'Indu Sundaresan has written a fascinating novel about a fascinating time and has brought it alive with characters that are at once human and legendary that move with grace and panache across the brilliant stage she has reconstructed for them' - Chitra Divakaruni In this lush and romantic sequel to The Twentieth Wife Mehrunnisa the first woman Jahangir marries for love is now Empress Nur Jahan. As a mark of his love he transfers his powers of sovereignty to her. But she has a formidable rival in the imperial harem Empress Jagat Gosisni who has plotted against her from the moment she entered the emperor's life. Beyond the harem walls she battles powerful ministers who aren't willing to allow a mere woman to have a say in the outside world. Defying all established norms of womanhood in seventeenth-century India Mehrunnisa combats her rivals by forming a junta of sorts with the three men she can rely on: her father her brother and Jahangir's son Prince Khurram. She demonstrates great strength of character and cunning to get what she wants sometimes at great personal cost even almost losing her daughter's love. But she never loses the love of the man who bestows this power upon her: Emperor Jahangir.