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

‘A cinematic novel of empire, colonialism and romance’ GUARDIAN

Under orders from the ruler of Mysore, young toymaker Abbas has created a spectacular mechanical tiger, unlike anything the world has ever seen.

Abbas’ achievement opens up the opportunity of a new life, but most importantly it leads him to Jehanne, a determined young woman with ambitions of her own.

When British soldiers ransack the city in April 1799, Abbas’s precious creation is looted, lost to the Empire. Now he and Jehane must embark on an extraordinary quest across the seas to Europe, to reclaim his legacy.

‘Vivid and witty’ Observer

‘Highly recommended’ Mail on Sunday


  • [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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