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Having reviewed over 1200 books on this blog, I have now written two myself. Motherdarling is a story about a search for a missing Will which reveals long-hidden family secrets. The Kids of God is a thriller set in a dystopia ruled by fascist paramilitaries. Both are available as paperbacks and on Kindle through Amazon. I live in Canterbury, England. I lived for more than thirty years in Bedford. Having retired from teaching; I became a research student at the University of Bedfordshire researching into Liminality. I achieved my PhD in 2019. I am now properly retired. I love reading! I enjoy in particular fiction (mostly great and classic fiction although I also enjoy whodunnits), biography, history and smart thinking. Follow me on twitter: @daja57

Sunday, 13 November 2011

"The Enchantress of Florence" by Salman Rushdie

This book reminded me of a silk and velvet version of my own 'Don Petro de la Hoz'.

It was certainly lavish. A yellow haired wanderer and magician of Florentine descent related to Amerigo Vespucci and named after Niccolo Machiavelli but calling himself the 'Mughal of Love' arrives at the imperial Moghul court of Akbar the Great. He tells a story of Qara Koz, the woman he claims to be his mother, a princess of the line of Tamburlane and Genghis Kahn, who was multiply abducted through the fortunes of war until she found love with a Florentine Janissary. This makes him Akbar's uncle.

His stories weave magic around the Mughal court and enchant the great emperor (who has himself conjured up a fantasy queen). And the tale weaves back and forth from past to present, from India and Persia and  Ottoman Asia to Transylvania and Italy and the Nuovo Mondo, from history to fantasy, rich, gorgeous and romantic.


  • Philosophical: "If there had never been a God, the Emperor thought, it might have been easier to work out what goodness was." (Chapter 19). 
  • Political: "Was foreignness itself a thing to be embraced as a revitalizing force bestowing bounty and success upon its adherents, or did it adulterate something essential in the individual and the society as a whole?" (Chapter 19)
  • Witty: "Only the humble did not stumble" (Chapter 19)


Spell-binding.

November 2011; 443 pages

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