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Loot: A Novel by Tania James

Loot: A Novel by Tania James

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Abbas is just seventeen years old when his gifts as a woodcarver come to the attention of Tipu Sultan. He is drawn into service at the palace to build a giant tiger automaton for Tipu’s sons, a gift to commemorate their return from British captivity. His fate―and the fate of the wooden tiger―will mirror the vicissitudes of nations and dynasties ravaged by war across India and Europe.

Working alongside the legendary French clockmaker Lucien du Leze, Abbas hones his craft, learns French, and meets Jehanne, the daughter of a French expatriate. When Du Leze is finally permitted to return home to Rouen, he invites Abbas to come along as his apprentice. But by the time Abbas travels to Europe, Tipu’s palace has been looted by British forces, and the tiger automaton has disappeared. To prove himself, Abbas must retrieve the tiger from an estate in the English countryside, where it is displayed as a part of a collection of plundered art.

A spellbinding historical novel set in the eighteenth century: a hero’s quest, a love story, the story of a young artist coming of age, and an exuberant heist adventure that traces the bloody legacy of colonialism across two continents and fifty years.

At the age of seventeen, Abbas catches the eye of Tipu Sultan with his exceptional woodcarving skills. He is soon enlisted to build a massive tiger automaton as a gift for Tipu's sons upon their return from British captivity. As Abbas gains experience working with the renowned French clockmaker Lucien du Leze and even learns French, he crosses paths with Jehanne, the daughter of a French expatriate. However, as he travels to Europe with du Leze, he discovers that Tipu's palace has been plundered by British forces and the tiger automaton is missing. In order to prove himself and fulfill his duties, Abbas must retrieve the missing automaton from an estate in the English countryside. This captivating historical novel follows the journey of a young artist as he navigates love, war, and the dark legacy of colonialism across two continents and fifty years.

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