Almost five years ago, I picked up a book from an unquestionably-unassuming road-side bookstall that took my zing for reading to another level. All of a sudden, I just wanted to get my hands on all those books that were in any way similar to the one I’d just read – The book I’m referring to was called The Twentieth Wife by Indu Sundaresan. Over the years, I’ve bought many, many books in the hope that I’d somehow be transported into that enthralling, fascinating, and mysterious Mughal era that The Twentieth Wife once threw me into. Disappointingly, very few reads came close.
The Crows of Agra (Birbal, #1) Review
Along the way, while the quest for Mughal historical fiction continued, I recently got my hands on this book called The Crows of Agra, written by Sharath Komarraju. You can imagine my excitement as I burrowed a few pages in to find that I just couldn’t put the book down! Each time I thought this was my last chapter for the day, a new twist to the story sprung up, making it harder to put it down. A truly gripping read from start-to-finish, the Crows of Agra can mostly be described as a suspense & mystery novel set in the backdrop of the Mughal Court."I picked up a book from an unquestionably-unassuming road-side bookstall that took my zing for reading to another level." Click To Tweet
The story unfurls as a young emperor Akbar, is almost mugged and killed in the process of staking his claim to the Mughal throne. Emperor Akbar’s most trusted ally, mentor, guardian, and regent Bairam Khan also referred to as ‘Khan Baba,’ seems to be plotting against him. After a strategic show of strength, the regent is eventually subdued and to be sent on a pilgrimage to Mecca as decreed by the Emperor. However, on the eve of his departure, Khan Baba is found dead in his chamber. The crime doesn’t make sense… What’s more? Amid all these developments and commotion, there suddenly seems to be a Brahmin who has way too much say in the Emperors decisions. Pretending to be a holy man and priest, this new visitor has won the trust of Emperor Akbar and is now enjoying the extravagant luxuries & opulence of a royal palace…and the closer he gets to the Emperor, the higher the stakes seem to get! Who is this Brahmin? And how did he get his way into the royal court? Moreover, why would anyone kill the regent when he was out on his way to spend his last few years in Mecca? Does this mean the Emperor’s life is in danger too?
Intelligently written, this book takes you through, from the fascinating courts of Emperor Akbar to secrets hidden in the walls of the royal Zenana, often leaving you wondering really how many Crows there were in Agra! Unputdownable, with a twist every now and then, when you least expect it – this book draws you back to it many times while you’re doing other things in the day. If you’re looking for a fast, gripping read – this is your book for the week! Once you’re done, maybe you can write back to us telling us how many crows you found in Agra! 😉