I had mixed feelings about this book. I loved the first section, set in an Indian poppy plantation. The descriptions of life as a poppy farmer fascinated me and the atmosphere was set perfectly. I would have loved the whole book to be about the lives of these rural Indians. Unfortunately, it wasn’t long before the atmosphere of the book was changed by the arrival of the white traders. These arrogant men crashed through the gentle prose and ruined everything for me. I found their dialogue hard to understand, and when the story moved on board the trading ship bound for Mauritius I started to lose interest in the book. Life on board ship would be of interest to those who are studying it, but most of the seafaring terms went over my head.
As the book progressed, the plot slowed, and the writing became weighed down in too much detail. The Sea of Poppies is the first book in a trilogy, and I have heard that it is just setting the scene for the next book. If this is the case then I felt it spent too long doing this. The fact it is a trilogy also meant that the ending was a bit flat – left open to allow for the sequel. I don’t think I’ll be reading the next one unless a trusted source informs me that it is a lot better than this one.
Recommended to anyone with a thirst for knowledge about life on a trading ship in the 19th century, but I’m afraid it wasn’t for me.
Have you read Sea of Poppies?
Did you enjoy it? Are you planning to read the rest of the trilogy?
Have you read The Glass Palace or The Hungry Tide? Are they better than Sea of Poppies?