The Twentieth Wife: A Novel

By Indu Sundaresan

A fascinating historic epic of grand ardour and experience, this debut novel tells the appealing tale of 1 of India's such a lot debatable empresses -- a girl whose brilliance and resolution trumped myriad hindrances, and whose love formed the process the Mughal Empire. Skillfully mixing the textures of old truth with the wealthy and sensual imaginings of a undying fairy story, The 20th Wife sweeps readers up in Mehrunnisa's embattled love with Prince Salim, and within the bedazzling future of a lady -- a legend in her personal time -- who used to be all yet misplaced to historical past beforehand.

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THE EMPEROR HAS known as for Abul Fazl, your Highness,” Mahabat Khan stated. Salim checked out his courtier in dismay. “Are you certain? ” Mahabat nodded. “The runner was once spending the evening at a wine residence and talked an excessive amount of. certainly one of our males heard the scoop. ” Salim slumped down at the cushions of his throne. He had ordered a black slate throne carved at Allahabad and known as himself Sultan Salim Shah in defiance of his father’s command to disband his military and are available to him unarmed. Many months had handed due to the fact that mad sprint to Agra to catch the treasury, a number of extra after that fateful test at reconciliation with Akbar. Now, the Emperor used to be going to name upon Fazl. Why Fazl? What strong may that do? Abul Fazl had by no means cherished him, yet he used to be one of many Emperor’s closest confidantes, the fellow to whom he had entrusted the care of his sons. He had despatched Fazl to the Deccan to appear after Murad, who had died quickly after his arrival. Now he desired to convey him again to take care of one other son. Akbar used to be dedicated to Abul Fazl, much more so when you consider that he had accomplished the Akbarnama, bestowing nice honors on him for that paintings. yet Akbar had no longer learn 3 volumes of the Akbarnama. He had in basic terms checked out them with awe. This nice Mughal Emperor used to be illiterate; he may well neither learn nor write. in spite of the fact that, that had now not stopped Akbar from cultivating the acquaintance of the main discovered and cultured poets, authors, musicians, and designers of the time—relying completely on his amazing reminiscence in the course of conversations with them. Salim sighed. quite a bit . . . the Emperor constantly did lots together with his time. He slept yet little, merely 4 hours each evening, and every day used to be jam-packed with kingdom tasks, time on the harem, time with the court docket musicians and painters and poets. And he, Salim, came upon it demanding to even run his little country in the empire. “Why has the Emperor referred to as for Fazl? ” he requested. “To unravel this dispute among your self and his Majesty, no doubt,” Mahabat responded. “Abul Fazl will in simple terms make concerns worse. He hasn't ever been my good friend. He has continuously spoken opposed to me to the Emperor,” Salim acknowledged. “If he involves courtroom, I shall now not be capable of see my pricey father back. The Emperor won't ever let me to attend on him. ” a quick silence undefined. Mahabat, Koka, Abdullah, and Sharif checked out each other considerably. Fazl’s arrival at courtroom will be disastrous for them, too. They have been already dealing with fees of sedition, and the Emperor’s military was once itching to put arms on them. Fazl may persuade Akbar to forgive Salim, yet their very own heads lay on very uneasy shoulders; regrettably they can declare no kinship to the Emperor. “What shall I do? ” Salim requested. “We can go back to Agra, and that i shall beg forgiveness from his Majesty. ” “No, your Highness,” Sharif acknowledged firmly. “We need to enable your time move ahead of you come. immediately . . . ,” he hesitated, “the Emperor is especially disillusioned and won't be moderate. ” “But there's no probability that he'll relent earlier than Fazl will get the following. And that guy will merely make issues worse,” Salim acknowledged back.

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