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The Enchantress of Florence by Salman Rushdie : A visitor from Florence arrives at the court of Akbar


I was tired. It was six in the morning when I picked up this book just to read a bit before going to bed. Then something that happens far less frequently than I would like it to happened. I read and I read and I read. I finished the book in one sitting. My sleep previously all conquering was non existent and I couldn't bring myself to put the book down.
The novel starts with a stranger from Florence wanting to visit the Mughal Emperor Akbar with a secret that of course is only for the great Emperor's ears. The secret of course is highly unprovable and so the rest of the novel concerns itself with the stranger proving the secret. There are encounters with death, strange concoctions that do various things but it all strangely makes sense. Magic, time, history and the nature of storytelling are dealt with effortlessly(actually there is a lot of effort but it all seems effortless). The novel is not one continuous story but rather has different arcs which segue into each other and are all linked to each other by the stranger narrating the tale.
It may be blasphemy to say so but I found this to be better than Midnight's Children. Midnight's Children for all its beauty never drew me in the way this novel did and of all the works by Rushdie that I have read this is the finest.

You can buy The Enchantress of Florence here.

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