Empire of the Moghul: The Serpent's Tooth, Paperback

Empire of the Moghul: The Serpent's Tooth Paperback

2.5 out of 5 (1 rating)


The new Moghul Emperor Shah Jahan reigns over a colossally wealthy empire of 100 million souls.

Yet to gain his throne he has followed the savage 'throne or coffin' traditions of his ancestors - descendants of Genghis Khan and Tamburlaine.

Ever since the Moghuls took India, brother has fought brother and sons their fathers for the prize and Shah Jahan has been no exception. As his reign dawns, now is the time for Shah Jahan to secure his throne by crushing his enemies.

Instead, devastated by the death of his beautiful wife Mumtaz, he becomes obsessed with building an epic monument to their perfect love - the Taj Mahal.

His overwhelming grief isolates him from his sons and he does not see the rivalries, indeed hatreds, building between them.

When he falls ill, civil war breaks out - ruthless, murderous and uncontrollable - and the foundations of the empire itself begin to shake.


  • Format: Paperback
  • Pages: 432 pages
  • Publisher: Headline Publishing Group
  • Publication Date:
  • Category: Historical fiction
  • ISBN: 9780755347650



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The Serpent's Tooth is the fifth book in Alex Rutherford's Moghul Series, a series I started and read the first four books of last year. This instalment deals with the ShahJahan's reign and the coming in power of Aurangzeb. This book also includes the making of Taj Mahal, the actual construction of which, was lightly touched upon, a shortcoming in my opinion, given the status of the monument, as well as the general aura of mystery surrounding its construction.The battle scenes have grown stale and all we learn from the book is ShahJahan's sob story, how much he loves his wife, and how much he misses her once she dies, neglecting his kingdom and his children (and yet, oddly, not denouncing the crown in favour of his eldest, who is well into his 30s). We probably were supposed to feel sorry for him, I didn't. Equally lacking was the lacklustre character development of ShahJahan's children, including the wicked-most of them all, Aurangzeb. He comes across as a fanatic, conspiracy freak who is either (or not) a good General. Perhaps the next book (the last in the series I guess) would shed some more light.