I received a free copy of The Mountain of Light from the publisher for my honest review. I received no compensation for this post.
About the Book:
As empires rose and fell and mighty kings jostled for power, its glittering radiance never dimmed. It is the “Mountain of Light”—the Kohinoor diamond—and its facets reflect a sweeping story of love, adventure, conquest and betrayal. Its origins are the stuff of myth, but for centuries this spectacular gem changes hands from one ruler to another in India, Persia, and Afghanistan. In 1850, the ancient stone is sent halfway around the world where it will play a pivotal role in the intertwined destinies of a boy-king of India and a young queen of England—a queen who claims the Mountain of Light and India itself for her own burgeoning empire, the most brilliant jewels in her imperial crown.
About the Author:
Indu Sundaresan was born in India and came to the US for graduate school at the University of Delaware. She is the author of two acclaimed novels, The Twentieth Wife and The Feast of Roses.
I will start by writing that to me this was not so much a novel as a series of short stories with the Kohinoor Diamond as what drew them together. Each “chapter” was a period of time in the history of the diamond and its sad displacement from India to England.
I had very, very limited knowledge of Indian history going into this book and it has expanded a bit after reading and I’m pleased. I’ll be looking for more reading in this area. Ms. Sundaresan does an excellent job of marrying the history of the land with the magic of the Kohinoor. The names are a touch confusing at the onset as some are quite similar but once the reader learns to differentiate the stories flow easily and are very well written with rich descriptions of environment, clothing and the overall wealth of the Punjab Empire.
I read the book in just about one sitting as I found it hard to put down. Despite knowing the end story of the Kohinoor I wanted to know about the people surrounding the diamond and in this the book did not disappoint. The feelings and emotions were well described and the characters all well developed – I think that even that cold piece of carbon developed into a true character in the book. I felt for it when it was downsized….
A truly fascinating book presenting a rich history from a unique perspective. It sparkled like a diamond.
Disclosure: I received a free copy of The Mountain of Light from the publisher for my honest review. I received no compensation for this post.