Author: Anita Amirrezvani
Publish Date: June 5, 2012
Source: TLC Book Tours
Why You're Reading This Book:
- You're a historical fiction fan.
- You like books off the beaten path.
From Goodreads.com: "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 advisor, 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."
My Two Cents:
Okay, I know that I go on and on about how I like when historical fiction books that me to places that I've never been before. I seriously do like that so let me just gush about this book a little bit. Iran is someplace that I don't know a lot of older history about. I know a lot about the more recent history but not much prior to the 20th century. This book takes the reader back a few hundred years to the time of the Iranian royalty, in particular, the Safavi dynasty. It was a time of struggle between members of the family to claim the power that they believed to be theirs. The years of the Safavis seemed to be incredibly tumultuous. I knew nothing about this ruling family before this book. All of the royals that are mentioned in the book were actual people. The servants in the books, including Jahaver, the narrator, were fictional.
This book takes you right into the intrigue through Jahaver, a Eunuch whose allegiance is pledged to the Shah's favorite daughter, Princess Pari. Jahaver is a really fascinating character. He goes through a really painful process of becoming a Eunuch as an older teenager (can you say ow????) in order to be able to go into the palace world to try to figure out the mystery of who killed his father. It's a lot to give up but Jahaver is not afraid to do so. Slowly he begins to learn the trade secrets of the palace and how to get what he wants. He even is able to teach Princess Pari the way to work those surrounding her in order to get what she wants. I loved that Jahaver is the narrator of the story. I really thought that it helped to pull the reader in and to see through the eyes of someone that knows a lot about what goes on in the palace.
The writing is great. Amirrezvani does a great job of making you feel like you're right there where all of the action. The reader really gets a great view of what's going on. I loved how the author wrote about the settings. There are some really good descriptions that make you feel like you're there.
Bottom line: A great historical fiction read with a ton of intrigue!
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