by Anita Amirrezvani
Scribner (Simon and Schuster)
Release Date: June 5, 2012
Buy from Indigo
Description: From the author of the internationally bestselling The Blood of Flowers comes a compulsively readable and gorgeously crafted tale of power, loyalty, intrigue, and love in the royal court of sixteenth-century Iran.
Iran in 1576 is a place of peace, 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 closest advisor, knows more about the inner workings of the state than almost anyone, but the princess’s maneuvers to instill order after her father’s sudden death incite resentment and dissent. Pari and her trusted servant, a eunuch able to navigate the harem as well as the world beyond the palace walls, are in possession of an incredible tapestry of secrets and information that reveals a power struggle of epic proportions.
Based loosely on the life of Princess Pari Khan Khanoom, Equal of the Sun is a riveting story of political intrigue and a moving portrait of an unlikely friendship between a princess and a eunuch. Anita Amirrezvani is a master storyteller and in her lustrous prose this rich and labyrinthine world comes to vivid life 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
The Good Stuff
- Very well researched
- Fascinating information about Eunachs and their place in history
- Surprisingly fast paced, I was worried that I would be bored to tears, but the storyline keeps moving
- Plenty of political intrigue and murder to keep you glued to the story
- You can really see the authors love of the subject matter
- The poetry included is quite lovely, and quite dark and sarcastic which I enjoyed
- Princess Pari is a fascinating character, so fierce and strong, yet compassionate
- Interesting look into Iran and its murderous royalty -- man Game of Thrones has nothing on these guys LOL!
- So glad I wasn't a women during this time period -- I so would have been killed
- Interesting to see what happened during this period through the eyes of those who served royalty and how their fates were so intertwined
- Could have benefitted from some more editing. There are many instances of repetition that could have been taken out to make it a tighter story -- for example the constant mentions of having tea and dates was annoying (or could be just because after reading I had a serious urge for tea and dates and we were out of dates LOL!)
- Story does drag a wee bit, but less than other historical fiction of this subject matter
- The flowery language when they talk to anyone in power, while historically accurate, is seriously irritating
- Very disappointed that Javeher was a fictional character, as he felt very real
"A fine silk rose can do well to hide
The pompous ass who is hidden inside
To know the truth that only God knows
Look beyond the fineness of clothes.
Seek much further to what is below the skin
Shatter the barriers, discover what is within.
By glitter and glamour don't be deceived
Truth lies beyond what the eyes have perceived.
Ask "What is just? What is true? What is real?"
Only pigs devour garbage without a squeal.
"The salutations were read by ambassadors from Murad III of the Ottomans, Akbar the Great of the Mughals, Zhu Yijun of the Ming, and Abdullah Khan of the Uzbeks, the most exalted and powerful rulers of the earth, as well as a few from those who ruled the less important Christian kingdoms to the west, Philip II of Spain and Elizabeth I of England, who were currently trying to vanquish each other."
"Yet again, I was maddened by his lack of statecraft. After you kick a faithful dog, even if it has misbehaved, you would be well advised to throw it a bone. Otherwise, don't be surprised if it sinks its fangs into your throat. But it was Pari's task to try and tame him, since she had the most to lose, and instead she had merely managed to make him growl."
Who Should/Shouldn't Read
- Historical fiction lovers will enjoy, especially if they have interest in Iran
- Those interested in political intrigue and royalty will be ensnared by this
I received this from Simon and Schuster in exchange for an honest review