Ben Quorn is a grave digger from Philadelphia who finds himself, helped by strange quirks of destiny, riding an elephant named Asoka through the streets of Narada, the capital city of a small Indian province. Seen by hundreds, he is thought to be the reincarnation of Gunga Sahib, a character in Hindu mythology who is supposed to return some day to restore a beautiful princess to her rightful throne. One of the people who sees Quorn riding Asoka is Chullunder Ghose, one of the most colorful fictional characters ever created. Ghose yearns to be prime minister in the province and sees his opportunity. He encourages Quorn and the only available princess to bring the ancient myth to life and topple the government. His plan is as convoluted as a labyrinth laid out by a drunk – but it ends up succeeding. Myth and destiny conspire to produce the most unlikely of results.
Talbot Mundy (born William Lancaster Gribbon, 1879–1940) was an English writer. He also wrote under the pseudonym Walter Galt.
Many of Talbot Mundy's novels, including his first novel Rung Ho!, and his most famous work King of the Khyber Rifles, are set in India under British Occupation in which the loyal British officers encounter ancient Indian mysticism. The novels portray the citizens of Imperial India as enigmatic, romantic and powerful. His British characters have many encounters with the mysterious Thugee Cults. The long buildup to the introduction of his Indian Princess Yasmini and the scenes among the outlaws in the Khinjan Caves clearly influenced fantasy writers Robert E. Howard and Leigh ... (more)