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Shadow Princess

Shadow Princess

A Novel

  • reading group guide
Critically acclaimed author Indu Sundaresan picks up where she left off in The Twentieth Wife and The Feast of Roses, returning to seventeenth-century India as two princesses struggle for supremacy of their father’s kingdom.

Trapped in the shadow of the magnificent tomb their grief-stricken father is building for his beloved deceased wife, the emperor’s daughters compete for everything: control over the imperial harem, their father’s affection, and the future of their country. They are forbidden to marry and instead choose to back different brothers in the fight for ultimate power over the throne. But only one of the sisters will succeed. With an enthusiasm for history and a flair for rich detail, Indu Sundaresan brings readers deep into the complicated lives of Indian women of the time period and highlights the profound history of one of the most celebrated works of architecture in the world, the Taj Mahal.
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  • Atria Books | 
  • 352 pages | 
  • ISBN 9781439169148 | 
  • March 2010
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Video

Indu Sundaresan's fascinating tales

The sweeping Taj Trilogy details the royal court of Mughal India, from Mehrunnisa, the twentieth wife, to Jahanara, daughter of the Taj Mahal.

Reading Group Guide

This reading group guide for Shadow Princess includes an introduction, discussion questions, ideas for enhancing your book club, and a Q&A with author Indu Sundaresan. The suggested questions are intended to help your reading group find new and interesting angles and topics for your discussion. We hope that these ideas will enrich your conversation and increase your enjoyment of the book.

Introduction

In Shadow Princess, Indu Sundaresan returns to the vibrant land she depicted in her novels The Twentieth Wife and The Feast of Roses—seventeenth century India, where the court of the Mughal Empire is thrown into turmoil after the untimely death of the Empress Mumtaz Mahal.

The Emperor, overwhelmed by grief, considers giving up his throne before changing his mind and focusing his energies on creating a spectacular memorial for his beloved wife. Jahanara, their eldest daughter, becomes her father’s closest ally and confidant. As she assumes the coveted role of head of the zenana, the imperial harem, a rivalry with her sister Roshanara escalates into a dangerous competition: for authority within the harem, for their father’s affection, and for the future of their country, each supporting a different brother to be the next Emperor.

With a flair and enthusiasm for history and culture, Sundaresan creates a richly detailed and vivid novel about the lives of see more

About the Author

Indu Sundaresan
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Indu Sundaresan

Indu Sundaresan was born in India and came to the US for graduate school at the University of Delaware. She is the author of TheTwentieth Wife, The Feast of Roses, Splendor of Silence, In the Convent of Little Flowers, Shadow Princess, and The Mountain of Light.

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