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Beneath a Marble Sky: A Love Story

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Beneath a Marble Sky: A Love Story Cover

ISBN13: 9780451218469
ISBN10: 0451218469
Condition: Standard
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Synopses & Reviews

Publisher Comments:

Princess Jahanara is an old woman now, but she casts her memory back to her girlhood, when her father, the Emperor Shah Jehan, built the Taj Mahal in memory of her adored mother, Mumtaz, who died in childbirth. Jahanara fell in love with the building's architect and had an affair with him, even though she was married by then to an abusive man. The affair produced a daughter — and landed Jahanara in prison and then flight, as she manages to carry her child to safety. Now, many years later, Jahanara feels she must finally tell her two granddaughters the truth about their family history.

Review:

"Shors's spirited debut novel tells the story of the eldest daughter of the 17th-century emperor who built the Taj Mahal. From her self-imposed exile, Jahanara recalls growing up in the Red Fort; the devotion her parents, Shah Jahan and Mumtaz Mahal, had for each other; and the events that took place during the construction of the fabulous monument to their love. Although Jahan is the emperor and has many wives, Mumtaz (he calls her Taj) is his soul mate, a constant companion and wise political consultant. She even travels with him into battle, where she eventually dies giving birth to their 14th child. Fortunately, she has the foresight to begin preparing her favorite daughter, Jahanara, by instructing the girl in the arts of influence and political strategy. Thus the young woman is able to pick up where her savvy mother left off. From then on it is Jahanara who advises the emperor, often instead of her dreamy brother, Dara, who is the rightful heir to the throne. It is she who helps with construction of the magnificent mausoleum for Mumtaz's remains and who falls in love with its architect, Isa, a man whom she can never marry. And it is she who leads a failed effort to defend the throne against a coup by her evil brother, Aurangzeb. With infectious enthusiasm and just enough careful attention to detail, Shors give a real sense of the times, bringing the world of imperial Hindustan and its royal inhabitants to vivid life." Publishers Weekly (Copyright 2004 Reed Business Information, Inc.)

Review:

"[L]ively period detail and a surfeit of villains....An overly action-packed debut, but agreeably colorful nonetheless." Kirkus Reviews

Review:

"[A] thrilling tale of the interactions of characters recognizable for their loyalty, duplicity, and passion and will appeal to a wide audience. The author has included enough accurate details to make regular readers of historical fiction happy, too. Highly recommended." Library Journal

Review:

"An absorbing novel about the extremes of passion — with much relevance for our own time." Rocky Mountain News

Review:

"Evocative of the fantastical stories and sensual descriptions of One Thousand and One Nights, Beneath a Marble Sky is the story of Jahanara, the daughter of the 17th century Mughal emperor who built India's Taj Mahal. What sets this novel apart is its description of Muslim-Hindu politics, which continue to plague the subcontinent today." National Geographic Traveler

Synopsis:

In his international bestseller Beneath a Marble Sky, John Shors wrote about the ancient passion, beauty, and brilliance that inspired the building of the Taj Mahal. Now with Temple of a Thousand Faces, he brings to life the legendary temple of Angkor Wat, an unrivaled marvel of ornately carved towers and stone statues. There, in a story set nearly a thousand years ago, an empire is lost, a royal love is tested, and heroism is reborn.

When his land is taken by force, Prince Jayavar of the Khmer people narrowly escapes death at the hands of the conquering Cham king, Indravarman. Exiled from their homeland, he and his mystical wife Ajadevi set up a secret camp in the jungle with the intention of amassing an army bold enough to reclaim their kingdom and free their people. Meanwhile, Indravarman rules with an iron fist, pitting even his most trusted men against each other and quashing any hint of rebellion.

Moving from a poor fisherman's family whose sons find the courage to take up arms against their oppressors, to a beautiful bride who becomes a prize of war, to an ambitious warrior whose allegiance is torn--Temple of a Thousand Faces is an unforgettable saga of love, betrayal, and survival at any cost.

READERS GUIDE INCLUDED

Synopsis:

This "passionate, lush, and dramatic" (Sandra Gulland) debut novel reveals the story behind the building of the Taj Mahal and the destruction of a royal family.

About the Author

John Shors has spent years in Asia teaching, trekking across the continent, and climbing the Himalayas. Beneath a Marble Sky is his first novel. Author website: beneathamarblesky.com.

