Misfit's Reviews > The Far Pavilions

The Far Pavilions by M.M. Kaye
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Dec 04, 13

bookshelves: historical-fiction, read-and-keep-for-a-reread
Read in August, 2006

I can't believe I waited 25+ years to read this again! Oh well, the first copy I had I loaned out and never got back. I would give this 10 stars if I could, I had forgotten how good this book was. Thank you Amazon, for recommending books and Listmania -- so many wonderful books I would never have found or rediscovered without you! A truly wonderful story of star-crossed lovers, treachery, intrigue, heroism, honor and bigotry. The author has a great feel and understanding of India under the British Raj. The story of Ash and Juli (Anjuli) was incredible. I could literally feel Ash's pain while he had to sit through watching Juli be married to the evil Maharajah.

The first 2/3 of the book deal with Ash and Julie's early lives together, culminating in the rescue of Juli from being Suttee with her sister. Those pages have to be some of the most heart stopping, page turning, sit on the edge of your seat excitement that I have ever come across in a book (and I have read a few).

The last portion of the book gets away from Ash and Juli (although they are together) and slows down to tell the story of the British incursions into Afghanistan (sp?)and the resultant disaster of setting up a British mission in Kabul. Ash is still prominent as a "spy" for the guides, in the disguise of a native of the country, but while still a good read, the story takes on a different character from the first portions of the book.

I resolve never to loan this book out again so that I won't lose it, and to keep it on my "to be read again and again" shelf throughout the years. Highly recommended.

As a side note, if you are searching for a book for a younger teen to read, this is a good choice. The few scenes between Ash and Juli that were sexual in nature were left mostly to one's imagination. This author is capable of building her scenes without graphic play by play bodice ripping.

**Update** I recently discovered another of this author's books,Shadow of the Moon. It's out of print but readily available used or at your library. Another lovely tale of India, set during the 1857 Sepoy rebellion. If you enjoyed TFP, you will probably enjoy this as well.

***Update***I have just finished another story on the Sepoy rebellion, Zemindar. Out of print, but readily available used. A wonderful tale, with some of the most gorgeous prose I've seen in a long time.
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Comments (showing 1-15 of 15) (15 new)

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Laura I have already ordered mine, I look forward to read it.


Misfit I love MM Kaye. The suttee scene is one of my all time bits in a novel. Unputdownable.


Laura Thanks Misfit, I trust you, always. Happy New Year!!


Misfit It always scares me when people say that, can't be spot on all the time :)


message 5: by Steve (new)

Steve Good review, which gives a feel for the book. Thanks. I could of picked up both of these novels at a booksale yesterday, but their heftiness alarmed me. But I love good historical fiction. Maybe they will still be there today...


message 6: by Capricorn (new)

Capricorn At the end of the Far Pavilions , M M Kaye has mentioned a few facts that are true . One of them is:
“the story of the sepoy who accepted a drink from a little goatherd, which is also true, will be known to many ex Indian Army officers who were given their tale to translate either into or out of the vernacular by their munshis for their language exams.”

I just finished reading the book and I can’t recall where that is mentioned. Can you please give me a hint about its whereabouts in the book so that I can read it for myself.


message 7: by Kimberly (new) - added it

Kimberly Misfit--I have a question that I thought you may know the answer to: Is the edition of this that comes in two volumes the same as the single novel edition?


Misfit Kimberly, I believe so. TFP was a book club edition when it first came out and that was broken into two smaller editions. I owned those two back in the days (traded off long ago), and own the new TB edition, which is huge. I've read both and don't recall that anything is edited out. I would guess two 500 page harbacks is easier to manage than a 1000+ page hardback.


message 9: by Kimberly (new) - added it

Kimberly Okay, thank you! I picked up the two volume edition a while back at a library sale, but I saw the single book edition yesterday at a sale and wondered if they were different. My hands will be much happier holding the two volumes rather than the giant single one :)


Misfit I think you'll find the two volume much easier to read. The HB is huge.


message 11: by Dorcas (new)

Dorcas I'm coming in really late here but just a FYI, I have TFP in paperback and it is SO AWKWARD to handle that I'm considering buying the 2 vol set. I should have known better. A 1000 page paperback?? I can already feel the elbow pain...


Misfit Dorcas wrote: "I'm coming in really late here but just a FYI, I have TFP in paperback and it is SO AWKWARD to handle that I'm considering buying the 2 vol set. I should have known better. A 1000 page paperback?? ..."

I have it in trade paperback and I seem to recall it stayed open easily. The two volume set in HB might be easier. I prop books on a pillow that's in my lap. Hopefully it will get digitalized soon.


message 13: by Hana (new) - rated it 4 stars

Hana I hope you can chime in on our buddy read!


Misfit Hana wrote: "I hope you can chime in on our buddy read!"

I won't be rereading this one, but I'll be there. Love this book.


message 15: by Hana (new) - rated it 4 stars

Hana Wonderful!


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