Review by The Mole
This, the fourth book in the Empire Of The Moghul series, deals with the reign of Jahangir and later his wife, Mehrunissa. It's difficult to summarise the book without giving away plot as there are so many plots and subplots. The Moghul Empire is a well documented time and accounts of these events stretch from English records by Sir Thomas Roe and others to the memoirs written by Jahangir and others at his court.
Apart from using some of these accounts Rutherford also travelled through areas of India for his research. Events have been 'modified', time frames are not true to life but essentially the story is true to history - or at least truth from a gleaned perspective.
The Moghul Empire is a period of history I have learned from popular myth and epic cinema and so this story came as a surprise to me. The Moghuls could be barbaric but also had a code of civilisation that was very strict. Punishments would be terrifying but rewards could be extreme too.
All this comes to life in the story of Jahangir's reign as emperor and, later, Mehrunissa's taking control leading to family fights and feuds and blood letting on an enormous scale. I found myself taking sides and cursing some of the characters involved.
I enjoyed this book far more than I expected and would recommend this to anyone into historical fiction and doesn't mind a bit, well a lot, of warfare.
Publisher - Headline
Genre - Adult Historical Fiction
Buy The Tainted Throne (Empire of the Moghul) from Amazon