‘Shadow Princess’ by Indu Sundaresan

The book ‘Shadow Princess’ is a classical Indian novel that portrays Princess Jahanara Begum, daughter of Shah Jahan and Mumtaz Mahal as the protagonist and depicts the life of a royal woman during the Mughal reign.

The book also gives us a picture about the construction of Taj Mahal. The Mughal empire’s decaying state with the emperor depression from his wife’s death announces princess Jahanara who is only 17 the time to shoulder the responsibility of the imperial zenana. As Shah Jahan’s favourite daughter, she becomes a very powerful woman and is forced to remain at the Mughal court all her life, caught up in the power politics play of her siblings. She is also credited for bringing her father out of depression and restoring normality in the Mughal court which has been crumbled by her mother’s death and her father’s grief. She not only assumes much of her father’s power but also takes over her mother’s role as chief consort in almost all duties, out of filial devotion forgoing a life and love of her own.

Princess Jahanara is indeed my favourite character as she shows the importance of being strong minded in a difficult situation. I dedicate this book to everyone interested in history and women empowerment.

I give it 4 stars out of 5 and hope everyone will like it.

Reviewed by Sneha Raveendran

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