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Empire Of The Moghul: Raiders From The North is the first book of a proposed quintet that chronicles the rise and fall of the Mughal Empire in the Indian Subcontinent.
Summary Of The Book
The mighty Mughal Empire that ruled a large part of the Indian subcontinent for three centuries has left its imprints in the history of the region. Empire of The Moghuls by Alex Rutherford is a proposed five part series that traces the dynasty from its beginning to its end. Raiders From The North is the first book in this series.
Empire of The Moghuls: Raiders From The North chronicles the life of Babur, who founded the Mughal empire. The story begins when Babur is 12 years old and covers the rest of his life from that point.
Babur, a descendant of Timur, and Genghis Khan through his mother’s family, has dreams of reclaiming the glory of his ancestors. But first, he has to begin by securing his claim to his current tiny kingdom.
When Babur is just 12 years old, his father dies in a freak accident, leaving him as the rightful heir, but with many threats to his claim. Factions within the kingdom were plotting against him, taking advantage of his age and inexperience. But Babur had the support of his grandmother and his mother who wielded great influence in the court. With the aid of his mentor and military advisor Wazir Khan, Babur secured his kingdom, Ferghana.
He then turned his attention to Samarkhand. This city had been the capital of his ancestor Timur, and Babur wanted to reconquer the city. After capturing it, he loses it to the Uzbeks. After this happens repeatedly, Babur turns his attention elsewhere.
Babur and his troops march on through Kabul into the land of India, and eventually conquer a large part of Hindustan, establishing his own dynasty, the Mughal Empire.
This novel, based on Babur’s autobiography, Baburnama, traces his campaigns, from his regaining and losing his own kingdom and Samarkhand to his eventual conquest of Hindustan. It is a story of violence, betrayals, plots, and counter-plots - the story of an eventful life.
About The Authors
Alex Rutherford is the pen name of the husband and wife authors, Micheal and Diana Preston, who both studied at Oxford and share a passion for history. They have written non-fiction historical books.
Empire of The Moghuls: Raiders From The North is the first book in the planned series. They have followed it up with Empire of The Moghul: Brothers At War, which relates the life of Humayun, the second Mughal emperor.
Being avid travelers, they have travelled all around the world, but India holds a special attraction for them. They spent a year in the country while researching information for their book on Taj Mahal. In Empire of the Moghul series they plan to retell the history of the Mughal Empire from its beginning with Babur, to the reign of Akbar, and finally to its eventual decline after Shah Jahan.
|Number of Pages||512 Pages|
In dry text books of history you get literal facts, the corresponding insipid dates... and objective information. Data which is cold, forbearing and soon forgotten. Here Rutherford fills in the flesh amidst the dry bones of cold history. Babur crosses the hindu kush... what he feels and thinks, what problems his troops face... how cold and difficult is the journey. Interesting detail fills up the otherwise skippable factual detail. High emotion... the why and why not litter the landscape. So much so you end up feeling sorry for Babur when he reminces about his friends and family whom he has lost and the simple free life he once lived.
It could have been more detailed at the probable cost of becoming heavy… but the author maintains a excited read at the cost of a more beautific (and hence limited) read.
Rutherford maintains a balance between drama and fact... going into characters and happenings to an extent to make them interesting, but at the same time letting them remain credible.
A very nice book and a thrilling one, where every page is a turner. The narrative seldom if ever slacks and you would get a basic historical insight as a bonus.
I finished this one yesterday night and am expecting the next (brother in arms) by afternoon today. A nice touch of superb delivery by flipkart.
This series is the first time I have ever been so captivated by an author (or two in this case - under the same pen name) that I have picked up the entire series and simply gobbled it up like a ravenous person!
This narration of Babur's life makes Babur come alive. As you turn each page, you can see the child Babur, listening wide eyed to his father's stories, or the emperor Babur - caught unaware by his destiny, but quickly growing up to master the tyranny around him.
The power of this entire series is such that you find yourself transported to another world. Sometimes, on horseback - sometimes, into the icy mountains of Kabul, on howdahs in India, in palanquins in the mountain passes, and each place is so real that you need a few seconds to break free and come back into the 21st century. You can almost hear the war cries and smell the battlefield.
It is a wonderfully scripted series - each character defined in their day, age, and amongst their environment. There are elements of continuity in the ever changing world of the Mughal emperors - and the thread is never lost.
