Tusk and Stone

Malcolm Bosse, Author, Handprint, Author Boyds Mills Press $15.95 (0p) ISBN 978-1-886910-01-0
Move the location half the world away and 1200 years in the future, substitute the elephants with horses and half of the characters with cowboys, and this sprawling saga set in seventh-century India could be a classic western. Here are knaves and fools, bullying officers and poetic tenderfoots; a wise, crusty old cowpoke--er, mahout; even a heroic steed (elephant) for the protagonist to kiss on its noble brow. Arjun, 14, is journeying to the city of Kashi to continue his Brahman studies when dacoits (bandits) attack his caravan, kill his uncle and seize his mute sister Gauri to sell her into slavery. While trailing Gauri, Arjun, too, is captured, then sold into the army. Thus begin his peregrinations throughout India, first as an infantry grunt, then archer, mahout, famous warrior, prisoner of war, slave, spiritual seeker and finally esteemed temple stonecarver. At times the narrative gets mired down in dry exposition, and the myriad of characters, Indian deities and words can be confusing, but for the most part Bosse (The Examination) keeps the pace up and the goings-on absorbing. Throughout he brings to life a faraway place and time with a glittering panoply of detail, sure to fascinate readers with a taste for the exotic. Ages 10-up. (Sept.)
Reviewed on: 09/02/1991
Release date: 09/01/1991
Paperback - 256 pages - 978-0-14-038217-4
Prebound-Sewn - 244 pages - 978-0-606-12017-3
Prebound-Sewn - 978-1-4177-3523-5
Paperback - 252 pages - 978-1-886910-74-4
Open Ebook - 978-1-60898-086-4
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