What Our Readers Are Saying

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Average customer rating based on 1 comment:

section374, July 26, 2006 (view all comments by section374)
This is a beautiful novel based on the story behind the creation of the Taj Mahal. This is, by far, the best novel I have read so far in 2006. Rarely is a book beautifully written and a page-turner. Yet this is the case here. Wonderful, wonderful, wonderful. This novel made me shed tears of joy, sorrow, and wonder. It reminds me of Memoirs of a Geisha, but is a better novel, I believe.
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Product Details

ISBN:
9780451218469
Author:
Shors, John
Publisher:
NAL Trade
Subject:
History
Subject:
Historical - General
Subject:
Taj Mahal (Agra, India)
Subject:
Historical
Subject:
Historical fiction
Subject:
Biographical fiction
Subject:
Literature-A to Z
Copyright:
Edition Description:
Paperback / softback
Publication Date:
20060606
Binding:
Paperback
Grade Level:
from 12
Language:
English
Pages:
368
Dimensions:
8.30x5.52x.80 in. .73 lbs.
Age Level:
from 18

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Related Subjects

Fiction and Poetry » Literature » A to Z

Beneath a Marble Sky: A Love Story Used Trade Paper
0 stars - 0 reviews
$6.95 In Stock
Product details 368 pages New American Library - English 9780451218469 Reviews:
"Publishers Weekly Review" by , "Shors's spirited debut novel tells the story of the eldest daughter of the 17th-century emperor who built the Taj Mahal. From her self-imposed exile, Jahanara recalls growing up in the Red Fort; the devotion her parents, Shah Jahan and Mumtaz Mahal, had for each other; and the events that took place during the construction of the fabulous monument to their love. Although Jahan is the emperor and has many wives, Mumtaz (he calls her Taj) is his soul mate, a constant companion and wise political consultant. She even travels with him into battle, where she eventually dies giving birth to their 14th child. Fortunately, she has the foresight to begin preparing her favorite daughter, Jahanara, by instructing the girl in the arts of influence and political strategy. Thus the young woman is able to pick up where her savvy mother left off. From then on it is Jahanara who advises the emperor, often instead of her dreamy brother, Dara, who is the rightful heir to the throne. It is she who helps with construction of the magnificent mausoleum for Mumtaz's remains and who falls in love with its architect, Isa, a man whom she can never marry. And it is she who leads a failed effort to defend the throne against a coup by her evil brother, Aurangzeb. With infectious enthusiasm and just enough careful attention to detail, Shors give a real sense of the times, bringing the world of imperial Hindustan and its royal inhabitants to vivid life." Publishers Weekly (Copyright 2004 Reed Business Information, Inc.)
"Review" by , "[L]ively period detail and a surfeit of villains....An overly action-packed debut, but agreeably colorful nonetheless."
"Review" by , "[A] thrilling tale of the interactions of characters recognizable for their loyalty, duplicity, and passion and will appeal to a wide audience. The author has included enough accurate details to make regular readers of historical fiction happy, too. Highly recommended."
"Review" by , "An absorbing novel about the extremes of passion — with much relevance for our own time."
"Review" by , "Evocative of the fantastical stories and sensual descriptions of One Thousand and One Nights, Beneath a Marble Sky is the story of Jahanara, the daughter of the 17th century Mughal emperor who built India's Taj Mahal. What sets this novel apart is its description of Muslim-Hindu politics, which continue to plague the subcontinent today."
"Synopsis" by ,
In his international bestseller Beneath a Marble Sky, John Shors wrote about the ancient passion, beauty, and brilliance that inspired the building of the Taj Mahal. Now with Temple of a Thousand Faces, he brings to life the legendary temple of Angkor Wat, an unrivaled marvel of ornately carved towers and stone statues. There, in a story set nearly a thousand years ago, an empire is lost, a royal love is tested, and heroism is reborn.

When his land is taken by force, Prince Jayavar of the Khmer people narrowly escapes death at the hands of the conquering Cham king, Indravarman. Exiled from their homeland, he and his mystical wife Ajadevi set up a secret camp in the jungle with the intention of amassing an army bold enough to reclaim their kingdom and free their people. Meanwhile, Indravarman rules with an iron fist, pitting even his most trusted men against each other and quashing any hint of rebellion.

Moving from a poor fisherman's family whose sons find the courage to take up arms against their oppressors, to a beautiful bride who becomes a prize of war, to an ambitious warrior whose allegiance is torn--Temple of a Thousand Faces is an unforgettable saga of love, betrayal, and survival at any cost.

READERS GUIDE INCLUDED

"Synopsis" by , This "passionate, lush, and dramatic" (Sandra Gulland) debut novel reveals the story behind the building of the Taj Mahal and the destruction of a royal family.
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