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The Thar Desert isn’t always hot. At dawn, as the peach sun is still tucked in its bed, the air is ice cool. I grip my fingers tight around the smooth leather reins and cry into the near-morning. ‘Wahooo! Chalo, chalo, Arian. It’s a race to the mountain.’ My twin brother is a good rider, but I’m better and I feel a mischievous smile fly to my lips. The ground is hard and Tanu’s hooves thunder against the compacted sand. I shoot a competitive glance over my shoulder and urge Tanu on towards the mountain. Arian’s horse is not far behind, the sound of his snorting reaching

About the book

A stunning new historical children’s novel from Costa Award-winning author of Asha & the Spirit Bird.

Nush is maharani of an Indian kingdom. The British East India Company has already taken land and their most divine jewel – an emerald the size of a small apple.

When the Maharajah decides to go to England to ask Queen Victoria for help, Nush stows away on her father’s ship.

This is her moment to shine – and bring back the emerald that will heal the kingdom . . .

  • A fabulous new historical direction from Costa-winning and Waterstones-shortlisted author, Jasbinder Bilan.
  • Themes of colonialism and identity, mixed with an action-packed royal mystery.


‘A light-filled, huge-hearted delight’ KATHERINE RUNDEL  

‘Atmospheric, dreamy, charged with wonder and menace, loss, sorrow and delight’ TIMES LITERARY SUPPLEMENT 

‘Beautifully written, richly atmospheric and touchingly spiritual’ DAILY MAIL

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Rights sold: World English Audio