Thursday, 19 January 2017

Empire of the Moghul .. # 6 .. Traitors in the Shadows .. By Alex Rutherford

Here comes the sixth and the final book review of the Empire of the Moghul series. It showcases the life and events of the time of the sixth Moghul Emperor, Aurangzeb and his continuous struggle to capture and rein Deccan, where he put a strong foothold, but unfortunately, couldn't hold it long enough, with Chattrapati Shivaji's constant attacks on his territories.

As per the book, Aurangzeb was a very ruthless ruler and a political and religious conservative and he chose not to follow his predecessors' liberal religious viewpoints. He largely suppressed other religions and also banned alcoholism, gambling, music etc. and also imposed Jizya on non-Muslims. 

Aurangzeb also led a very unsatisfactory life and karma bit him like anything. After imprisoning his father, Shah Jahan, and seizing the throne for himself, he not only lost the support and love of his family, he also became an unrelenting father to his sons, who opposed him on his views and instead supported Shivaji's son, Sambhaji and tried to overthrow him.

The various monuments that he tried to build were also not as fascinating as his predecessors' had been. For instance, the mausoleum that he built for his late wife, Dilras Banu was a poor imitation of Taj Mahal, but is still standing at Aurangabad, known as Bibi Ka Maqbara.

I found this book not as absorbing as other books of this series. Compared to Rutherford's previous novels, this felt very mediocre and a half-hearted attempt to conclude the series. Aurangzeb, the last talked about Moghul Emperor has been judged very critically in this book and his many achievements been shrouded in history.

From here, I too am concluding my reviews on this very interesting series, The Empire of the Moghul, reading which I gathered a tremendous amount of knowledge on Timur and Ghengiz Khan's descendants and took a ride back in history through all six elite generations of Moghuls from snowy mountains of Ferghana, Uzbekistan to the dusty plateaus of mighty Hindustan. It was one hell of a journey!

In case you missed my previous review on the books of this series, please check out the below links -

Among these, The Tainted Throne is my personal favorite!

Happy Reading!!

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