1. River of Ink is a breathtakingly dazzling novel by Paul M M Cooper. Located in Sri Lanka in the 13th century, Cooper injects the country, people, climate, culture, flora and fauna with vibrantly alive lyrical prose and poetry, exquisite imagery and sumptuous allegories. The poet, Asanka, is a guilt-ridden timid personality, who is instructed by the cruel and despotic new ruler, Magha, to translate the ancient sanskrit epic, the Shushupala Vadua. Magha believes it will civilise his new subjects a [...]

    2. January is too early to start proclaiming anything the 'best book of the year,' right?Well, obviously I can't say for sure, but this very well might be.'River of Ink' is historical fiction with the feel of epic fantasy. It's an ABSOLUTE MUST for any fan of Guy Gavriel Kay. (It's a shame that this isn't going to show up on fantasy lists just because it doesn't feature the alternate-names overlay that Kay uses in his fiction.) But it's the exact same mix of history with a dash of the fantastic, an [...]

    3. In the blackness I was struggling through the briars of Lanka's dark forests. I swam in the depths of the lotus pool, and then it was a pool of ink, then a river, drenching my robes, filling my lungs, my eyes, with its haunting smell. If the life you knew - the life that you enjoyed and were comfortable in - was stolen from you, what would you do? Would you be one of the nameless who died? Would you fight? Would you be afraid? So afraid that you would do whatever it took to stay alive, even if i [...]

    4. The central metaphor of the title could just as well be in the plural, for flowing images appear throughout – of rivers, rivulets, of water, blood and sweat, as well as the ink with which the stories are written and which itself becomes part of the tale.The central strand of the narrative has all the elements one expects of an epic tale – an evil king from afar (Kerala), brutally invades a calm unprepared kingdom (in Sri Lanka), where his cruel actions make him widely hated. A poet, apparent [...]

    5. 3.5I would have probably enjoyed this more if I'd had the time and the will to read ituni lessons and other stuff (aka the AnY fandom going crazy over important stuff *-*) kind of swallowed me. I haven't really wanted to read after ACoLis book was simply a case of "it's not you, it's me".

    6. ‘River of Ink’ is without a doubt one of the cleverest books I have ever read. Not in a showy or flashy way, but through its simplicity which speaks volumes.I was drawn into Asanka’s story straight away. Although not a period of time, or a location that I am overly familiar with, Paul M. M. Cooper did a fantastic job at setting out the scene without info-dumping, and I felt very much at home there, feeling the heat on my skin, and the fear in the air. It was though our introduction to Asan [...]

    7. We first reviewed this book on our blog, where we also talk to the author about Sri Lanka, writing and research: tripfiction/novel-set-A lovely physical book is just such a great opener to a good story! Paul’s book has a striking cover, an era-appropriate stylus (which he carefully researched for the period, see below), flowing ink, turning turquoise. The complementary colour to turquoise is the colour of blood and were they to be placed adjacent to each other, they would harmoniously balance. [...]

    8. Writers and artists employ powerful tools that can shape how a society views itself, its past, and how it envisions its future. They are often the front line of resistance.River of Ink by Paul M. M. Cooper came to my attention when the author followed me on Twitter. I downloaded a sample of his book and enjoyed his writing and bought a copy of River of Ink. (Yes, I bought a book, this was not a free review galley!)The novel is fiction but the downfall of Sri Lanka under a destructive military ta [...]

    9. Actually 3.5 stars.Usually, Sri Lanka is not one of the countries I often visit in books. That is why this one is certainly among the most special books I read this year.What I found especially exciting was to learn a little about Sri Lanka’s history and medieval customs - which I had known next to nothing about - and about the „Shishupala Vadha" (the piece of literature Asanka has to translate). It is quite astonishing that Sanskrit allows to write whole lines, which are palindromes, and ot [...]

