The Feast of Roses by Indu Sundaresan – Book Review

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Its been a long time since I did a book review. I’m going to review the sequel of the ‘The Twentieth Wife’.

Mehrunnisa, who is the central character of the book is a girl from the 16th century. It’s a time when women were not allowed a lot of things. Mehrunnisa was too intelligent for her times. It’s a story of Salim (Jahangir) and his love Mehrunnisa. It’s about how a simple girl called Mehrunnisa gets the name of Noor Jaha.

The love story of Mehrunnisa and Jahangir continues in this novel. Mehrunnisa who became Jahangir’s wife at the age of 34 (which was way too old for those days to get married) and was his 20th wife.

In the seventeenth century one would expect that Jahangir’s twentieth wife of twenty wives would be lower than everyone and will have to follow orders. But Mehrunnisa survived. She not only survived but changed the definition of a queen from just being married to the king to someone who could run an entire empire.

Mehrunnisa’s only survival mechanisms were the love Jahangir had for her and her own cunning mind. Mehrunnisa is a strong lead protagonist, who quickly understands the balance of power and how to manipulate to her advantage. She knew how to turn Jahangir’s love towards herself to gain many favors, including – positioning of trustworthy people around her, transfer of royal seal under her command, accompanying emperor to give audience to commoners and tactically banishing many others who could pose a threat to her commanding position.

Reading this gives a lot of inspiration to me. If a woman of that time could achieve so much; then why can’t we!!

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