Empire of the Moghul: Raiders from the North

Written by Alex Rutherford
Review by Mike Ashworth

Raiders from the North is the first in a quintet of novels chronicling the rise and fall of the Moghul Empire. The story begins in 1494 when the ruler of Ferghana dies in an extraordinary accident. His only son, twelve-year-old Babur, ascends the throne despite the opposition of many of the senior advisors at the royal court. Bloody conflict follows as he fights to maintain his precarious position on the throne. As Babur grows in age, his experience of both victory and defeat strengthen his determination to emulate his ancestors, Genghis Khan and Tamburlaine, and establish his own empire. His ambitions lead him on to the fabled city of Samarkand, and then onwards to India where he establishes the foundations of the Moghul Empire.

I must admit to knowing little about the Moghul dynasty, but Alex Rutherford brings the period and the history of the region alive. The characters are dynamic, and the deadly regional politics of alliances and treaties are reflected by the internal tensions at court. I look forward to reading the next instalment in what promises to be an exciting and vibrant series.