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The Feast of Roses | [Indu Sundaresan]

The Feast of Roses

Despite the rivalry of the imperial harem, which has plotted against her from the beginning, Mehrunnisa soon becomes the most powerful woman in the Mughal Empire. She rules from behind the veil, securing her status by forming a junta of sorts with her father, brother, and stepson and by risking all, even her daughter, to get what she wants. But she never loses the love of the man who has bestowed this power upon her.
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Publisher's Summary

In her critically praised debut novel, The 20th Wife, Indu Sundaresan introduced the love story of Emperor Jahangir and Mehrunnisa. The story continues in this lush sequel, when Mehrunnisa comes into Jahangir's harem as his 20th and final wife. This time, Jahangir has married for love, and members of his court are worried that Mehrunnisa could exert control over their futures. Their concerns are well founded.

Despite the rivalry of the imperial harem, which has plotted against her from the beginning, Mehrunnisa soon becomes the most powerful woman in the Mughal Empire. She rules from behind the veil, securing her status by forming a junta of sorts with her father, brother, and stepson and by risking all, even her daughter, to get what she wants. But she never loses the love of the man who has bestowed this power upon her.

©2003 Indu Sundaresan; (P)2007 Blackstone Audio Inc.

What the Critics Say

"Weaving another rich historical tapestry...Sundaresan colors the life of a fascinating woman whose female wiles inspired the Taj Mahal." (Booklist)
"The novel's scope and ambition are impressive, as are the numerous period details....Readers who enjoyed the first volume will find similar pleasures tracking the fate of one of history's most intriguing women." (Publishers Weekly)
"Sundaresan's love of storytelling is apparent in this well-researched historical romance. She makes sure that the reader stays enthralled from chapter to chapter and, with this sequel, will surely do the same in creating anticipation for her next book." (Library Journal)

What Members Say

Average Customer Rating

4.2 (194 )
5 star
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4.6 (66 )
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Performance
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  •  
    Pamela San Antonio, TX, USA 05-29-07
    Pamela San Antonio, TX, USA 05-29-07
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Gold Medal Finalist"

    Another magnificent masterpiece created by Indu Sundaresan with outstanding narration that I loved from beginning to end. The writer's creative technique and the narrator's superb presentation brings ancient India to the 21st century for both history buffs and those not so historically inclined. Every character and event is vividly depicted with grand literary performance and dialogue. The Twentieth Wife is a must read in order to grasp the potency and familiarity with all the amazing characters, and unlike most novel sequels, The Feast of the Roses will not disappoint! Sundaresan certainly raised the bar with these outstanding works of sheer enjoyment so its going to be pretty hard for me to find another author that comes close to measuring up!

    16 of 16 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Judy Albuquerque, NM, USA 12-06-09
    Judy Albuquerque, NM, USA 12-06-09
    HELPFUL VOTES
    25
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    "Perhaps too sympathetic, but a great love story"

    I listened to and loved The Twentieth Wife and bought this title with my very next credit. It is the sequel which takes the story of Empress Nur Jahan from her marriage to Jahangir to the time of his death. Sundaresan is very sympathetic towards both, tempering Nur Jahan's ambition, and emphasizing her romantic love for her husband. While the passion shared between the two was legendary, I have learned that most historical accounts emphasize her tendency to be manipulative and harsh and suggest that she took advantage of her husband's addictions to drugs and alcohol. Here she seems to be valiantly struggling to be her own person in a man's world. I personally liked this softer interpretation. It is a great love story, but I question the historical accuracy of its anachronistic feminist overtones.

    The narrator is very good. There are perhaps a few too many descriptions of the oppressive heat, street life, and meals. Overall, however, the author provides a fascinating account of Indian politics and history of the seventeenth century and the strategies used to deal with increasingly intrusive Portuguese and British merchants and missionaries. Nur Jahan, by the way, was the aunt of the woman for whom the Taj Majal was built.

    7 of 7 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Michael Sun City, AZ, United States 12-29-08
    Michael Sun City, AZ, United States 12-29-08 Member Since 2004
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "A suprise like!"

    I very much enjoy historical fiction, but being a guy I'm not an into the romatic variety! This story along with the first book (The Twentieth Wife) does what good story's do ... they put you into that time and place. I also liked the fact that this strong female character earned her position - in a male dominated world that could not understand how love can make us a stronger, better person, not weaker.
    Also, Mughal India with its wealth, intelligence, and corruption will fascinate you. These two books are both beautiful and fascinating and well worth the listen. I originally got these books for my wife to listen too, but I think I enjoyed them as much, if not more than she did!
    The Narrator Sneha Mathan does a wonderful job.

