By Indu Sundaresan
A fascinating historic epic of grand ardour and event, this debut novel tells the beautiful tale of 1 of India's so much debatable empresses -- a lady whose brilliance and backbone trumped myriad hindrances, and whose love formed the process the Mughal Empire. Skillfully mixing the textures of ancient 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 background formerly.
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Additional resources for The Twentieth Wife: A Novel
They walked as quietly as attainable during the darkish woodland. The solar was once low within the west via now, and the timber shaped a thick cover overhead, shutting out what little gentle there has been. An unseasonable thunderstorm had soaking wet the searching flooring days in the past, and the undergrowth nonetheless smelled dank and damp. The groom struck a fit and lit the torch he used to be wearing. “Here, your Highness,” the groom whispered, laying aside a bush to allow Salim go. they'd come across a small clearing. The groom held up his torch, and the darkness receded to the sides of the clearing. within the heart, 4 tiger cubs, each one now not greater than a man’s hand, performed by myself. They became and checked out the newbies with inquisitive, unblinking golden eyes. one of many cubs got here operating as much as Salim and pawed at his boots fearlessly. Salim laughed in pride, picked up the cub, and held it to his chest. The cub had a tangy odor, with a smear of blood from a few animal streaked over one ear the place its mom had now not licked it off. Salim rubbed his palms alongside its neck, and the cub purred in contentment, its brilliant eyes softening. Ali Quli peered worriedly into the gloom. “Your Highness, the tigress needs to be nearby. Please be cautious. ” Salim paid no recognition to him, stroking the gold and black strains that arrowed down the cub’s again. all of sudden, a couple of incandescent eyes gleamed out of the darkness, and a low growl sounded from the trees at once sooner than Salim. He seemed up, startled, his center thumping opposed to his ribs. Crouched in entrance of him, able to spring, used to be a wide, offended tigress. She had come from nowhere, making no sound formerly, giving no indication of her presence. Salim regarded round wildly for his musket. It lay at the flooring, a number of ft away; by the point he reached it, the tigress will be upon him. He regarded towards the tigress, maintaining the cub in numb palms. Ali Quli watched his prince, the phrases he desired to say caught in his throat. The cub, sensing the stress and occupied with the odor of its mom, twisted and mewed in Salim’s tight clutch. The tigress growled louder from deep inside of her physique. Ali Quli cleared his throat and acknowledged softly, “Let the cub cross, your Highness. ” Salim didn't listen him. He was once mesmerized by means of the fluorescent gaze of the offended mom. The groom stood within reach, rooted to the floor, his torch spilling an eerie glow over the clearing. It lit up the 3 males status motionless and the both nonetheless crouched animal within the some distance nook. Ali Quli slowly felt for his dagger. As he clasped the deal with the tigress sprang with a noisy roar. Salim went chilly with terror. He attempted to seem away yet couldn't. His toes wouldn't movement; as a minimum, he knew instinctively that he couldn't outrun the tigress. He watched stupefied because the tigress introduced her large physique from the floor, enamel bared, mouth open, coming towards him. Time dragged to an inching halt because the animal pawed throughout the air, nearer and nearer . . . without warning, a guy hurled himself at the tigress, quite a few ft from the prince.