River of Smoke by Amitav Ghosh
Amitav Ghosh's River of Smoke is the second novel of The Ibis Trilogy. The novel moves forward along the river to China, on the opium trade route. New characters are introduced along with older ones and their stories sail on. While Sea of Poppies saw prominent main protagonists, this one has a Parsi Indian trader, Bahram, and charts his journey through the voyage.River of Smoke highlights how the Chinese authorities try to prevent the opium trade, which had become an addiction and diseased the population and the growth of British traders. Ghosh takes you through innumerable scenarios and situations which at times are hard to keep a track of. Nevertheless, the novel beautifully keeps the past alive and presents it as though you are living it in the 'now'.