India, 1657: When Maya, a graceful, young temple dancer with a mysterious past, is sold into slavery, she enters a world of intrigue, violence, and forbidden love. Bought by a Portuguese trader and sold as a concubine to the dissolute vizier of Bijapur, she embarks on a treacherous journey.
In a caravan led by the dangerous settlement man Da Gama, she travels by elephant on the hostile road to Bijapur, joined by Geraldo, a Portuguese adventurer, and Pathan, a handsome prince who carries a dark secret. Together with Lucinda, a beautiful, spoiled young Goan heiress, and the manipulative eunuch Slipper, they climb the windswept mountain road through the Western Ghats. When their caravan is attacked by bandits, the travelers' lives are turned upside down. In the aftermath, Maya and Lucinda suddenly find themselves stranded in a strange, exotic world, a world filled with passion, romance, and deception, pure love and lurking evil, where nothing is as it seems and the two women are faced with great temptation as well as heart-wrenching decisions that will affect the rest of their lives.
Greed, politics, commitment, courage, love, and intolerance mesh to form a vibrant Indian tapestry. With spectacular settings, unforgettable characters, fierce sensuality, and intense scholarship, this adventure-packed novel marks the debut of an exciting new storyteller. The Temple Dancer is the first volume of John Speed's Indian trilogy, a three-book journey that will cover the final years of the Mogul Empire and the rise of the Marathis under the highwayman Shivaji. It will leave you breathlessly awaiting his next novel.
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Haven't read the print version.
Lucinda; in many ways she seemed to be the character who had the most development. There was a sense that she adapted to her surroundings more than the other characters.
When 'Slipper' finally gets his comeuppence for his scheming manipulative ways.
The scene with the elephant on the narrow ledge and the proceeding descriptions tore at my heart strings.
Warning: There are a number of graphic sexual scenes that may prove shocking to the more sensitive soul, however these should be placed into context within the general plot and also the world of the different characters and their experiences. Did they add to the book, I am not convinced about this but they do not detract from the overall story.
An enjoyable read
A lovely story, that gives an insight into the culture of India. Looking forward to listening to the sequel.