Title: The Twentieth Wife
Author: Indu Sundaresan
Context: The Twentieth Wife is a historical fiction debut novel by Indu Sundaresan set in India in the 1600s. It is a captivating story of adventure and grand passion about one of the most controversial empresses of India. The course of Mughal Empire was shaped with the love, brilliance and the way in which she surpassed scores of obstacles with headstrong determination.
Synopsis: This timeless fairy tale blends the textures of sensual and rich imaginations with historical reality in the most skillful way. Readers are swept up in the embattled love between Prince Salim and Mehrunnisa and in the enchanting destiny of the empresses. In her own time, she was a legend who was all but until now she has been lost to history.
The empress was born in 1577 during a ferocious howling winter storm in tent near the roadside. She was born as a fateful daughter to one of the starving refugees trying to escape Persia’s violent persecution. However a miraculous turnaround sparked resulting into a fortune for the family and ending up with her father being introduced to Emperor Akbar in his court. The name of this empress was Mehrunnisa, the Sun of Women.
She grew up on the opulent grounds of Emperor Akbar’s palace gradually blossoming into a sapphire eyed child bestowed with immense luminous beauty, intellect with a strong ambition that far surpassed the boundaries of her family’s station.
As an eight year old she meets Salim the young prince the day of his wedding and foresees the path of her own destiny. She is completely unaware that this dream would prove to be a costly affair for her and her family. However with their fiery intensity, their quest takes them to places impossible to even dream of.
Other works by the Author:
Taj Mahal Trilogy
2003 – The Feast of Roses
2010 – Shadow Princess
2006 – The Splendour of Silence
2008 – In the Convent of Little Flowers
2013 – The Mountain of Light