Zemindar Author:Valerie Fitzgerald A magnificent love story unfolds against a backdrop of exotic spendor and stirring deeds as young Englishwoman Laura Hewitt journeys to the East -- and to the fabled fiefdom of the Zemindar, Guardian of the Earth. — He is Oliver Erskine, hereditary ruler of his private kingdom, commander of his own native army -- and brother of the man she loves... more ».
Subect of Britain's Queen, but also a son of India, he walks the tightrop between treason to the Crown and betrayal of his own beloved land.
Challenging Laura to discover "the real India," he guides her through a world both beautiful and dangerous, lit with splendor and torn by dispair.
Larua is alternately bewitched and repelled by Oliver's world -- and by the Zemindar himself: arrogant and demanding, lustful and compassionate, tender and persuasive. He infuriates her, invades her soul -- and claims her as his own. Then as a tidal wave of rebellion ingulfs even the enchanted reaches of Oliver's estate, Laura is forced to confront her own divided loyalties, her own mutinous heart« less
I loved this book! I'd not known about it and it was mentioned as an 'all time classic' on the PBS Historical Fiction forum, so I ordered it. Very similar to MM Kaye's 'The Far Pavilions', only better, I think. Less romance, more history and reality. It focuses on the year, 1857, during which the Sepoy Rebellion took place in India and one Englishwoman's struggle not just to survive it, but to learn to love India despite her survival experience. It doesn't hurt that she's fallen for a native-born Englishman who is very much of the country, who provides the strong counterpoint to the traditional English colonization viewpoint. Long but very very worth it!