The second enthralling installment in Alex Rutherford's Empire of the Moghul series. 1530, Agra, Northern India. Humayun, the newly-crowned second Moghul Emperor, is a fortunate man. His father, Babur, has bequeathed him wealth, glory and an empire which stretches a thousand miles south from the Khyber pass; he must now build on his legacy, and make the Moghuls worthy of their forebear, Tamburlaine. But, unbeknown to him, Humayun is already in grave danger. His half-brothers are plotting against him; they doubt that he has the strength, the will, the brutality needed to command the Moghul armies and lead them to still-greater glories. Perhaps they are right. Soon Humayun will be locked in a terrible battle: not only for his crown, not only for his life, but for the existence of the very empire itself.
Five thousand years ago, there came to earth a magical being called Krishna, who brought about innumerable miracles for the good of mankind. Humanity despaired of its fate if the Blue God were to die but was reassured that he would return in a fresh avatar when needed in the eventual Dark Age - the Kaliyug.
In modern times, a poor little rich boy grows up believing that he is that final avatar.
Only, he is a serial killer.
In this heart-stopping tale, the arrival of a murderer who executes his gruesome and brilliantly thought-out schemes in the name of God is the first clue to a sinister conspiracy to expose an ancient secret - Krishna's priceless legacy to mankind.
Historian Ravi Mohan Saini must breathlessly dash from the submerged remains of Dwarka and the mysterious lingam of Somnath to the icy heights of Mount Kailash, in a quest to discover the cryptic location of Krishna's most prized possession. From the sand-washed ruins of Kalibangan to a Vrindavan temple destroyed by Aurangzeb, Saini must also delve into antiquity to prevent a gross miscarriage of justice. Ashwin Sanghi brings you yet another exhaustively researched whopper of a plot, while providing an incredible alternative interpretation of the Vedic Age that will be relished by conspiracy buffs and thriller-addicts alike.
The Zoya Factor
The Zoya Factor by Anuja Chauhan
When the younger players in India's cricket team find out that advertising executive Zoya Singh Solanki was born at the very moment India won the World Cup back in 1983, they are intrigued. When having breakfast with her is followed by victories on the field, they are impressed. And when not eating with her results in defeat, they decide she's a lucky charm.
The nation goes a step further. Amazed at the ragtag team's sudden spurt of victories, it declares her a Goddess.
So when the eccentric IBCC president and his mesmeric, always-exquisitely-attired Swamiji invite Zoya to accompany the team to the tenth ICC World Cup, she has no choice but to agree.
Pursued by international cricket boards on the one hand, wooed by Cola majors on the other, Zoya struggles to stay grounded in the thick of the world cup action. And it doesn't help that she keeps clashing with the erratically brilliant new skipper who tells her flatly that he doesn't believe in luck?
Nine Lives: In Search of the Sacred in Modern India
Nine Lives: In Search of the Sacred in Modern India by William Dalrymple
From the prize-winning author of White Mughals and City of Djinns, Nine Lives is a distillation of twenty-ﬁve years of exploring India and writing about its religious traditions-a modern Indian Canterbury Tales which introduces us to characters and takes us deep into worlds we could never have imagined existed.
A Buddhist monk takes up arms to resist the Chinese invasion of Tibet-then spends years trying to atone for the violence by hand-printing the best prayer flags in India. A Jain nun tests her powers of detachment as she watches her best friend ritually starve to death. A woman leaves her middle-class family in Calcutta, and her job in a jute factory, only to find unexpected love and fulfilment living as a tantric in a skull-filled hut in a remote cremation ground. A prison warden from Kerala becomes, for two months of the year, a temple dancer and is worshipped as an incarnate deity; then, at the end of February each year, he returns to prison.
An illiterate goat herd from Rajasthan keeps alive an ancient 4000-line sacred epic that he, virtually alone, still knows by heart. A devadasi -or temple prostitute-initially resists her own initiation into sex work, yet pushes both her daughters into a trade she now regards as a sacred calling.
Nine people, nine lives. Each one taking a different religious path, each one an unforgettable story. Exquisite and mesmerising, and told with an almost biblical simplicity, William Dalrymple's first travel book in a decade explores how traditional forms of religious life in South Asia have been transformed in the vortex of the region?s rapid change.