The Return of a King: The Battle for Afghanistan is a novel by eminent author and Indophile, William Dalrymple. Set in the spring of 1839, it deals with the very first British invasion of Afghanistan and the surprising turn of events, thereafter.
The story talks about how easily the mighty British empire, with a force of 20000 soldiers, invaded the mountainous Afghanistan and set up their rule for two years. However, after that in a mighty David vs Goliath turnaround, the Afghanis oppose the empire and there is mutiny by the Afghani masses and as they take on the mighty British army with primitive weapons and unorganized uprising. The British empire gradually suffers a humiliating defeat and is forced to leave. The story is told through the lives of memorable characters from both sides, which makes this saga come alive.
William Dalrymple is a prize-winning author who has written several best-selling, critically- acclaimed novels including In Xanadu, City of Djinns, The Age of Kali, From the Holy Mountain, White Mughals, The Last Mughal and Nine Lives. He was born in Scotland in 1965 and educated at Trinity College, Cambridge University. He has won several awards for his books including the Thomas Cook Travel Book Award, the Sunday Times Young British Writer of the Year Award, the Scottish Book of the Year Award, the Duff Cooper Memorial Prize, the French Prix d'Astrolabe, the Wolfson Prize for History, the Asia House Award for Asian Literature and the Vodafone Crossword Award. He divides his time between India and England, where he spends his summers. This book is available in hardcover online with an ISBN number of 978-1408818305. You can buy it online here and get it delivered in just a few days.