History has never been told so well!
There have been some books written about the Mughal Dynasty - arguably one of the richest and powerful dynasties of its time. William Darymple's books offer some historical insights about the Mughals, and of course the Baburnama and Akbarnama, if one could get a copy, offer a lot of information.
However, Alex Rutherford's books are easier to read and assimilate. Historical Fiction (thats what this essentially is) offers a chance to those readers who would want to know about the Mughals, without having to handle a tome. The Empire of The Mughal series, is in its essence, true to the history of the times, the author obviously having taken some liberties as is his due. But Babur's story, his travails, challenges, loves and wars have been very well written about, we get an insight into the psyche of the man, and read about how he sets about creating history and the future. Essentially, a great read for somebody who loves history, and needs a quick peak into the Mughal Dynasty, willing to take a pinch of salt. For intricate historical details, refer to the other books mentioned above.
Me, I am ok with this series for now. I am reading the second of the series now, and it is equally interesting.
The usual cliches "unputdownable" and "page turner" instantly come to mind, but do no justice to the book.
This book gives an insight into times long long ago and forgotten by most. Even at school Barbur was not given his due in history text books. This book tells us where he came from, who he was, and the travails he faced before he finally became an emperor.
Barbur grows from strength to strength losing everything at one point and then emerging victorious. It is truly mind boggling how entire armies, leave alone kings could brave the harsh extreme climatic conditions so much so as to ultimately swim across the Indus to land in Hindustan. These people had only heard of elephants, never seen them, and yet managed to squash Sultan Ibrahim Lodi's armies with their knowledge of cannons and muskets.
The riches of India described in the book leaves one gasping as well as angry at their plunder by colonialists.
Barbur matures throughout his life having become a sovereign at 13. He takes wise decisions on the battlefield, in the court as well as with his family.
I was truly wonder struck with the book and the narrative has an awed and reverential quality throughout.
One does find, at times, their punishments cruel and barbaric, but it occurred to me that given the socio-political scenario of the times, they had no choice but to be barbaric. Only the strong survive and the strong had to make an example of their strength. The punishments meted out were both punitive and exemplary so as to be preventive of further insurgence. Similar principles are ensconced in modern jurisprudence too.
Alex Rutherford has excelled in writing a revelatory history of the founder of one of the greatest and wealthiest dynasties in the world.
I'd already read the third book in this "Empire of the Moghul" series- "Ruler of the World", Akbar being my all-time favourite Emperor. But ever since I'd become interested in the Mughal dynasty, I wanted to know more about the founder. More so because, all that the history books ever tell us about Babur is a 3-4 lines maximum on the fact that he was the founder and that he died very early. Nothing is ever mentioned about how his life.
And that's what this book is all about. Raiders from the North traces the journey of Babur since his father's death (as he struggles to gain a foothold in Ferghana and Samarkand and finally in Kabul and eventually Agra) to his own death a few years after establishing the Mughal Empire in Hindustan. And there can only be one word that captures my entire experience- blockbuster!
It's amazing how Rutherford effortlessly re-creates the era and brings it to life. I felt like I was re-living Babur's entire experience- the struggles, the innumerable battles, the tension, the defeat, the victory. Babur's character has been sketched so beautifully, I ended up crying after his death. For a man who had struggled since the age of 11 and ultimately managed to make his dreams come true, its so unfair that death took him away so fast. He didn't even get the chance to rule over Hindustan properly. And worse, Rutherford even gives a clear indication how rivalry among his sons will eventually destroy his empire...till Akbar establishes it once again. That makes me wish..if only Babur had lived longer...
This is a fabulous book and a must-buy if you are interested in the Mughal Dynasty. And if this is the beginning, you can well-imagine how the others book will be. Can't wait to get hold of the next one in the series! :)
I had ordered Empire of the Moghul: Raiders from the North with such excitement that's inexplicable.I absolutely love historica...Read More
This is an excellent book - unputdownable. The authors have excelled at bringing to life Babur who otherwise has been but a fo...Read More
I was not aware of any such series of Mughal rulers written until I met Mrs. Diana Preston who had visited Jaipur & stayed...Read More
This is a tale that starts off well, with vivid descriptions of the people, the area and the action. However, it is a tale that...Read More