Sunday, October 6, 2013

Book Review: Empire of the Moghul : The Serpent's Tooth

Fifth in the Empire of the Moghul series, this book with Shah Jahan as the protagonist brings history alive. Narration is so powerful, characters and situations unfold in front you like in a movie or a drama.  If you have read the earlier book of this series, you would know Shah Jahan, as prince Khurram, had a splendid up bringing with a great attention from his grand-father Akbar. This book rather deals with his tragic ending.

Unable to overcome grief with the loss of his wife Mumtaz, his priorities in life become different and he fails to notice his young children (without the support of their mother) growing up to be rivals. His complete trust in his elder son Dara to manage the developments, but underestimating ambitions of his third son Aurangzeb makes him fail utterly in his last of years of life. The creator of Taj Mahal,  the Emperor of the World (literal translation of Shah Jahan) becomes confined to four walls and spends his last days overlooking the great monument he built.

His times prove again that enemies for The great Moghul kingdom were more internal than external. The saying in the family 'throne or coffin' continues to haunt Shah Jahan's sons as well. While Shah Jahan himself had to get rid off of his half brothers to ensure no threats survived on his way to become an emperor, he thinks his sons being full brothers will not to go through the similar situation. But Aurangzeb proves him wrong by getting his brothers killed and claiming the peacock throne.