Sunday, 10 June 2012

HISTORICAL FICTION REVIEW: Empire of the Moghul 4: The Tainted Throne - Alex Rutherford

Release Date: 10/05/12


The brutal battle for power continues in the fourth book in the epic Empire of the Moghul series. Agra, India, 1606. Jahangir, the triumphant Moghul Emperor and ruler of most of the Indian subcontinent, is doomed. No amount of wealth and ruthlessness can protect him from his sons' desire for power. The glorious Moghul throne is worth any amount of bloodshed and betrayal; once Jahangir raised troops against his own father; now he faces a bloody battle with Khurram, the ablest of his warring sons. Worse is to come. Just as the heirs of Timur the Great share intelligence, physical strength and utter ruthlessness, they also have a great weakness for wine and opium. Once Jahangir is tempted, his talented wife, Mehrunissa, is only too willing to take up the reins of empire. And with Khurram and his half-brothers each still determined to be their father's heir, the savage battle for the Moghul throne will be more ferocious than even Timur could have imagined...


Whilst I’ve not always been enamoured of the writing style of this team, I have to admit that the bravery exuded by the two to explore a rich and varied culture brings to the western audience a set of stories that are not only dark but invigorating as the lead characters play the old game of thrones to the best of their abilities.

That said, the story creates its own path which whilst fascinating from a historians point of view, does leave a reader who likes the cut and thrust a little disappointed as the pace can be infuriatingly slow at times. Don’t get me wrong, the concept and story is gripping, however, when the writing for me takes its time with overly flowery prose I tend to get a little lost and disappointed as I wait for the next development to slowly dawn. Whilst many will love this style, for me the series is one that whilst I should have loved fell far short of what I felt it should be achieving. A great shame all in but you can’t please everyone.

No comments: