This is my review on the third book of the Empire of the Moghul Series.
The name of this book itself will give an idea, who the subject is; the ultimate Moghul champion, Akbar!
At a the age of 12, when his father Humayan died by falling down the stairs in Agra Fort, his mother, Hamida made sure that he succeed his father as the third Mughal Emperor immediately before the enemies snoop in to take away his birthright.
At a very young age itself, he proved his strength by commanding his forces, during which his warriors fought and won the second battle of Panipat against a Hindu general, Hemu, that gave him a strong foothold in Hindustan.
While growing up, Akbar not only won various battles and conquered a major number of empires in India to his name; he also married Rajput princesses to forge an alliance with significant sovereign states of this country, like Amber, Mewar, Ranthambore etc.
After reading this book, I gathered that Akbar was indeed charismatic, he influenced millions of his subjects, whether be a hindu or a muslim, he regarded all of them with respect. He even introduced a new religion, Din-i-Illahi, a syncretic creed derived from Islam, Hinduism, Zoroastrianism, and Christianity to bring about religious unity.
Even though an illiterate, he loved poetry, sufi songs and he also had a thirst to learn about administration, economics and social norms, using these knowledge to bring about inspiring new policies into his rule, all according to the Ain-i-Akbari (Manuscript of his rule). He was also into architectures and designs. He administered the construction of the great city of Fatehpur Sikri and Humayun’s Tomb in Delhi, which are still, regarded for its magnificence and grandeur.
FatehPur Sikri - Agra
Part of this book also featured the story of Salim, Akbar’s son, which showed his bitter feelings for his father. According to him, Akbar was as ruthless a father to him as was a great ruler. His version of events proved that Akbar tried and failed to acknowledge his son’s abilities to prove himself as a worthy heir. Akbar in fact considered to make his grandson, Khusron (Salim’s eldest son) as his successor, developing ill feelings not only between himself and Salim, but also between his son and grandsons. He particularly showed interest in his third grandson Khurram (Later known as Shah Jahan), taking him away from his birth mother and overseeing his education himself, which all increased Salim’s spite towards Akbar even more.
This book also told us the story about the infamous incident of love between Salim and the beautiful Persian dancer, Anarkali, his father’s favorite concubine, which I found very interesting.
I would say, this series is getting more and more fascinating and I can’t wait to share my views on the next in line “The Tainted Throne”, which I already finished reading a few days ago and will soon be posting my reviews on it.
Till then, if you haven’t already, then please go ahead with this super sequel epic adventurous drama which spills the dirty secrets of Moghuls in detail.