Beneath a Marble Sky
A Novel of the Taj Mahal
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Historical | Fiction
In 1632, the Emperor of Hindustan, Shah Jahan, overwhelmed
with grief over the death of his beloved wife, Mumatz Mahal,
commissioned the building of a grand mausoleum to symbolize
the greatness of their love. The story surrounding the
construction of the Taj Mahal occurs, however, against a
scrim of fratricidal war, murderous rebellion, unimaginable
wealth, and, not least of all, religious fundamentalism
ruthlessly opposing tolerance and coexistence between the
disparate peoples in the empire.
At that time, Hindustan comprised all of modern Pakistan and
Kashmir, most of eastern Afghanistan, and two-thirds of the
Indian subcontinent (roughly north of Bombay to the Himalayas).
Beneath a Marble Sky—narrated by Princess Jahanara, eldest
daughter of Shah Jahan and Mumtaz Mahal—recounts their
story, and her own as well, a parallel tale of forbidden
love enduring censure and extreme deprivations. Beneath a
Marble Sky brims with action and intrigue befitting an epic
era when, alongside continuous war, architecture and its
attendant arts reached a pinnacle of perfection.
In a splendid debut, John Shors has crafted an immensely
readable and well-researched historical novel of
surprisingly contemporary relevance.
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