Book Review: Mistress of the Throne by Ruchir Gupta

Estimated Reading Time:

Rating: 1.5/5 - for adults
             4/5 – for young adults

This historical fiction novel based on true events of Mughal India is right up my alley. And yet, sadly, I couldn’t read more than a chapter of it before flipping ahead to read a few paragraphs before flipping ahead to read a few lines before finally laying it to rest.

I wanted to love this book. I had squealed when I ordered it and jumped around when it came in the mail. Not many books are from the perspective of Jahanara, the favorite daughter of Shah Jahan and Mumtaz Mahal. The few that do exist  I have read, several times over. 

The serious historic version:

The young adult version:

The foreign author version: 

The Indian author version: 

Proof is in the pudding, clearly one of my favorite genres. So you can only imagine how excited  I was. I couldn’t wait to read it. I cleared my schedule and set the scene :  dark cloudy skies, thunderstorms competing with RD Burman for attention, a hot cup of peppermint tea and me snuggled under my  good old Beauty and the Beast comforter.

I got to the third page and realized we had a problem. I didn’t want to give up yet so I pushed on to the end of the chapter. It didn’t work. I skipped ahead hoping it got better. It didn’t. I tried again. I finally had to give up. It just wasn’t speaking to me. I wasn’t engaged, my interest wasn’t piqued. I felt like I was reading a book from my middle school reading list. And then I realized that’s what my problem was. This book is more young adult. They marketed it all wrong. It’s not the books fault. Now that I look at it, with a young adult audience in mind, it’s wonderful. It introduces them to the era without sugar coating the harsh realities that were faced at the time. The language isn’t complicated, the English isn’t hard to understand, the pace is slow and steady and the characters develop relatively well.

What’s so sad (for me)  is that the effort is there. A solid A + for research and effort. I would totally recommend this book to a young reader but definitely not to any of my fellow book lovers that have been reading for books at a higher caliber for a longer time.

I’m so bummed. I think more for the fact that I was hoping to revisit my favourite Mughal era for awhile and I was left disappointed.  Sucks ya’ll.  

Definitely for the young’uns.