    10. I don't know if a quick review will serve to give justice to such a deep and meaningful story. From the first few words of the first chapter, I was immediately transported to a time and place that was unknown to me. And so I found myself fully immersed in this book, captivated by the softness of the narrator’s voice, the vivid telling of life in a Sri Langkan village, the recollection of the violent kingdoms that existed before us. This lovely book interspersed lyrical poetry with historical f [...]

    11. A beautifully written story of a poet in 13th. century Celyon, now Sri Lanka, who has been tasked with translating a poem from Sanskrit to Sinhala and Tamil by the ruler who has conquered their land.The ensuing consequnce of this act leads to murder, revolution and finally salvation.Paul M M Cooper has written a wonderful account of this termoil with great insight and I hope to read more from him in the future.I was given a digital copy of this novel by the publisher via Netgalley in return for [...]

    12. Gorgeous debut!!! I was instantly intrigued when I heard about this book especially when it was likened to Guy Gavriel Kay, one of my favourite authors. I knew I had to read it immediately and I was not disappointed. Simple and elegant , poetic prose, beautiful scenery , and a rich story. Paul MM Cooper definitely maintains his own style as well and he has written just the type of book I am always seeking to fall in love with. Will be looking out for what he may come up with next.

    13. Mynah birds are known for a lot of things, one of which is probably success: they’re an incredibly widespread group, turning up in Africa, the Americas, the Pacific, and obviously all across Southeast Asia. Another is sound. Specifically, the common hill mynah – Gracula religiosa, which is apparently the bird most often referred to by the term mynah, and of which the Sri Lankan hill mynah (fairly probably the mynah that appears in the first sentence of Paul Cooper’s debut novel River of In [...]

    14. Oh my God you guys this book! I was completely enchanted by the book, the history, the stories/legends, the customs it was all so rich and fascinating being an area of history and the world that I'm not very knowledgable in! I was transported to the time period, and I was so eager to learn as much as I could from the book. It was a historical novel, but it had a touch of fantasy to it, but then that might have been me! I also completely loved the way the book was written! The book is written fro [...]

    15. I don't have a clear notion of what made this book so enjoyable for me. It was refreshing, though it told a fairly straight-forward story of love and loss. I think it was just smoothly executed, and so I coasted through it, enjoying the sights and smells and sounds, and rarely having any reason to judge.Maybe, like a good drummer, this book was at its best because there were no glaring mistakes, there was no showing off, and the basic rudiments were there to keep it moving along nicely.4/5.

    16. What a gorgeous book! Elegant prose, fascinating setting/culture, well-rounded characters. I love that the tale is written by Asanka to his mistress Sarasi, that he has the courage to tell her all his experiences during the rule of Magha, including the more personal, sometimes cowardly, thoughts and fears he once hid from her. I'm fairly open to any P-O-V that I come across while reading, though this (writing to a lover) is not usually one of my favorites. But Cooper maintains this perspective s [...]

    17. River of Ink is one of those books who caught me head and heart with the title and spectacular cover design. So much that I specifically requested for this copy for review - picked it - found it probably wasn't anywhere near to what I thought it was - yet got addicted to uncover the story within the pages once I was immersed in it. Reading this book was my personal challenge and I was thoroughly motivated to complete it, to unfold the beautiful play of words and only to find truly what the synop [...]

    18. River of Ink offers a riveting tale of historical fiction based in medieval Sri Lanka. It tells the story of an old court poet who finds himself swept up in the events of an invasion by the Kalinga chief Magha, who forcibly takes over control of the island in a particularly violent way. The author Paul M.M. Cooper has done his homework and interweaves historical facts into his fictional narrative. As a specialist in Sri Lankan history and literature from this period, I can vouch for the fact tha [...]

