Saturday, November 9, 2013

Book review: The Mountain of Light

I had always thought writing books under the genre fiction is far easier than writing a non-fiction book. But this very book proves me wrong. A brilliant historical fiction which took my breath with the author’s power of creativity. Though this is my first book of the author’s, I have already become a fan of her writing.

As empires rose and fell and mighty kings jostled for power, its glittering radiance never dimmed. It is the “Mountain of Light”—the Kohinoor diamond—and its facets reflect a sweeping story of love, adventure, conquest and betrayal. Its origins are the stuff of myth, but for centuries this spectacular gem changes hands from one ruler to another in India, Persia, and Afghanistan. In 1850, the ancient stone is sent halfway around the world where it will play a pivotal role in the intertwined destinies of a boy-king of India and a young queen of England—a queen who claims the Mountain of Light and India itself for her own burgeoning empire, the most brilliant jewels in her imperial crown. 

The Mountain of Light is a magnificent story of loss and recovery, sweeping change and enduring truth, wrapped around the glowing heart of one of the world’s most famous diamonds.

The review:

“The Mountain of Light” is the story of Kohinoor diamond for which people were once fighting the world to own it. The book travels along the way the diamond moves from hand to hand say from India to England. This 186 carat diamond drives people crazy with its glittering beauty. Though the Kohinoor is the main protagonist in this book, the characters around the diamond are well portrayed with very rich setting which seems to be beyond one’s imagination.

The story starts with the emperor of Afghanistan, Shah Shuja, who turns to the ruler of the Punjab, Maharajah Ranjit Singh, when he is dethroned by his brother. Maharajah helps him to regain his throne and gets the Kohinoor diamond from Shah Shuja. When Ranjit Singh disagrees to help British embassy in invading Afghanistan, it turns into a war where he dies. Soon his four sons are killed in wars of succession, leaving his last six year old son Dalip Singh to heir the throne and the precious diamond. Though Dalip Singh was considered as Maharajah, the title was empty with no meaning. Eventually he loses Punjab and the Kohinoor soon to British which travel to London to decorate the arms of Queen Victoria. Dalip Singh follows the path of Kohinoor and reaches London only to realize that nothing can replace the diamond.

This book helps to explore the history and know more about the Kohinoor diamond which had once been the treasure of the world. It also talks about the richness of Indian emperors. The best part of the book was the writing style which mesmerizes the readers. Though the story was little complex to follow the settings and the background makes it clear. This book is going to be awesome read for those who love historic stories. With her words, the author takes us back to the past and live that majestic life along with the book.  

To conclude my review, I would say Mrs. Indu Sundaresan has done an appreciable work with this splendid historical fiction. This plot will surely impress film directors to make movie about the Kohinoor diamond. I very strongly recommend this book for all book lovers and would rate 4/5. 

Author’s Note:

Indu Sundaresan was born in India and came to the US for graduate school at 
the University of Delaware. She is the author of two acclaimed novels, The Twentieth Wife and The Feast of Roses.

You can buy the book from Amazon and Homeshop18.

Happy Reading :-)

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