I’ve just received a copy of John Burgess’ new novel, A Woman of Angkor, published by River Books. This book intends to be a historical novel that takes the regular people of the ancient Khmer kingdoms as seriously as most take the rulers.
It also comes highly recommended by folks with reputations, at least judging this particular book by the blurbs on its cover, including lauds from archaeologist Michael Coe, and art historian and Angkor tour guide author Dawn Rooney.
Most promising in terms of its writing style, however, is the lovely quote from John le Carre:
Burgess has done something that I believe is unique in modern writing: set a credible and seemingly authentic tale in the courts and temples of ancient Angkor to stir the imagination and excite our historical interest.
I’m looking forward to reading it in my spare free moments, and would love to hear from readers in the comments if they have read it, or might read it along with me.
The chapters are generally quite short, so I’m going to set very modest pace of 1-2 chapters a day. I’ll write up my comments below, as well.
edit: I’ve decided against summarizing in the comments below, both to preserve against spoilers, and to allow for a more summary writeup at the end.