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Empire of the Moghul: Raiders From the North Paperback – 7 Jan 2010


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Product details

  • Paperback: 528 pages
  • Publisher: Headline Review (7 Jan. 2010)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0755347536
  • ISBN-13: 978-0755347537
  • Product Dimensions: 13 x 3.4 x 19.7 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 3.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (66 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 33,618 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Review

A totally absorbing narrative filled with authentic historical characters and sweeping action set in an age of horrifying but magnificent savagery. The writing is as compelling as the events described and kept me eagerly leaping from one page to the next (Wilbur Smith)

'Rutherford's glorious, broad-sweeping adventure in the wild lands of the Moghul sees the start of a wonderful series...In Babur, he has found a real-life hero, with all the flaws, mistakes and misadventures that spark true heroism... Breathtaking stuff' (Manda Scott)

'Alex Rutherford has set the bar high for his sequels' (Daily Mail)

'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' (US Historical Novel Society)

Book Description

The first book in the gripping and brilliant Empire of the Moghul series


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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

9 of 10 people found the following review helpful By Mrs. H. V. Minor VINE VOICE on 16 Dec. 2009
Format: Hardcover
I have very much enjoyed reading this book and look forward to the next volume. I was brought up in India and remember my history lessons of the Moghul invasions from the north but you really don't need to have prior knowledge of Asian history to appreciate it. Babur's growth from child-king to warrior-king is well portrayed. The ups and downs of his fortune were staggering: the strategic mistakes he made and the learning curve he had to go through to regain his kingdom are laid bare. From King of Ferghana and Samarkand to wandering warlord, to King of Kabul and then first Moghul Emperor of India, he is a fine illustration of the words: "uneasy lies the head that wears a crown". The reader is given a fine perception of the precarious situation of rulers whose lives were spent defending their territories from predatory rivals. The primary source material for this book must be the "Baburnama" Baburnama (Modern Library) - the diary that Babur kept and it has certainly whetted my appetite to read this, too, a sure sign that the writer has scored a success. If a writer can take such primary source material and use it to paint a picture of the age that lives, breathes and draws the reader in, then s/he has written well. This is what Mary Renault did with supreme success in " The Bull from the Sea" The Bull from the Sea and "The King Must Die" ...Read more ›
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14 of 16 people found the following review helpful By R. W. Mackenzie on 15 Jan. 2010
Format: Paperback Vine Customer Review of Free Product ( What's this? )
Alex Rutherford's Empire of the Moghul series is, apparently, scheduled to be a five book series covering the rise (and presumably ultimately the fall) of an Empire which covered much of the Indian subcontinent in the Middle Ages. It's not a period or place in history that is familiar to me, but spurred on by the excellent Conn Iggulden series on Genghis Khan, I had high expectations of a novel and series of excitement, conquest, challenges, defeats and triumphs.

Oddly, though, from the outset I found the book hard-going. Perhaps because of the writing style (although I couldn't pin anything specific that I didn't like, except perhaps the inevitable information dumps from Rutherford's research) or maybe because I found the central character Babur hard to like. This latter point may be the issue, since Babur is, with a couple of exceptions, the only character developed in any real depth and seems to have few relationships of any meaning. Whilst this may be an accurate historical depiction, it doesn't make for a terribly involved story. My other gripe is that the story, which revolves around battle, victory, battle, defeat, battle, victory, battle, defeat, skip forward 5 years, battle, victory, inexplicably skip forward eight years, battle, etc seemed slightly pointless. I think Rutherford's ambition to cover so much in five books meant he was restricted to one book for Babur's life with the result that the story is always rushing to get to the next "key event".

However, I don't want to be overwhelmingly negative, since despite these flaws, there were bits of the book that were gripping, and I was interested enough to reach the end, even if it took an effort on some occasions to pick up the book again. The book is well researched and I think Rutherford has the potential to be a good author (although I've no expertise other than as a reader). That said, I can't say it's done enough to make me pick up the next in the series.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Charles Vasey TOP 500 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on 25 Oct. 2009
Format: Paperback Vine Customer Review of Free Product ( What's this? )
This is the first volume of a series of historical novels concerning the Moghul empire in India and it starts far from Hindustan in Ferghana ruled by Babur a descendant of Tamerlane and Genghiz Khan. Babur's career in Central Asia, Afghanistan and (finally) India, much of which was covered by his own diary, is a quite amazing tale of successes and failures. He takes and loses cities, he rules vast empires and he is a bandit chief. To a westerner with our strong tribalism these sudden changes of control can seem strange. It is as if the Norman Conquest was not an extraordinary event but the common currency of power politics and as if a King of Scots became Holy Roman Emperor after losing the thrones of Scotland and England, but the ruling dynasties of those periods lacked strong roots down into the underlying populations.

A historical novel on such a man is full of event to begin with and providing it can avoid a fall at the Dreadful Sex Scene Fence and a nasty tumble at the Anachronistic Moralising Waterjump then the novelist should not be unseated. The novel can "refuse" when faced with ahistorical additional characters and I did wonder about Baburi's value but the story drives on powerfully and if it is not quite Alfred Duggan it looks a promising filly that should win again later in the season.
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Format: Paperback
Empires were not built on mere diplomacy. Actions and results determined your fate. By far the biggest travesty to Pakistani history is the omission of Moghul history from the narrative. Nations have to have selective history, and for some reasons Moghuls have not really featured as favourites in the popular history of Pakistan, which is a great loss indeed. For which other dynasty was able to rule for about 400 years or so? Their aura was such that even after the end of the the greats reign with the passing of Aurangzeb, their reign managed to survive for another 90 odd years? That's huge when you compare with the British reign of 90 years starting in 1857.

This wonderful book is the first in series of narrative history detailing the life and times of the first great Moghul Babur, charting his course from his tiny kingdom of Ferghana to the mighty seat of Delhi. His trials and tribulations, harsh choices, tough lifestyle, life threatening decision making, allegiance to friends and family and most of all his unique personality is vividly brought to life in a thriller of a book, which cannot be put down. The book reads like a thriller movie, filled with suspense and drama containing love, rebuttals, revenge, heartaches, suspense, anger, passion, desires, all leading to a terrific legacy.

What about Babur personality? He was almost illiterate, who after becoming a king by birth the age of 12, fought most of his life trying to justify his Taimuri lineage. It's a classic recipe for success repeated even today by the successful the world over. Belief in your destiny to succeed has to earned by sheer hard work and persistence. Easy you say, but the real feature of aha it's success were the very supporting family and friends who also shared this remarkable belief in his destiny.
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