June 17, 1631: In the southern fringe of the Mughal Empire, an Empress dies in childbirth.
By her side are her husband and her oldest child, Princess Jahanara. This single
event, her mother’s death, changes Jahanara’s life forever. At seventeen, she is
forced to bear the weight of her father’s grief, becomes the chief lady of his harem,
assumes the responsibilities of an Empress without being one, is granted immense
wealth and her mother’s income, engages in a rivalry with her sister Roshanara to
put opposing brothers on the throne…and does not succeed. Jahanara falls in love
with a noble at court, Najabat Khan, but it is a love that remains largely unfulfilled
because her father does not allow any of his daughters to marry.
In the end, all these events overshadow Princess Jahanara’s life—none more than
the magnificent tomb her father builds for her mother, the Taj Mahal.
Meticulously researched, and set amidst the splendor and luxury of the world’s most
opulent court, SHADOW PRINCESS is Sundaresan’s best work yet, a tale of a lone woman
who is powerful, rich, omnipotent in her father’s harem, but who fails to turn the
course of India’s history, and has to find her happiness in unconventional ways.