Bijapur (Blood of the Goddess #2)
Thomas Chinnery is the young assistant to a Master Apothecary of England. He was entrusted by his master with a perilous journey into the Portuguese-controlled waters of East Africa and India, to establish a direct trade in medicinal herbs. Chinnery was cast ashore near the Portuguese colony of Goa, on the Indian coast, where he fell into the hands of the Inquisition. Now, a captive of the Black Friars, he is forced to lead an expedition into the heart of the mysterious subcontinent. For Thomas has knowledge of a miraculous powder, called the Rasa Mahadevi, or the Blood of the Goddess, which can restore the dead to life. But Thomas lied to the Inquisitors when he told them he knew the way to the source of the powder, and every mile on the jungle trail takes him nearer to discovery and execution. Yet there is one person traveling with Thomas and the friars who knows a great deal about the Rasa Mahadevi. The Lady Aditi, consort to sorcerers, sought by the Inquisition, and foster daughter to the Goddess herself, is leading the trading caravan that accompanies the Europeans. Aditi has become obsessed with Thomas, has very nearly fallen in love with him. She will lead him on, showing him the road to the Goddess's hidden city, in hopes that he will convert to her living faith and win her foster mother's approval. It is in the city of Bijapur, on the borders of the Mahadevi's own lands, that Thomas Chinnery will be tested. His fate thereafter will depend on his own actions, and on the will of the Goddess.