adbl_ms_membershipImage_includedwith_altText_B076FLV3HT
adbl_ms_membershipImage_includedwith_altText_B076FLV3HT

1 audiobook of your choice.
Stream or download thousands of included titles.
$14.95 a month after 30 day trial. Cancel anytime.
Buy for $21.35

Buy for $21.35

Pay using card ending in
By confirming your purchase, you agree to Audible's Conditions of Use and Amazon's Privacy Notice. Taxes where applicable.

Publisher's Summary

Iran in 1576 is a place of peace, wealth, and dazzling beauty. But when the Shah dies without having named an heir, the court is thrown into tumult. Princess Pari, the Shah's daughter and closest adviser, knows more about the inner workings of the state than almost anyone, but the princess's maneuvers to instill order after her father's sudden death incite resentment and dissent. Pari and her trusted servant, a eunuch able to navigate the harem as well as the world beyond the palace walls, are in possession of an incredible tapestry of secrets and information that reveals a power struggle of epic proportions.

Based loosely on the life of Princess Pari Khan Khanoom, Equal of the Sun is a riveting story of political intrigue and a moving portrait of an unlikely friendship between a princess and a eunuch. Anita Amirrezvani is a master storyteller, and in her lustrous prose this rich and labyrinthine world comes to vivid life with a stunning cast of characters, passionate and brave men and women who defy or embrace their destiny in a Machiavellian game played by those who lust for power and will do anything to attain it.

©2012 Anita Amirrezvani (P)2012 Tantor

Critic Reviews

"A dazzling historical novel of ancient Persia, a fairy tale of universal resonance." (Gina Nahai, author of Caspian Rain)

What listeners say about Equal of the Sun

Average Customer Ratings
Overall
  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • 5 Stars
    330
  • 4 Stars
    205
  • 3 Stars
    113
  • 2 Stars
    32
  • 1 Stars
    28
Performance
  • 4.5 out of 5 stars
  • 5 Stars
    406
  • 4 Stars
    157
  • 3 Stars
    53
  • 2 Stars
    15
  • 1 Stars
    9
Story
  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • 5 Stars
    309
  • 4 Stars
    195
  • 3 Stars
    84
  • 2 Stars
    28
  • 1 Stars
    27

Reviews - Please select the tabs below to change the source of reviews.

Sort by:
Filter by:
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars

A Woman in a Man's World

The story is told by the eunuch, Javaher, closest advisor to the Princess Pari. Javaher is uniquely positioned to navigate the treacherous political pathways of Iran’s 16th century court intrigue. While her father lives, Pari is in an unusual position of power and influence. After her father’s murder, her influence within the court decreases drastically.

This was an interesting look at historical events and a culture that are completely unknown to me. So, I can’t speak to how much this fiction conforms to fact. As a novel, this book was enjoyable reading. The descriptions were very rich and the action was well plotted. I was drawn into the conspiracy and the trauma of the story. I liked the major characters and I was saddened by the tragic events of the story. Clearly it was as dangerous to be female in the Iranian royal family as it was to be a female relation of 16th century English monarchs.

Simon Vance handles the accents and varied voices with his usual expertise. His performance goes a long way to set the exotic atmosphere of the story.

67 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

You will enjoy this

The truths in the political world of the Shah's palace are exposed by the main character of the book, a eunuch and servant to the Shah's favorite daughter and most-trusted advisor, Princess Pari. His power and rank in the court change with the political power structures within the palace. As their influence outside the harem ebbs and flows the true strength of the relationship between Princess Pari and her eunuch is revealed.

This is similar to the author's other book, The Blood of Flowers, in that it is so richly detailed that the picture forms in your mind's eye so clearly and you have no doubt as to what the characters look like, what they are wearing, what they are smelling, and what they are seeing. This book exposes the dangers behind a weak throne, the struggles of women, and the sacrifices one must take to find out the truth. I loved how much poetry was celebrated and arts in all forms such as writing, calligraphy, fabrics, architecture and so on.

The narrator does a good job in telling of the story though some of his female voices sound well awkward but only characters that aren't heard much.

I recommend this book to people who love a good story where they can learn something of the world and really get behind the characters lives' and root for their success in life.

34 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars

How equal?

1576 is the year. Historical fiction is the genre. We are not in England, we are in Iran! The terrain may be different but how different is the roll of royal women, of politics, of danger to life, and court intrigue? That was what I discovered while listening to the Audible.com version.

O, it's through the eyes of a eunuch. I knew nothing more than the obvious about eunuchs so this very enlighting.

I would recommend this book to those who love historical fiction; are familiar with the European timeline but not in another part of the world. It may be a bit harder a read or listen because it is so unfamiliar but at the end, well worth the time and effort.

59 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

Historical Fiction at its finest

Great story about the political intrigues of 15th-century Iran. Because the two main characters are a eunuch and a princess the story is enriched with descriptions of court life through this unique point of view. Both eunuch and princess are poets who share the love of art with one another. The reader is allowed a glimpse into the world that spawned the great poems of Rumi and the glorious architecture of a bygone age. However, it was politics as usual with lots of assassinations as princes vied for power in an attempt to crush all other contenders to the throne. The reader was excellent as well, making this book a truly great read.

10 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

Wonderful story and performance

Where does Equal of the Sun rank among all the audiobooks you’ve listened to so far?

Up near the top. I loved the story and leaning about the culture and politics of Iranian court in the early 1700.

What did you like best about this story?

The vivid description of the surroundings, people and situations which allowed me to almost be there in my mind as I listened to the story. Learning about the culture.

What about Simon Vance’s performance did you like?

His nice steady voice which made it a pleasure to listen to

If you could rename Equal of the Sun, what would you call it?

Not sure

10 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

Loving it!

I'm halfway through and . . .in a sort of audio equivalent of "I can't put it down!" well, "I can't take it out of my ears!" Usually I listen to novels while working out or on long drives, but this one has me plugging in even on the shortest of trips. Tonight I even walked into my house and started making dinner with the earplugs in . . . a first!

Vivid, sympathetic, authoritative writing, quite amazing in its detail of another time and place. The themes of altruism, yearning, revenge, duty and, of course, love reverberate. The characters are intriguing and often unpredictable.

Great work, Anita Amirrezvani!

26 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

Enchanting tale

I have become mesmerized by this author and her ability to take you to a far away place and time. Iran and the intrigues of the Shah's court and harem take me away from the mundane exercise or driving in my ordinary life. I have learned a lot from Equal of the Sun, and her previous novel, The Blood of Flowers. As an added bonus, the reader is absolutely perfect in giving life to the colorful characters and place in time.

6 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

excellent

Great story. The narration was wonderful..you felt as though you were right in the middle of the story.

4 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    1 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    1 out of 5 stars

Creepy & Odd

Simon Vance is such a great narrator that I stayed with the book to the end. But the story was historically inaccurate, the characters were weird with unreal emotions and the language had too many modern phrases to make any sense. Other than the reader, not worth the effort.

3 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    3 out of 5 stars

O.K. story saved by the setting

The story was rather blah, but I enjoyed the period detail and information about a culture and time that I did not know much about. I enjoyed this author's other book set in Persia better.

11 people found this helpful