    7 of 7 people found this review helpful
  •  
    S. Lev-Ami JERUSALEM Israel 12-26-08
    S. Lev-Ami JERUSALEM Israel 12-26-08 Member Since 2005

    Antigonos

    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Bad Editing Loses A Star"

    The narrator is great [I'd really like to hear her read an unabridged "A Suitable Boy"], but there is a major technical fault: at the beginning of each recording session, she repeats the last sentence of the previous section AND IT HASN'T BEEN EDITED OUT. It is quite annoying. Recorded Books should have been more careful. The narrator does the various Indian accents beautifully and pronounces the Indian words and names very well.

    The book itself is a continuation of the story of Nur Jahan, the wife of Jahangir, the third Mogul emperor. The language is decorous--no steamy sex here, although Nur Jahan's hold on her husband was in part at least because of that--and occasionally sounds somewhat stilted. The author, however, manages to describe a way of life so foreign to the West with great ability and sympathy, and to make Nur Jahan very credible. Like "The Twentieth Wife", which precedes this book, a thoroughly enjoyable read. Although there are some sources, Indu Sundaresan has largely recreated the Moghul world through her imagination; these two books are somewhere between biography, history, and fiction.

    3 of 3 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Wyonia Perry Hall, MD, USA 10-17-08
    Wyonia Perry Hall, MD, USA 10-17-08 Member Since 2007
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    "Wonderful Writing, Plot AND Presentation"

    I can't say enough about this reader; I wish she had more performances. She is perfect for this book (and the other in the series), which is beautifully written.

    A joy to listen to!

    3 of 3 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Diane Iron Station, NC, United States 01-27-10
    Diane Iron Station, NC, United States 01-27-10
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Lots of Historical Detail & not enough story"

    I listened to the first book and this is the sequel to it. I enjoyed the first one, The 20th wife, more. It had more "story" to it. Truly, with this one, I felt as if the author was just repeating history she had researched from the very extensive journals of India's moguls. It just spouted off facts about battles for power until finally, I couldn't finish it. I really wanted to as I felt committed to the two books but I couldn't take the boredom any longer. Kept hoping it would pick up but it didn't. I will say, though, that is this narrator is SUPERB.

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Bookoholics Anon 04-15-10 Listener Since 2009

    No Pink Ponies

    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Fascination history of Mughal India"

    This author has a great skill writing battle scenes and creating lush images of Mughal India. Her novels start slowly, but they always gather speed and intensity. Only the epilogue seemed a bit flat. The narration is beautiful. I enjoyed every minute.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Peggy PA 08-22-13
    Peggy PA 08-22-13 Member Since 2007
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    "Interesting and intruiging story!"
    Would you recommend this audiobook to a friend? If so, why?

    I absolutely would recommend this book and any books by this author and narrator! This was such an interesting and informative story! It gave me a glimpse into another culture and era that I had never thought of before. I enjoyed it so much I sought out other books by this author!


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Laura Gorlitz, Germany 11-11-12
    Laura Gorlitz, Germany 11-11-12
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    "A glimpse into the secret world"
    Where does The Feast of Roses rank among all the audiobooks you’ve listened to so far?

    I rate it very high. A glimps into the world little known for 2 reasons - history of a far away land, and moreover a tale of a woman who lived hidden behind the walls, but still was a co-ruler of a vast empire. Great !


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Mariel LAKE STEVENS, WA, United States 08-12-12
    Mariel LAKE STEVENS, WA, United States 08-12-12 Member Since 2009

    So many books to read...so little time. Why not listen to them instead?!

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    "Very informative..alluring..I can't stop my audio!"
    If you could sum up The Feast of Roses in three words, what would they be?

    Roller coaster ride! Alluring! Romantic!


    What did you like best about this story?

    The independence was very inspiring.


    What does Sneha Mathan bring to the story that you wouldn’t experience if you just read the book?

    The audio added to my imagination. Reading the book would have been interesting but listening to the audio being read with character, feeling and excitement.


    Was this a book you wanted to listen to all in one sitting?

    This was an audiobook that I could not stop but had to since I have life.


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
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  • Shyam
    Daventry, Northamptonshire, United Kingdom
    10/11/10
    Overall
    "The Feast of Roses"

    Loved this book and would like more from Indu Sundaresan!

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
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