Empire Of The Mughal : Raiders From The North by Alex Rutherford
Book Review by Bhuvan Gupta
Empire Of The Mughal: Raiders From The North is the first of the book in the series of books written by Alex Rutherford (Diana Preston, Michael Preston) on the Mughal dynasty that ruled India for almost 200 years. This book attempts to peek into the life of Babur, the founder of Mughal Empire in India. The book is based on Baburnama, the emperor's autobiography. It begins in the year 1494 with untimely death of Umar Shaikh, Babur's father. Babur is then only 12 years old. We find Babur at such a young age thrown in quest for throne, a quest coveted by many. Babur often finds himself desiring to build an empire like Genghis Khan and Tamburlaine, his ancestors.
This journey, that takes Babur from Ferghana to Samarkand is not a peaceful one, it is filled with battles galore. There are heroes on both sides. Babur and his troops often face defeat and often, they would emerge as winners. Finally we find Babur turn his attention towards India. In India, soon after the first battle of Panipat, Babur secures his throne in Agra, laying down the foundation of Mughal Empire in India. Though destiny has other plans, Babur would never live long to taste the fruits of the trees he planted.
Humayun Babur's son has fallen ill. The best hakims in the court are not able to find whats wrong with the young prince. We find Babur turn towards the astrologers of his court. Whose advice to him, is to surrender to Allah (GOD) what is most precious to him, Babur then starts praying to Allah to take his life and spare the life of his son, the young prince Humayun. Soon after Babur falls seriously ill, and Humayun starts getting better.The book then shows us the vulnerability of the new emperor of Hindustan.
He talks to Humayun about the importance of keeping the family together asking him to forgive his brothers of any wrong they might do. This would later mold the personality of Humayun. Dying at a young age of only 47 years. Babur leaves his son Humayun as a successor to the throne. Deviating from historical facts on certain points, over all covers the various important events and aspects in Babur's life. The battle scenes have been described really well.
Well, by posting this book review, I hope I have been able to share my point of view about this book without giving away too much of details.