The Surya Trilogy: The Wheel of Surya; The Surya Trilogy: The Eye of the Horse; The Surya Trilogy: The Track of the Wind
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This fine trilogy set in India covers a quarter of a century form the period leading up to WWII, Independence and the more immediate horrors accompanying the partition. There is a complex interweaving of different lives, different cultures, sounds and voices. In The Eye of the Horse, for example, Doctor Silbermann meets Marvinder. He is deeply scarred by the loss of his family in the holocaust; she has recently escaped from the religious genocide unleashed by partition; both are united in their love for violin music.
In the final volume, Gavin takes the story forward in time and back to India, as Marvinder, Jaspal and their father Govind return from England and renew their lives in Deri with their mother. Much of the pain of the past seemed to be redeemed by their coming together at the end of the second book but in this final part there is too much discord from the past for resolution. The characters increasingly bear their own scars. Jaspal 'learned to hate when he was in England' and that now becomes moulded through religion. Marvinder carries the strains of the past and the two cultures she has lived in and she must deal with the pressure for an arranged marriage. The final book, like the other two, is full of striking scenes where the people live within a rich weave of history, geography, myth and religion. The tone is darker as the characters age: youthful optimism and promise seem to fade along with the fictional promise of happy endings. Each novel plays its part in a complex and fine sequence offering the richness of quality fiction to teenage readers fittingly in a year which marks 50 years of Indian independence.