    19. River of Ink by Paul M. M. Cooper is is a story about two heroes - one unwitting, unplanned, but very public; the other quiet, deliberate and behind the scenes. It is a story of a civil war, of the pen being mightier than the sword, and of mythology. This book brings to life not only war but also a culture rich in the arts. That richness is the lasting impression of this book.Read my complete review at: memoriesfrombooks/2016Reviewed based on a publisher’s galley received through NetGalley

    20. I received this book from a giveaway.This was a very good book. Good character and plot development. It was interesting reading about a culture very different from mine in a location that I am likely to not experience. The human struggles remain the same and I enjoyed learning a bit of history and culture. I also loved the way the power of the written word came through in this book and how people can rally against a cruel leader.

    21. I received this book from the First Reads program.Home. Loyalty. Love. A historical masterpiece with epic fantasy leanings. It took me a little while to get into this one, but not for lack of story. I was distracted by the holiday which made reading a little difficult as there was so much information to retain in this one. The writing was masterful, and the story far reaching. Very good.

    22. This book was beautifully written and painstakingly researched, but I had a hard time connecting with the characters. And I hate to say it, but the twist wasn't much of a twist. (view spoiler)[ It didn't really take much guess work to figure out the identity of the 'mystery' writer. (hide spoiler)]

    23. Set in 13thC Sri Lanka, Court Poet Ashanka is set to work by Mugha, an usurping Tyrannical king, translating the The Shishupala Vadha, or the Killing of Shishupala ( one episode of the Mahabharata,) .As the resistance to the tyrant grows, the poem and its creation become more than expected.I'm admittedly not one for first person narratives, and it was a bit of a slow burner at first. The novel flits from the main story to fleshing out the characters and actions in the Vadha , both crescendoing t [...]

    24. I started off lukewarm on this book as it's been so long since I've read a book with such a milktoast main character. Over the course of the book I grew more and more attached the the characters and world until I almost teared up at the end. Very worth your time.

    25. Thirteenth century Sri Lanka. Composing love poems for the nobility and secretly teaching his mistress the forbidden secrets of his art, Asanka, court poet to King Parakrama, enjoys a life of ease and luxury. This changes however, with the arrival of the ruthless prince Kalinga Magha and his brutal usurpation of the throne. Determined to impose the superiority of his own culture upon the island kingdom, Magha commissions a horrified Asanka to translate the story of King Shishupal, a Sanskrit epi [...]

    26. I’m sitting here now after reading the final pages of this book and honestly I’m not sure exactly what to say about this well-crafted novel other than it was a complete pleasure to be given the opportunity to read an ARC. It’s one of the most well-thought out novels that I’ve read in a while and it managed to be a historical fiction, while still possessing one of the most beautiful proses I’ve ever read.In my life I’ve encountered a lot of Historical Fiction novels and many are writt [...]

    27. Paul M. M. Cooper’s River of Ink is a remarkably beautiful book; it is also thought-provoking. The book tells the story of Asanka, once a poor boy from the countryside, now court poet for the kingdom of Lanka. Asanka spends his time writing, conversing with the king, and teaching his lover, a palace maid named Sarasi, how to read and write.The book’s action takes place in the 13th Century and opens at the moment when Asanka’s mostly idyllic life (he is also unhappily married) is torn apart [...]

    28. I received a copy of this book from NetGalley, what follows is my own opinion.This was a bit out of my usual genre safety zone – but I’m so glad I requested it as it was an intriguing read.I’d seen this kicking around my twitter feed for a while – the cover was beautiful and I was intrigued by the mention of a poet main character (we’re not a profession that crops up very much), so I snapped it up. I didn’t know anything else about it beyond that so I wasn’t quite sure what to expe [...]

    29. Paul M.M Cooper’s River of Ink, is the tale of reluctant revolutionary – a poet who believes that poetry makes nothing happen. Asanka is the court poet of King Parakrama and was enjoying the high life when the ruthless Kalinga Magha, usurps the throne of Lanka, and sends his existence plummeting into a world of endless turmoil. Forced to accept the tyrant’s order to translate a Sanskrit text on Shishupal, into Tamil (a dubious decision, given the bloody history between the Tamils and Sinha [...]

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