Several people suggested this book as one of the best science fiction books of the year, and I have to agree with them. It’s in what I think of as a growing category of future-imagining when society is based more on scarcity of resources (food, energy, etc) than we are today. This is a story set in a future, independent Thailand, and is fascinating in the way it takes so much of the rich cultural & political heritage of the never-conquered country and projects that into the future, both as a strength and a weakness.
The book is quite graphic in some respects — fairly violent in places.
But a terrific, if not terribly optimistic, novel.