Beneath a Marble Sky

Beneath a Marble Sky

by John Shors

An audio file of this program is available in mp3 format; click to listen.

I’m Kim Alexander and this is a Fiction Nation Minute. The book is Beneath a Marble Sky by John Shors.

The Taj Mahal is arguably the most famous place in India, with over 20,000 visitors a day. This is the story of how it was built, by whom and why. We know it was intended as a mausoleum for the empress of Hindustan, but this is the story of her children, told by her daughter, the princess Janahara. As the princess is kind and goodhearted, her brother, the future emperor is bitter and cruel. And because this is 17th century India, there are battles with elephants, assassination by cobra, fabulous wealth, jewelry for days, and above it all, the slowly rising Taj Mahal itself. Beneath a Marble Sky is particularly interesting for its take on the conflict between the Hindu and Muslim populations of India, and how that was exploited for political gain. Politics, intrigue, romance, and elephants — that’s a good story. Beneath a Marble Sky by John Shors. I’m Kim Alexander on Book Radio, SiriusXM Channel 80.


I’m Kim Alexander and this is a Fiction Nation minute. The book is Beneath a Marble Sky by John Shors.

If you liked The Red Tent or Wisdom’s Daughter, this is for you. Set in 17th century Hindustan, narrated by the Princess Janahara, this is the story of the building of the Taj Mahal, the monument to her mother, the Empress. Even though she is a princess, Janahara is also a traditional Muslim woman, she has no desire to sit on throne or ride off to war, and her life is both full of love and sacrifice. She is the cleverest of her family, but not smart enough to keep her jealous, warlike brother off the throne. Beneath a Marble Sky shows us a world of intrigue when wars were fought on elephant back, but also focuses on the daily lives of men and women, raising children, writing poetry, seeing the ocean for the first time. It’s a nice balance and a fascinating story. Beneath a Marble Sky by John Shors. I’m Kim Alexander on Book Radio, SiriusXM Channel 80.


I’m Kim Alexander and this is a Fiction Nation minute. The book is Beneath a Marble Sky by John Shors.

You may know that the Taj Mahal is a mausoleum built for the empress of Hindustan in the 17th century. This is the rest of the story, as told by Princess Janahara, her daughter. The life of a royal child in fiction is usually dangerous, full of intrigue and rivalry, and that’s the case here, as the princess is caught between her gentle, scholarly older brother and vicious, jealous younger brother. Guess who wants to inherit the throne and doesn’t necessarily want to wait until his father is dead? Beneath a Marble Sky is a historical romance of the best kind, full of richly researched detail about the everyday lives of interesting people, and the rise and fall of empires. This book was full of the things I find most interesting, the way these people lived, what they wore, what they ate, how they worshipped, and who they loved and hated. Beneath a Marble Sky by John Shors. I’m Kim Alexander on Book Radio, SiriusXM Channel 80.


Buy this book from Amazon.com