OVERRIDE

Tiger Claws

A Novel of India

Novels of India

John Speed

St. Martin's Griffin

India, 1658. History blazes in the pages of Tiger Claws as passion and desire ignite India's Muslim-Hindu conflict. The adventure that began with The Temple Dancer now continues as Maya, the temple dancer, traveling by caravan to her new owner, is kidnapped by the bandit prince Shivaji, and their destinies unite.
Meanwhile, in the jeweled palace of Agra, Aurangzeb---a fanatic warrior-prince with an insatiable lust for power---conspires with the Eunuch Brotherhood to overthrow his own father, the dissolute Mogul Emperor.
Shivaji reforges Maya's broken sword, sparking a rebellion that will rage across India and shatter the Mogul Empire. To this day, the names Shivaji and Aurangzeb inspire fierce love and fiercer hatred. Only the vast canvas of an epic novel can truly embody them. In Tiger Claws, a master storyteller breathes new life into their history---a conflict that shaped the face of India, and our world today.
With thrilling, sensual prose, John Speed weaves a rich tapestry of intertwining stories---of commoner and king, of women and the men they love, of Hindu priest and Muslim sheik, of eunuch, farang, and devadasi; a world of violence, passion, and heartbreak; of unexpected wonder and enduring love.

BOOK EXCERPTS

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Chapter 1 
The brothers say that pleasure cures all fears. But Basant’s fears are many, and his pleasures few.
The lights of the butter lamps dance like fireflies across the marble floor, stopping just short of his jewel-encrusted slippers. Time and again he has studied those lights, and the shadows their flickers form. And now Basant shrinks into a corner, praying that the dark will conceal his plump belly from the palace guards.
To cure his fear, he dissembles, though no one sees him. Basant takes pleasure in dissembling. Though he cowers in the shadows he feigns a charming
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REVIEWS

Praise for Tiger Claws

Praise for Tiger Claws:
"...a fascinating glimpse into a history unfamiliar to most Westerners."
--Publishers Weekly
Praise for The Temple Dancer:
“High-voltage adventure. Chock-full of sex, suspense, and peril.”
-- Booklist
"The fast-paced story benefits from intriguing characters and situations... it's driven by a contagious enthusiasm for the people and places encountered throughout the journey... an enjoyable adventure..."--Publishers Weekly
“A dazzling debut and a real page-turner."
--India Edghill, author of Queenmaker and Wisdom's Daughter
 

Reviews from Goodreads

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ABOUT THE AUTHOR

  • John Speed

  • John Speed began studying Indian history, art and religion while still in high school. For more than 30 years his explorations have deepened, as he became absorbed in tales of the fall of the Mogul Empire and of the rise of the rebel prince Shivaji. In his many visits to India, he has stood on crumbling battlements, crawled through lightless caves, bathed in sacred rivers, wandered through forgotten gardens, prayed at old mosques and ancient temples, joined in night-long kirtans and qwalis, cheered on ecstatic temple dancers, and laid his head at the feet of hundreds of saints both living and dead, Hindus and Muslims alike. Speed is a freelance political consultant and journalist who co-founded a successful online newspaper. He now lives with his dogs in a very small house overlooking Swami's Beach in Cardiff-by-the-Sea, California. Tiger Claws is his second novel, following The Temple Dancer.
  • John Speed
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Available Formats and Book Details

Tiger Claws

A Novel of India

Novels of India

John Speed

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FROM THE PUBLISHER

St. Martin's Griffin

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