The Enchantress of Florence Paperback
Part of the Vintage Magic series
A tall, yellow-haired young European traveller calling himself 'Mogor dell'Amore', the Mughal of Love, arrives at the court of the real Grand Mughal, the Emperor Akbar, with a tale to tell that begins to obsess the whole imperial capital.
The stranger claims to be the child of a lost Mughal princess: Qara Koz, 'Lady Black Eyes', a great beauty believed to possess powers of enchantment and sorcery, who becomes the lover of a certain Argalia, a Florentine soldier of fortune.
When Argalia returns home with his Mughal mistress the city is mesmerized by her presence, as two worlds are brought together by one woman attempting to command her own destiny...But is Mogor's story true? And if so, then what happened to the lost princess?
- Format: Paperback
- Pages: 464 pages
- Publisher: Vintage Publishing
- Publication Date: 24/12/2005
- Category: Modern & contemporary fiction (post c 1945)
- ISBN: 9780099421924
Showing 1 - 2 of 2 reviews.
Review by cerievans1
When I picked this up, I was hoping it would be as good as or better than Shalimar the Clown. Unfortunately, I was quite disappointed, I found the characters unengaging and did not care what happened at the end. Quite a lot of nonsense.
Review by alexdallymacfarlane
I’m glad I finally got around to picking up a Rushdie book. On a sentence level, I was utterly delighted. On a wider-story level, I enjoyed the main plot. However, however... The book is in part about a woman called Qara Koz who attempts to make her own path in life. To do this, she must fall in love with various men as needed to help her. While I appreciated the mercenary nature of her love, I found it irritating that she must ~love~ all of these men, utterly and completely, rather than coldly use them (or some of them -- I can understand falling in love accidentally, but immediately every time?) I suspect Rushdie was trying to show, with her reliance on men, that a woman in that time had no other option. Why she had to love them all, I don’t know. (Women are incapable of being cold mercenaries? Uugh.) Equally I’m not sure what he was trying to show by never really giving her a viewpoint. Her story is told by men. This bothers me immensely. It also means that while her base motive (‘I must survive’) is pretty transparent, other actions are less clear. Why, exactly, does she feel the need to work her magic on Florence and make it so wonderful? I guess it could tie into her need to survive -- making the city wonderful ensures people won't boot her out -- but it would have been nice to hear this from ~her~. Nevertheless, I found this book quite interesting (it had repeating motifs, a fascinating setting, lush descriptions and some good characters). Defintitely worth a read, and I intend to seek out more of Rushdie's work.