The daughters of Emperor Jahangir, Jahanara and Roshanara, plot and scheme against one another in an attempt to gain power over their father’s harem. As royal princesses they are confined in the imperial harem and not allowed to marry. However, this does not stop them from having illicit affairs or plotting the next heir to the throne. These royal sisters are in competition for everything: power over the harem, their father’s affection (still focused on his dead wife), and the future of their country. Unfortunately, only one of them can succeed. And, despite their best efforts to affect the future, their schemes are eclipsed, both during their lives and in posterity, as they live in the shadow of the greatest monument in Indian history, the Taj Mahal.
With a flair and enthusiasm for history and culture, Sundaresan creates a story full of rich details that brings the reader deep into the world of the lives of Indian women and their struggles for power and consequence.