A Kingdom Divided: Empire of the Moghul

Alex Rutherford, Author
Alex Rutherford. St. Martin's, $15.99 trade paper (448p) ISBN 978-0-312-59701-6
Paperback - 436 pages - 978-1-250-00729-2
Ebook - 448 pages - 978-1-4299-9030-1
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The husband and wife team known as Alex Rutherford (Raiders from the North) return with the second panoramic title in their planned Moghul historical fiction quintet. After the death of his illustrious father, 23-year-old Humayun (his name means "fortunate") assumes the role of emperor, or Padishah, of Hindustan. But Humayun's reign is poorly shaped by his opium addiction, astrological obsession, and lust for his harem, while his three brothers conspire to usurp him, no matter what the cost. Though courageous, if not reckless, in battle, he retreats before the superior forces of the lowborn Sher Shah. Betrayed by his brother, Kamran, Humayun roves in exile for years in the mid-16th century, continually at war to reclaim his throne. The only bright spot comes from a marriage to the pubescent Hamida, who bears him a son, the heir apparent. That Humayun repeatedly forgives his resentful brothers for their cutthroat treachery is puzzling, but the hand-to-hand combat pulsates with heroic vigor and plentiful gore, sure to entertain fans, and the climax paves the way for the next epic entry. (July)
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