Review

Situated in the literary landscape that encompasses E.M. Forster's Passage to India, this brilliant magical novel is about the clash of two cultures - ancient India and modern West - carried out in an epic struggle that is at once part mythic, heroic past and the everyday present.
At the book's centre if Nicky, the young Prince of Tandhapur, on the edge of manhood, torn between his roots as an Indian aristocrat and his western education, passionately devoted to his family's pride, power and dignity in an India that is fast abolishing the role of rajahs.
Nicky's father has allowed the control of his family, its fortune. The great palace itself with its splendours and Victorian opulence, to pass into the hands of his English advisor and mistress, Miss Hobbs. A woman of singular determination and boundless ambition, she has cut the Rajah off from his own children, even from the old Rani; from everyone in fact, except Nicky, who sets out to regain his heritage and defeat the invader.
But the time is 195, not 1542, Nicky's ally is not a Mongol prince but a stranded American boxer. His test of courage is not a duel with jewelled swords but a boxing match with Miss Hobbs's son, a match which gradually comes to signify all the tensions and conflicts of India and of the family, embracing the Rajah himself, his bullying mistress, the young princess who has to choose between a western education and an arranged marriage, the fate if the American boxer, who is in love with an Anglo-Indian girl, and above all the future of Nicky himself.
Filled with rich, sensuous, potent scenes and images, fast paced, deeply moving, romantic and gripping, Field of Honour is a major work of fiction.

US- Simon & Schuster, UK -Eyre Methuen.