This has to be the first review on MBB in a very long time and it was well worth the wait. Anyone who likes Indian historical fiction is going to adore this beautiful read.
Maria Perry Mohan’s Review of 1857 Dust of AgesVolume I – A Forgotten Tale by Vandana Shankar
As historical fiction goes, this is first class. We’re literally getting glimpses of a fascinating story as seen through the eyes of today. Can it really be that an Indian royal family gave their daughter in marriage to a British Army officer? Some say it could be impossible, but has the truth been covered up? And why?
Those glances back in time show teasing glimpses of a royal family at a crossroads. The queen’s consternation when a male hair has not been born and her greedy sister-in-law, the one who has a son, eyes up the kingdom. Would such a queen mother be good for a kingdom? Probably not.
The princess’s character comes through as a girl who has been born to lead her kingdom. The 19th century produced one of the greatest British monarchs of all time, a queen regnant whose husband was a mere consort. So why couldn’t an Indian state? This intriguing flashback of Indian royal history left me hungry for more. I’m very glad to learn it’s part of a series.
1857. The rebellion erupts in India. Despite its attempts to stay aloof, NAVGARH, a small town near Delhi, is drawn into the conflagration. And at its heart are Princess Meera and Captain Richard Smith, with their strange alliance made for the throne of Navgarh.
2016, Shiv Sahai, a young Indian art historian and Ruth Aiken, a British scholar discover an excerpt from the journal of an anonymous British soldier, searching for his wife in the chaos of 1857 Delhi. As they begin investigating the scandal, they become aware of the vague rumours that are told in the bylanes of Navgarh – about a princess who married a British soldier to save her kingdom.
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Meet the Author
Delhi-born Vandana Shanker is the author of the series 1857 Dust of Ages, a historical fiction set in the year of the great uprising in India. A PhD from IIT Delhi, Vandana is passionate about history, storytelling and art. Apart from writing, she teaches literature and creative writing in Malaysia. She has also taught in Universities in India and Vietnam. She currently lives in Kuala Lumpur with her family and wants to travel the world.
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