As much as I loved this book for using pre-independence Indian history as the backdrop, I still found it lacking in the characterization of the central character ‘Maharani Jaya devi’. I would have preferred to know more about her rather than the names dropping that the book indulges in, and which went a little too far, in my opinion.
There is a beautiful narration of how the power passed from the able hands of a Maharaja to the greedy hands of British and then subsequently to the nationalist party of free India. Whether or not it went the ‘right’ way is not even debatable.
I fell in love with the Maharaja’s character (Jaya devi’s father) and wanted it to live a little longer in the book 🙂 Jaya devi, the central character, displays lot of potential but fails to achieve anything significant. Her emotions, as a woman, could have been expressed in a better manner considering the special times and situations she was in. Also, certain decisions she made in her life appeared to be out of her weakness and not love or any other purpose. For example, her brief liaison with Arun Roy, the nationalist was beyond comprehension to me.
Overall, I found myself enjoying the book, though certain parts towards the end did tempt me to skip pages! And I would give it 2.5 out of 5 as the rating..