Monday 20 July 2009

City of Ghosts - Bali Rai

City of Ghosts - Bali Rai

Pages: 387
Puiblisher: Doubleday
Release Date: 2nd July 2009

Other Titles by This Author: What's Your Problem?, The Crew, Rani and Sukh, The Last Taboo, (Un)arranged Marriage, The Whisper, Soccer Squad series

‘With us or against us!’ yelled Pritam. ‘You decide…Let me show you what it means to be a revolutionary!’ he whispered.
Before anyone else could move, Pritam began to rain down blow after blow. The guard’s head caved in…Only when there was nothing left but a mess of blood and bits of bone did Pritam let up. ‘One down,’ he spat, his face slick with gore. He turned and ran for the door, wiping away the blood, eager to find his next victim. Jeevan stood and looked at the guard. Two contradictory voices fought for space inside his head. Follow your family; they are all you have, said the voice he most wanted to follow. But then the other voice caught him and held him back. ‘What have I become?’ he asked himself.

1919. Amritsar is a city on the brink of revolution.

Innocent citizens, trying to escape ghosts from the past, are swept up in the riots, violence and tension. They are unaware that, as the fight for Amritsar reaches a terrifying climax, their lives will be changed for ever…

It took me a while to get into City of Ghosts, but once I did, I couldn’t put it down.

Hearing Bissen’s story was my favourite part of City of Ghosts. He was kind, brave, charming and definitely y favourite character. His story also surprised me. Having studied World War I many times in history at school I was surprised to learn that one third of our soldiers were Indian. I don’t remember learning anything about that. It made me wonder what other major things were left out of our curriculum.

I had heard of the Amritsar massacre before but never really knew what it was all about until I read City of Ghosts. Seeing the events from the eyes if characters directly involved in the revolution made it horribly real. But what I felt was the worst was how Hans Raj and Pritam manipulated Jeevan to do what they wanted him to do. It was scary how much influence a person can have over you once they know you well enough.

Despite the horrors of war that this novel centred around, it wasn’t depressing at all. The love stories that were told and Heera’s magic lightened the mood and helped to balance out the backgrounds of World War I and revolutionary Amritsar to create a beautifully moving story.

I really enjoyed City of Ghosts and I’m definitely going to search out some more of Bali Rai’s books.



  1. This sounds fascinating. Great review - thanks!

  2. I discover this book from ur mailbox. I really wanted 2 know what is was about. I liked the cover, it seems interesting, so i plan on reading it.

  3. This does sound really good, I need to read it soon. I'm glad you liked it, and thanks for the review!

  4. Hmm Might read this...

    ^^ good review

  5. This book sounds excellent. I've always wanted to read something by Bali Rai. He visited my school two years ago!

  6. I have this book in my bookshelf and I'm super-excited to read it, more so after your review.

    Great, and really interesting, review!


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