- Audible Audiobook
- Listening Length: 13 hours and 25 minutes
- Program Type: Audiobook
- Version: Unabridged
- Publisher: Blackstone Audio, Inc.
- Audible.com Release Date: March 22, 2016
- Language: English
- ASIN: B01CRUXNKE
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank:
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Shadow Princess: The Taj Mahal Trilogy, Book 3 Audiobook – Unabridged
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Jahanara is Shah Jahan's favorite child; disappointed by the intellectual dabbling of his eldest son and obvious heir, and finding little to admire among his other sons beyond the martial prowess of Aurangzeb, he wishes he could make her his heir. But Jahanara must content herself with ruling the women of the Moghul Court and being the power behind the throne as her father comes to rely more and more on her judgment. That unquestioned pre-eminence, along with her obvious interest in a young nobleman, arouses Roshanara's fury. As the latter does whatever she can to destabilize Jahanara, and Aurangzeb seeks to unseat his elder brother as heir to the empire, the risks that Jahanara must run to grab some joy in life for herself become steadily greater.
This is a fascinating story that covers much the same territory as Beneath a Marble Sky: A Love Story, but that is much better written, more thoughtful and more evocative of the time and place. Sundaresan paints a vivid portrait of the Moghul court and its life to the extent that sometimes those descriptions and settings risk dominating the novel's characters on occasion. Indeed, I don't think this is as good as Sundaresan's first two Moghul-era novels, partly because she is trying to cram several decades' worth of events into only a few hundred pages (this is one case where less was not more...) and in part because some of the other characters, notably Roshanara, end up receding into the background. I found myself fascinated by their rivalry in the early chapters -- but then details of their relationship diminished, leaving me with no greater insight into Roshanara. The book's bittersweet conclusion also felt very rushed; for these reasons I can't give it more than 4 stars.
Still, for anyone who read and enjoyed the first two books, this is a "must read"; other historical fiction readers, especially those in search of a break from the omnipresent Tudormania, will find much to enjoy here.
preferred to take my 'history lessons' via a story instead of a text book. Her books have been perfect for me!
A daughter will be force that can keep him on the throne. She dedicates her whole life to her father after the Empress dies. But will she see her contributions honored?