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Publisher's Summary

An enchanting historical epic of grand passion and adventure, this debut novel tells the captivating story of one of India's most controversial empresses, a woman whose brilliance and determination trumped myriad obstacles and whose love shaped the course of the Mughal Empire.

Skillfully blending the textures of historical reality with the rich and sensual imaginings of a timeless fairy tale, The Twentieth Wife sweeps listeners up in Mehrunnisa's embattled love with Prince Salim - and in the bedazzling destiny of a woman, a legend in her own time, who was all but lost to history until now.

©2002 Indu Sundaresan (P)2006 Blackstone Audio Inc.

Critic Reviews

"Sundaresan writes in the great tradition of the Indian epic, an art she carries forward with grace and brilliance....This is a remarkably readable book despite the historical basis, with which many readers will not be familiar." (Library Journal) "Sundaresan's debut is a sweeping, carefully researched tale of desire, sexual mores, and political treachery set against the backdrop of 16th- and 17th-century India....[She] charts the chronology of the Mughal Empire, describing life in the royal court in convincing detail and employing authentic period terms throughout." (Publishers Weekly)

What members say

Average Customer Ratings

Overall

  • 4.1 out of 5.0
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Performance

  • 4.6 out of 5.0
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Story

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  • Overall
  • C
  • Aspen, CO, United States
  • 07-06-07

Basically romance

Although it might be considered historical fiction, it read like a romance novel for me.

5 of 10 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
  • Performance
  • Story

Boring Characters

From the first few minutes I started bargaining with myself into listening for an hour everyday. What an awful way to feel about the story in the first impressions of the book!! (I usually listen to 2-6 hours of audiobooks a day) I tried it for 3 day and got 3 hours in and just wasn't enjoying the book at all. The characters were just so bland and I didn't see the reasoning behind any of their ambitions. Why was this little girl so obsessed with this rude, horrible prince? Why was the prince so selfish and self absorbed? And what he does to his father... I just couldn't stand all the awful pointless characters and finally decided that this book wasn't for me. Also, why the insta-love? That's what I'd call lazy writing. DNF'd after 3 hours. I ended up reading reviews from other people on goodreads and am glad that I didn't finish this book as I'm sure I wouldn't have liked it any better as the book went along. The narration was okay but didn't wow me in any way.

0 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
  • Performance
  • Story

Evocative and Enjoyable

Would you recommend this audiobook to a friend? If so, why?

The author conjures up the Mughal Empire with skill and feeling, a period story woven through an individual narrative, the best way to enjoy history. The narrator is outstanding -- a factor that can't be underrated.

0 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Overall

Really Very Good!

I really enjoyed this audio. It was a well told and well read story with well developed characters, story line and great description. Highly recommended.

0 of 2 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
  • Cariola
  • Chambersburg, PA USA
  • 01-31-08

Good First Novel

Overall, this was an enjoyable listen--but perhaps a bit long for the content. (Of course, there's also a sequel now!)

0 of 4 people found this review helpful