Set in the war-torn world of Mughal India and first published in the gathering darkness of the 1930s, the three novels collected in The Root and the Flower are stories of intrigue, murder, and romance; of Tantric abandonment and Buddhist renunciation; of emotional delirium and spiritual adventure. This enthralling visionary trilogy is, as Penelope Fitzgerald remarks in her introduction, a “strange masterpiece,” and one of the unsung glories of modern literature.
…A unique work; there is nothing like it in the field of English fiction….The prevailing impression it leaves is one of beauty.
— L.P. Hartley
An exciting exotic adventure story…A remarkable work of imagination.
— Iris Murdoch
…Once you read the trilogy, the world is never quite the same again.
His philosophy, if it can be called so, or his sense of religious awe, seeps into the emotional life of his characters unawares…it puts this book far above those of his contemporaries….For that matter we can scarcely think of a more valuable book, and fortunately enough, a more readable book.
— The New York Times