Published Jan 2010
‘Perhaps the shooting star was an omen’ said Humayun. ‘Perhaps it means my reign will fizzle out ingloriously’. ‘Such words of self-doubt would anger your father if he were here now,’ Khanzada said. ‘He could have chosen one of your three half-others as his heir but he selected you, because he thought you were the most worthy. Our hold on Hindustan is precarious – dangers press in on us from every side. Grasp with both hands what fate – and your father – have bequeathed you.’ 1530, Agra, Northern India. Humayun, the newly crowned second Moghul Emperor, is a fortunate man. His father, Babur, has left him wealth, glory and an empire which stretches a thousand miles south of 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 the existence of the very empire itself.