Shadow Princess
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"Sundaresan has a scholar's fascination with the period…describing the opulent court or the construction of the Taj Mahal."

—Publishers Weekly

"Sundaresan brings sober devotion to the dynastic tale…A mine of fabulous detail on the daily lives of the Mughal emperors…"

—Kirkus Reviews

"Sundaresan excels at depicting ephemeral moments of splendor and sensuousness imaginable only within the setting of a resplendent Indian court…From a few lines in various historic documents, Sundaresan brings to life two little-known though remarkable women who, though they lived in the shadows of great men, proved that still greater women stood behind them."

—Lydia Hayes, The Oregonian

"Sundaresan's careful research of 17th century Mughal India is evident in the rich, historical details such as court etiquette and the descriptions of imperial residences. These, entwined with memorable scenes, powerful characters and gorgeous prose make Shadow Princess a truly decadent read."

—Kalyani Deshpande,

"Powerful…riveting [tale]…the author paints a vivid picture…Behind the walls of the zenana, we learn the subtleties of politics, the seething ambitions of sons whose father has yet to relinquish power and the sacrifices expected of royal daughters with limited choices…With exquisite detail, Sundaresan relates a tale fraught with emotional complexity, giving voice to the women behind the ruthless men who rule a besieged Mughal Empire."

—Luan Gaines,

"Not much detail is available about Princess Jahanara, but Sundaresan makes full use of what is available, pairing it with vivid descriptions and an evident love for the time period to create an engrossing tale of intrigue and royalty…Shadow Princess is a breathtaking and elegant tribute to the past."


"It takes something more than writing prowess to condense the imperial backdrop of [the] Mughal dynasty into 370 pages of historical fiction. Indu Sundaresan’s Shadow Princess does perfect justice to the golden age of the Mughals…Sundaresan’s passion for Mughal history is apparent in every single page of the book…an enchanting tale of treachery, fratricide, devotion, love, intrigue and obsession."

—Nithya Sivashankar, Indian Express

"Indu Sundaresan weaves a shimmering web of fiction around the historical facts at her disposal…The author’s avid interest in history and her extensive research into her subject are evident in the convincing reconstruction of the complex political drama and the day-to-day affairs of the royal family…Indu Sundaresan’s Shadow Princess in an engaging style and sensuous prose presents to the reader a passionate life that was anything but ordinary."

—Sushmaa, Deccan Herald

Sibling rivalry, power struggles, deceit, unrequited love and secret alliances, all make this novel a compelling page turner…A treat for lovers of historical fiction."

—Elle Magazine, India

"Indu Sundaresan's Shadow Princess, the final installment in her Taj Trilogy, begs to be made into a movie…Sundaresan's historical novel has a…complex plotline…thanks to the wealth of Mughal history laid out before her, which she has painstakingly researched…The author…diverts her gaze from the confines of the Mughal palace to the bustling markets, smoky camps, and even the construction site of Mumtaz's tomb and…the text comes alive."

—Janice Pariat, India Today

"Shadow Princess is an engaging, fascinating page-turner that is not only based on historical fact but offers an intimate look into the enormously wealthy and intricate lives of a royal family who once ruled an entire land. With a flair and enthusiasm for history and culture, Sundaresan weaves a story full of rich details that also brings the reader deep into the world of the lives of Indian women and their struggles for power and consequence."

—Terrance Dean,

"In a successful bid to remove historical fiction from the doldrums of names, dates, and places, Indu Sundaresan presents the lives, culture, and consequences of the Mughal Empire with a you-are-there point of view in her Taj Trilogy…Heavily researched and expertly written, Shadow Princess can be enjoyed without the benefit of having read its predecessors. Nonetheless, it is recommended that the trilogy be respected for the author’s natural storytelling talent, clarity of purpose, and ability to bring history to life. Every character breathes, feels, and moves across the page, capturing the reader’s heart without reservation…Showcasing the Taj Mahal, Shadow Princess is an exhilarating mixture of character and event, emotion and intrigue, extravagance and architecture."

—Jeanne E. Fredriksen, India Currents

"The author manages to weave the story so interestingly that it manages to give the reader an in-depth understanding of the golden period of the Mughal era and the life of the royal family. If historical fiction interests you this book would be the right pick. A well-paced, well-written story of the Mughal dynasty through a woman’s perspective, the book's appeal is not surprising given that her previous titles are also an absolute must read."

—Priyanka Chaturvedi, Women’s Web

© Indu Sundaresan
Contact Indu: indu (at) indusundaresan (dot) com