This might be defined as the inheritor of Indigo, published in 1943, and echoing then the inner turmoil of civil war on verge of outbreak in troubled India. There was more of story, perhaps, in the earlier book; the situations, the characters were contrived to illustrate the mood and the pattern. In this new book, again set in the India the author knows, the period is that on the brink of British withdrawal, of acceptance of the basic principle of Pakistan, betrayed many felt alike of Muslim and Hindoo, to whom the cause of Indian nationalism was greater than the cause of Muslim or Hindoo. The characters, whether the poor painter Anand, a Hindoo, torn by his love for the shepherdess, and his high caste wife, Kiran; or the staunch old leaders, the Hamidullahs, Muslims and Congress members, and their footless son, Firose; or their visitor, Prince Vikram, young and arrogant ruler of a little principality, where his beautiful mother holds the reins of power all are alike Cawns , victims, of the surge of hate and violence and fear sweeping the newly released country. Their sins return to taunt them. There is no safety for their love their hopes -- their faith. One after another falls innocent and accidental victim, now of a joke misfiring, now of passions unleashed, now of an accident. And at the end, the princess, cheated of her young lover, Firose, escapes by plane with her son; while Kiran, recently widowed, and Firose, who has always loved her, are left to find their way back, across the line, symbols of the oneness of Muslim and Hindoo, to they know not what.... A symbolic book, not always easy reading, but taut with a sense of the authenticity of a moment in time caught and held.