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
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.