Beneath a Marble Sky by John Shors
A Novel of the Taj Mahal

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Synopsis

In 1632, the Emperor of Hindustan, Shah Jahan, overwhelmed with grief over the death of his beloved wife, Mumatz Mahal, commissioned the building of a grand mausoleum to symbolize the greatness of their love. The story surrounding the construction of the Taj Mahal occurs, however, against a scrim of fratricidal war, murderous rebellion, unimaginable wealth, and, not least of all, religious fundamentalism ruthlessly opposing tolerance and coexistence between the disparate peoples in the empire.

At that time, Hindustan comprised all of modern Pakistan and Kashmir, most of eastern Afghanistan, and two-thirds of the Indian subcontinent (roughly north of Bombay to the Himalayas).

"Beneath a Marble Sky," narrated by Princess Jahanara, eldest daughter of Shah Jahan and Mumtaz Mahal, recounts their story, and her own as well, a parallel tale of forbidden love enduring censure and extreme deprivations. "Beneath a Marble Sky" brims with action and intrigue befitting an epic era when, alongside continuous war, architecture and its attendant arts reached a pinnacle of perfection.

In a splendid debut, John Shors has crafted an immensely readable and well-researched historical novel of surprisingly contemporary relevance.
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About John Shors

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John Shor's novels have won multiple awards and have been translated into twenty-five languages. His novels include Beneath a Marble Sky, Beside a Burning Sea, Dragon House, The Wishing Trees, and Cross Currents.
 
Published January 25, 2012 by McPherson & Company. 372 pages
Genres: History, Literature & Fiction, Romance. Fiction

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Kirkus Reviews

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Jehan’s grief was such that he failed to discipline son Aurangzeb, a brutal warmonger who resented brother Dara, the presumptive heir, and allowed Jahanara to marry Khondamir, a coarse and abusive trader.

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Book Reporter

Shors does a signal service in introducing us to a different world --- a world filled with romance and intrigue, cruelty and love --- that's all the more compelling because it's based in historic fact, even if it's history that you and I are not familiar with.

Jan 05 2011 | Read Full Review of Beneath a Marble Sky: A Novel...

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About.com

The story she tells is one of love, fratricide, cruelty, and great beauty, a story of good versus evil.

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Gather Books

The Taj Mahal is an act of love - true wonderful, all encompassing love.

Jun 15 2008 | Read Full Review of Beneath a Marble Sky: A Novel...

About.com Bestsellers

Shors imagines them in Beneath a Marble Sky, bringing to life a story of love, war, beauty and tragedy.ProsSensual, descriptive language brings the characters & action to lifeAn interesting tale of another time & of one of the wonders of the worldBeneath a Marble Sky is a quick page-turner with m...

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AuthorsDen

This book is a work of historical fiction, and is based upon the remarkable story behind the creation of the Taj Mahal.

Jun 13 2006 | Read Full Review of Beneath a Marble Sky: A Novel...

The Express Tribune

In his debut novel Beneath a Marble Sky, author John Shors takes this opportunity to recount the tale of Mughal Emperor Shah Jahan’s legendary love for his wife Mumtaz Mahal, for whom the Taj Mahal was built as a mausoleum.

Sep 10 2011 | Read Full Review of Beneath a Marble Sky: A Novel...

Reader Rating for Beneath a Marble Sky
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