An epic historical novel of plundered treasure and lasting love


'Loot held me spellbound from the first page...an expertly-plotted, deeply affecting novel ' Maggie O’Farrell

Young toy maker and dreamer Abbas is whisked away to Tipu Sultan's glorious palace in Mysore and ordered to create a musical tiger to delight Tipu's sons.

When he is apprenticed to eccentric clockmaker Monsieur Du Leze, Abbas finds an unexpected friend who encourages his skill and hunger for learning. Through Du Leze, he also meets the unforgettable Jehanne, who has questions and ambitions of her own.

But when British soldiers attack and loot Mysore, Abbas's world is turned upside down and his prized tiger is shipped off to a country estate in England. In order to carve out his place in the world, he must follow.

A hero's quest, a love story, an exuberant heist novel that traces the bloody legacy of colonialism across the world, Loot is a dazzling, wildly inventive and irresistible feat of storytelling.

'A thrilling, absorbing and immersive tale of artistry, adventure and romance' Claire Fuller

'A cinematic novel of empire, colonialism and romance...Loot asks who gets written out of history and why' Guardian

'Immersive and beautifully written...a clever and absorbing novel about empire and belonging’ Sunday Times


  • [An] epic sweep of a novel, which travels from India to Europe in the company of a fascinating range of characters...Niftily constructed, the novel packs in doomed romance, the horrors of colonialism and palace plots
    Daily Mail

About the author

Tania James

Tania James's debut novel Atlas of Unknowns was a New York Times Editor's Choice and was shortlisted for the DSC Prize for South Asian literature. She has also written the short story collection Aerogrammes, and her stories have appeared in the New Yorker, Granta, Freeman's: The Future of New Writing, One Story and A Public Space. The Tusk That Did the Damage was shortlisted for the International Dylan Thomas Prize. From 2011 to 2012, Tania James was a Fulbright fellow to India living in New Delhi. She now lives in Washington DC.
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