Character sketch: Mahindra

elephant close upIn Bharata, an altered India, Mahindra is a practitioner of magic, a patriot and advisor to the Rana of Nanpura.

In his youth he studied Anglic in the colonial schools, but became disillusioned. Years ago he fought in a failed insurgency against Anglica, paying a terrible price. But now the time to reclaim Bharata may be at hand.  With the recent completion of the Great Bridge over the Ancific Ocean, Mahindra foresees Bharata’s total cultural and economic ruin. Though he has lived the life of a renunciate, he now considers leaving his contemplative life to take an active role in a new movement of Bharata unity. As a shape-shifter, he is uniquely suited to terrorize and inspire.

With the rumored sighting of a legendary flower, the golden lotus, he believes a sign has come that Bharata and its princely states should unite under one banner. Mahindra has great powers at his disposal. He has sent a warning in the shape of a giant cobra to Londinium, where it creates havoc on the Thames. In retaliation, Anglica sends a military force across the Bridge.

The clash of cultures and arms that ensues is complicated by Mahindra’s meeting Tori Harding, a young Victorian woman on her own mission of independence. They will both be forever altered by their meeting.

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My latest novel, A Thousand Perfect Things, comes out August 27 in print and e-book.  This is the third in a series of  posts on character sketches from my notebook. No matter how dramatic the plot, stories are always about people first, and their relationships to each other. #SFWAauthors

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