Arriving in Singapore: preparing for the Opium War in ‘Flood of Fire’

An excerpt from the final novel in Amitav Ghosh’s Ibis trilogy:

Flood of FireKesri, no less than the younger sepoys, was awed by the sight that greeted them when the Hind sailed into Singapore’s outer harbour. Six warships were riding at anchor there, one of them a majestic triple-decked man-o’-war.

The transport and supply vessels were moored at a slight distance from the warships. There were no fewer than twelve of them, their decks aswarm with red-coated soldiers and sepoys. The Hind dropped anchor right next to the troopship that was carrying their brother unit – the other company of Bengal Volunteers. The sepoys gathered on deck to exchange shouted greetings.

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