Wednesday, May 15, 2013

Equal of the Sun by: Anita Amirrezvani

Equal of the Sun by: Anita Amirrezvani

<3 <3 <3 <3 <3

Summary:  Iran in 1576 is a place of wealth and dazzling beauty. But when the Shah dies without having named an heir, the court is thrown into tumult. Princess Pari, the Shah’s daughter and protégée, knows more about the inner workings of the state than almost anyone, but her maneuvers to instill order after her father’s sudden death incite resentment and dissent. Pari and her closest adviser, Javaher, a eunuch able to navigate the harem as well as the world beyond the palace walls, possess an incredible tapestry of secrets that explode in a power struggle of epic proportions.
Legendary women—from Anne Boleyn to Queen Elizabeth I to Mary, Queen of Scots—changed the course of history in the royal courts of England. While they are celebrated, few people know of the powerful and charismatic women in the Muslim world. Based loosely on the life of Princess Pari Khan Khanoom, Equal of the Sun is a riveting story of political intrigue that brings one extraordinary woman to light. Anita Amirrezvani is a master storyteller, and her lustrous prose breathes life into this rich and labyrinthine world with a stunning cast of characters—passionate and brave men and women who defy or embrace their destiny in a Machiavellian game played by those who lust for power and will do anything to attain it

(review copy provided by author/publisher) (thank you)

Equal of the Sun takes the reader into the world of Iran beginning in 1576, where the Palace Eunuch Javaher literally gives up his manhood to serve the royal family, and the shah to prove his loyalty and avenge his Father's honor.  He is offered the chance to serve under the Shah's favored daughter Princess Pari who has served as her Father's protege and advisor since the age of fourteen.  From the moment of their very first meeting Javaher realizes that his new mistress is more than just a princess in the harem, and that his new job will require loyalty that will consistently be tested.

From the first chapter their are twists and turns that each character must face narrated against the luscious backdrop of the royal palace and harem of Iran in the 1500's with great detail and visual imagery, and wording that made the story easy to relate to and to imagine.  The poems and stories included within the story went with the narrative and added to the plot line.  Pari's rise, demise, and life in a time when women were still facing suppression shows a bright star that was crushed too soon, I would recommend this book to anyone who wants to learn more about her, Iran, or who just wants to read a great book in general.

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