From Amazon.com: Gr. 4-8. Steeped in period detail and related with immediacy by an intelligent, sensitive, 14-year-old princess, this entry in the Royal Diaries series transports readers to seventeenth-century India during the Moghul Dynasty. Jahanara, favorite daughter of Emperor Shah Jahan and the most beloved of his four wives, writes about family jealousies, court intrigues, and war strategies, as well as the extravagant lifestyle of her royal family, who live in a setting where wall murals of flowers crafted in gemstones glitter by lamplight as though in bloom. Readers encounter historical figures, such as Empress Mumtaz Mahal, for whom the Taj Mahal was built, as well as fictional characters introduced to explore the practices of the times--among them, the gardener, whose eyes were stitched closed as punishment for spying. The language seems true to the thoughts and sensitivities of a young teen, and Lasky's meticulous research is evident throughout the journal, which references issues such as religious tolerance, the impact of Islamic extremism, and women's efforts to gain respect--issues that are as vital today as they were during Jahanara's life. Ellen Mandel
(Before I read this: Should be a good book. I don't know much about the history of India or Indian culture, so I hope to learn at least a little tiny bit from this.
After: I found the book quite enjoyable; for me it truly is a glance into another world.)