Finding a publisher to take a punt on historical fiction can be tricky -- when that fiction is written in a shadow language and based on a campaign of guerrilla warfare against the Norman invaders of the 11th century, perhaps even more so.
Where art thou, Arundhati Roy? The silence of India's only winner of the Booker Prize is deafening after the country's Maoists, whom she strongly supports, massacred a number of senior politicians recently.
This is undoubtedly a captivating book, with intriguing characters, an elegant plot and beautiful scenery. Whether it will, or indeed should, win the highly acclaimed Man Booker Prize on Tuesday is at large.
It's award season. Not the ones you're thinking of - the Emmys, the Oscars - but the Nobel, the Booker and the National Book Awards. Awards offer us, as readers, a focused, curated list of the best books of the year.