Equal of the Sun

Equal of the Sun

A Novel

Book - 2012
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"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 protégé, 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 closest adviser, Javaher, 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."-- Dust jacket.
Publisher: New York : Scribner, 2012.
Edition: 1st Scribner hardcover ed.
ISBN: 9781451660463
Branch Call Number: Fic Amir
Characteristics: 431 p. ; 24 cm.


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May 25, 2017

Young Javaher is the son of a murdered nobleman in 16th-century Iran. Willing to sacrifice his body in pursuit of uncovering the truth about his father's death, Javaher chooses to become a eunuch in order to gain access to the harem (women's quarters) in the royal palace. Once there, he eventually becomes a trusted servant and adviser of the royal princess Pari, daughter of the reigning Shah. When the Shah, who has four wives and numerous other children, suddenly dies without having named an heir, the line of succession is unclear.

'Equal of the Sun' is a beautifully written book, and it is based on real historical figures and events. The author's delightful prose and imagery made me feel almost as though I were present. Fantastic!

ScrollAdore Jul 17, 2013

Iraq's royalty were similar to Europe's in excess, intrigue, murder, adultery, court politics...

Cdnbookworm Jun 07, 2012

This is the second novel I've read by this author. The first was The Blood of Flowers. This novel is also set in Iran, but earlier, in the late 1570s. The story revolves around a real Iranian princess, a daughter of the Safavi dynasty, who lived from 1548 to 1578. Pari Khan Khanoom was one of the chief advisers to her father Tahmasb Shah, and groomed to take this role. When her father died suddenly, a suspected poisoning, she worked behind the scenes to keep the government functioning and prepare the way for the next shah.
The story is told by one of her trusted servants, a eunuch named Javaher, who came from noble lineage. Javaher is trying to clear his father's name and restore his family's honour. He is driven by this purpose, as well as strong loyalty to the royal family, especially Pari and her father.
This is a story of political intrigue and maneuvering, based on real historical figures and events. Amirrezvani takes us into this world, using the language of the formal court and palace and the language of more casual and more intimate encounters. She brings to life the complex world of the harem, the roles of women (much more than the stereotypes), and the world of the palace eunuchs. Her characters come alive for the reader, showing passion and human failings.
We see lust for power that doesn't stop at murder, and a sense of the complex relationships that influenced the powerful in this land. A sense of the Machiavelli with the end justifying the means prevails among many, and the need to change alliances quickly is shown.
This book will give you a glimpse into another vanished world.
In a sense this book is like a Philippa Gregory historical novel, but in a different type of country. Equally well-researched, with a reliance on historical fact.


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