Shadow Princess
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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.

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