Empire of the Moghul: The Tainted Throne

Written by Alex Rutherford
Review by Mike Ashworth

1606. It is five months since the death of the Moghul emperor Akbar, and his son Jahangir is crowned as ruler of the empire. Within weeks his rule is challenged by his own son, Khusrau, who seeks to depose him. The rebellion is put down with ruthless efficiency, and Khusrau has his eyelids sewn together to prevent further attempts of rebellion. Faced with further challenges from Khurram, the most able of his warring sons, the struggle for the throne becomes even bloodier. However, Jahangir finds that a bigger, more subtle threat to his rule comes not from rival kingdoms or sons but from his wife, Mehrunissa, who wishes to take up the reins of empire herself.

This is the fourth in the Moghul quintet. As with the previous books, it is well researched, while the deadly intrigues and the sight and sounds of the Moghul court are colourfully and effectively portrayed. The battle scenes are exciting and well written. This can be read as a stand-alone, although reading the previous books will give you a wider perspective. Bloody battles, brutal killings, treachery, love and unswerving devotion – what more could you ask for? Recommended.