Saturday, 26 November 2016
Tuesday, 22 November 2016
Wednesday, 16 November 2016
This is my review on the third book of the Empire of the Moghul Series.
The name of this book itself will give an idea, who the subject is; the ultimate Moghul champion, Akbar!
At a the age of 12, when his father Humayan died by falling down the stairs in Agra Fort, his mother, Hamida made sure that he succeed his father as the third Mughal Emperor immediately before the enemies snoop in to take away his birthright.
At a very young age itself, he proved his strength by commanding his forces, during which his warriors fought and won the second battle of Panipat against a Hindu general, Hemu, that gave him a strong foothold in Hindustan.
While growing up, Akbar not only won various battles and conquered a major number of empires in India to his name; he also married Rajput princesses to forge an alliance with significant sovereign states of this country, like Amber, Mewar, Ranthambore etc.
After reading this book, I gathered that Akbar was indeed charismatic, he influenced millions of his subjects, whether be a hindu or a muslim, he regarded all of them with respect. He even introduced a new religion, Din-i-Illahi, a syncretic creed derived from Islam, Hinduism, Zoroastrianism, and Christianity to bring about religious unity.
Even though an illiterate, he loved poetry, sufi songs and he also had a thirst to learn about administration, economics and social norms, using these knowledge to bring about inspiring new policies into his rule, all according to the Ain-i-Akbari (Manuscript of his rule). He was also into architectures and designs. He administered the construction of the great city of Fatehpur Sikri and Humayun’s Tomb in Delhi, which are still, regarded for its magnificence and grandeur.
FatehPur Sikri - Agra
Part of this book also featured the story of Salim, Akbar’s son, which showed his bitter feelings for his father. According to him, Akbar was as ruthless a father to him as was a great ruler. His version of events proved that Akbar tried and failed to acknowledge his son’s abilities to prove himself as a worthy heir. Akbar in fact considered to make his grandson, Khusron (Salim’s eldest son) as his successor, developing ill feelings not only between himself and Salim, but also between his son and grandsons. He particularly showed interest in his third grandson Khurram (Later known as Shah Jahan), taking him away from his birth mother and overseeing his education himself, which all increased Salim’s spite towards Akbar even more.
This book also told us the story about the infamous incident of love between Salim and the beautiful Persian dancer, Anarkali, his father’s favorite concubine, which I found very interesting.
I would say, this series is getting more and more fascinating and I can’t wait to share my views on the next in line “The Tainted Throne”, which I already finished reading a few days ago and will soon be posting my reviews on it.
Till then, if you haven’t already, then please go ahead with this super sequel epic adventurous drama which spills the dirty secrets of Moghuls in detail.
Sunday, 13 November 2016
Thursday, 10 November 2016
Monday, 7 November 2016
I just finished the second installment of this series, which is based on Humayun’s life and struggle to live up to his father’s expectations of ruling Hindustan and extending their powers beyond Delhi or Agra.
Babur chose Humayan, as his successor as the next Moghul Emperor, when he died because not only he was the eldest, but was much more capable than his other three sons, which led to a feud between him and his brothers, who started plotting to kill Humayan right after their father’s funeral.
This book was way more interesting than the first because not only it contained 90% of facts according to the author’s historical notes, but also Humayun’s life story was quite interesting compared to Babur’s. His character in the book turned out to be very brawny and passionate and an interesting thing that stuck me most about him was his star gazing, dream interpretation abilities and his astronomical skills.
Although successful in his first campaign as an Emperor, to seize Gujarat, Humayun suffered a number of setbacks, mainly because as a ruler he was very dissolute, prone to rash judgement and easily manipulated. It was not long when he had to abandon his empire in Agra and travel to Lahore, which didn’t end there. He had to wait a long time to recapture Hindustan from a Bengal ruler, Sher Shah, because of his brothers, Kamran and Askari, who kept plotting behind his back, worst of which was they kidnapped his infant son Akbar and threatened to kill him, which forced Humayun to give up his conquest and exile to Persia. After which his life took interesting turns that you will have to find out after reading the book.
All-in-all, it was a compelling tale that left me in a trance. I feel like reading it again, not only because it was an interesting read, but because to stumble upon some new facts (This book had many by the way!) that I might have missed in the first reading. It is indeed a kind of book that you would like to keep for multiple diggings. I can’t wait to read the next installment of the series, which who knows might turn out to be more exciting than the previous two.
Keep your eyes peeled for my review on the third book - “Ruler of the World".