Another incredible read by Sundaresan. Rich in history, texture and flavor! But I would suggest reading "The Twentieth Wife" first since the story really starts there...
This is a continuation of the story begun in The Twentieth Wife. It is an excellent book tracking the fate of a fascinating woman.
A beautifully told story! I loved the Twentieth Wife and this follow-up book is just as enthralling. Sundaresan is such a descriptive writer that I could smell and feel the searing Indian heat, the sweet smell of flowers and the coolness of the marble floors. I couldn't wait to read this book and was sad when it came to an end. The history of these royal Indian rulers is fascinating, as well as the touching tale of Mehrunnisa's and Emperor Jahangir's love and devotion to one another. Something I wouldn't have thought existed in a harem!
I enjoyed this book, though not as much as 'The Twentieth Wife.' It certainly wasn't a problem with the author; Ms. Sundaresan has an amazing ability to use imagery that makes the reader truly see the places in the book; though I was captivated more by the former book. My disappointment/disillusionment came with the turn that the characters took. (i won't put in spoilers but the main character was just different than I anticipated after reading the first book) A touching story.
A lovely book that is a sequel but I felt it to be quite readable on it's own. A fictional account ofr the background love story of the Taj Mahal.
From Publishers Weekly
Sundaresan picks up the story of Mehrunnisa, the remarkable heroine from her debut novel, Twenty Wives, as the so-called "Light of the World" consolidates her power as wife of Emperor Jahangir of the Mughal Empire in 17th-century India, only to see her dominion destroyed by her own aggressive tendencies. The early chapters find Mehrunnisa confronting two rivals, who happen to be old friends of her husband, and eliminating them in a brief series of power struggles. She also talks Jahangir into letting her appear at the jharoka ceremony, in which the emperor presents himself to his subjects, an unprecedented achievement for a woman. Her problems start when Jahangir falls seriously ill and the battle for succession to the throne begins, a struggle that comes to a head when Mehrunnisa fails to marry off her daughter, Ladli, to one of the primary contenders, Prince Khurram. The battle for succession escalates, but even as Mehrunnisa maneuvers to keep power, her downfall is sealed by a pivotal incident in which she accidentally kills a palace intruder. The novel's scope and ambition are impressive, as are the numerous period details and descriptions of the various cultural ceremonies that distinguish court life in royal India. But Sundaresan delves into too many palace intrigues in this overplotted affair, which seems especially cluttered in the first half, and her florid, busy writing style produces some uneven, tedious stretches. The book's setting brings to life an underexplored period in fiction, however, and readers who enjoyed the first volume will find similar pleasures tracking the fate of one of history's most intriguing women.
Copyright 2003 Reed Business Information, Inc.
This book was soooooo good! EVen better than the first book!
It is the continuation to the Twentieth Wife. If you enjoyed that book you will love this one too.
For anyone who read The Twentieth Wife, one of my favorite books ever, this is a must. It finishes the story and leaves you will an understanding of a whole other culture. I enjoyed both books and would recommend them to anyone.
Fantastic historical fiction. This book also has a sequal. Amazing female protagonist.